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The Lindblad Legacy of Respectful Tourism

When Lars-Eric Lindblad set out with the first groups of expedition travelers in the late 1950's, he was following his passion to discover unknown places and to share the unique cultural and environmental aspects of these places with others. These first adventure travel expeditions led many to define him as the father of "eco-tourism."

Early expeditions in those days included destinations such as Easter Island, the Galapagos, the Amazon, Papua New Guinea, China and Bhutan - all with the focus of creating experiences that foster an understanding and appreciation of the most remote and pristine places on the globe. In Antarctica, where Lindblad also pioneered expedition travel, the US Geological Survey mapped a cove in Lars-Eric's name, Lindblad Cove, on Trinity Peninsula.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, Lars' son, traveled extensively with his father, learning early on the joy and wonder of exploring the pristine corners of the globe. As a young man, Sven spent six years in East Africa photographing elephants and wildlife and assisting filmmakers on a documentary about the destruction of African rainforests. This early and deep exposure to the balance between man's relationship to natural resources was instrumental in Sven's efforts over the years, to find ways for his business to help preserve natural resources and get involved in conservation efforts.

In 1979, Sven Lindblad founded Special Expeditions as a division of Lindblad Travel, enabling the company to further its mission of offering innovative and educational travel expeditions that were primarily marine focused. Offerings expanded to Costa Rica, Alaska and Baja California, providing travelers with opportunities to explore, with small and nimble ships, the islands, coves and open spaces of the sea that reminded Lindblad of the remote and vast expanse of the Serengetti plains. The company's name was later changed to Lindblad Expeditions.

Today the company is focused on finding creative ways to explore the places already "discovered." Their growing fleet of small expedition ships, Zodiacs, sea kayaks, onboard Naturalists and underwater cameras are all examples of how Lindblad continually strives to help open the eyes of our guests when it comes to truly exploring. They do this because they believe the more their guests connect with these incredible places, the more they will become a force for preserving and protecting them.

Under the guidance of experienced leaders who have a great respect for natural and cultural environments, Lindblad Expeditions continues to approach expedition travel as a catalyst for making a difference in one's life, and in the world.

The mission of Lindblad Expeditions early on was simple enough - to bring travelers to regions that inspired them and eventually, helped to shape their thinking about protecting these unique places. Today, their belief is that business and conservation go hand in hand, providing real value to our guests, to the local communities where we operate, and to our business in the long term. As travelers, local stewards of a place, or businesses operating in these places, Sven Lindblad runs his business with the approach that as travelers to these places, we are all stakeholders in the success of these magical places. The benefit comes from linking all of the efforts to preserve, and in some cases, repair, these wild and wondrous places.

"All the animals and land throughout the planet are held in trust by us. We have no right to destroy or change this heritage so that it becomes unrecognizable. We have a duty to pass the planet along to future generations in as unspoiled a way as possible. This requires intelligence, foresight, understanding and creative effort."

- Lars-Eric Lindblad from his book Passport to Anywhere


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