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10 Lindblad Expeditions Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Each day was an adventure to experience the culture, wildlife and nature of the area. The naturalists and expedition guides were extremely knowledgeable and gifted teachers. The day was packed with activities. The ship was comfortable, ... Read More
Each day was an adventure to experience the culture, wildlife and nature of the area. The naturalists and expedition guides were extremely knowledgeable and gifted teachers. The day was packed with activities. The ship was comfortable, staff could not have been better and the food was so tasty. The morning stretch yoga was the perfect way to start the day. Especially enjoyed our Yale professor's film discussion at night! The trip was the Inside Passage from Seattle to Sitka, Alaska. I always refer to trips with Lindblad and National Geographic as "expeditions" not cruises. We discover the area with our expeditions leaders and guides and based on conditions, the path can be altered. We experienced very close encountered with breaching humpback whales, breaching minke whales, sea otters, snow geese, tufted puffins, calving glaciers, and much more. The ship's captain was very approachable and addressed our group often. The crew truly operated as a team and we always felt safe and in excellent hands!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
As a scientist and biologist, I wanted to explore the Galapagos Islands for myself to witness the uniqueness of species that motivated Charles Darwin to advance his factual theories on evolution and natural selection. The National ... Read More
As a scientist and biologist, I wanted to explore the Galapagos Islands for myself to witness the uniqueness of species that motivated Charles Darwin to advance his factual theories on evolution and natural selection. The National Geographic team aboard the Endeavor II gave us an exceptionally motivating expedition of the most unique location on our planet. The experience was enhanced by the warm, friendly, motivated and well-informed staff, especially the expedition leader, Carlos, who was also a comedian. There was no shortage of excellent Ecuadorian food and snacks and drinks. There was even time for early morning stretching on the observation deck and a work out in the gym. One of the most exciting experiences on board was meeting so many new people for the first time. The Lounge and Dining Room were large and cozy enough to make this possible. The frequent visits by zodiacs to the different islands highlighting the unique species was breathtaking to say the least. I've never seen so many beautiful creatures in my life. There's no doubt that I will do this expedition again, soon. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was the first trip away from our young kids and wanted to do Alaska on a small ship. I found out how new this ship was and chased it down. Here are my notes. Quest Sunday - long day to buy time to get on ship at 5:30pm, they ... Read More
This was the first trip away from our young kids and wanted to do Alaska on a small ship. I found out how new this ship was and chased it down. Here are my notes. Quest Sunday - long day to buy time to get on ship at 5:30pm, they mean it and no-one got on before then. Juneau is boring and I wouldn't stay there. Tram was cool and worth it. When we did we got a person to take us to our cabin and desctibe all the features. There was more storage and room in our cabin than in hotel room. Don’t stay at recommended hotel - small rooms, noisy (loud) heaters (boilers) and it is just old. Our cabin on the ship was so much more spacious and has a crazy amount of storage, no way to use all of the drawers and other provided spaces. Pillows and blankets are amazing. Internet doesn’t work - too high latitudes for satellite to work.. I paid and got money back as we did get some cell service in small fishing villages but latency was so high that some applications wouldn’t work. Ship is a shield, so for any coverage you have to be on deck. Tracy Arm (Transit all night) Monday AM, I was pretty excited and woke up at 4am just to look around and saw icebergs out my window and I was on deck by 4:30am - and not only one. It was so crazy pretty that I stayed on deck pretty much to lunch. Food was very good all around. I’m not that picky and I give the food a B+ all around. Something for everyone and after meeting all the guests - no one had a bad thing to say. You get briefings before dinner and after breakfast every day. They over-communicate which seems annoying, but was rather useful. Staff is amazing all around. I can’t say enough good things and I look for those ‘cracks in the crew’ and found none. The respect for the naturalists was crazy high from fellow crew, not to speak of the guests. Monday was Tracy Arm and zodiac tours of the glacier. They take the entire guest list and chop into groups A, B, C and D. They use that to get rid of big lines for activities. We were in group C so they call on the PA to give us a 15 minute notice of when we should head to the mud room to put on Life jacket and board the zodiacs. Max wait was 10 minutes. They clearly have this figured out. Preso’s every day after lunch and dinner by very polished naturalists who know their stuff. I was crazy tired this night and crashed hard.. Speaking to other guests which I now had a chance to socialize with - was the same. Tuesday Morning - hit the zodiacs to go see icebergs that have calved off the glacier. Sounds boring? - look at the pictures and video. Amazing morning - water perfectly still and warm. We all got amazing photo’s - walk on fire trail, banana slugs and bear skat. Then kayaking that wasn’t so interesting but good exercise. Petersburg at lunch - great sleepy fishing village. Could arrange floatplane flights. Or walking (or van) into town or taking a free bicycle which we did. Very nice stay and we had dinner while the ship pulled out of port. This was a real treat. MIT alumni group on board and a professor gave a talk on climate. Very interesting and nice people. weather turned hawaii and we had upper 70’s, sun and heat. crazy. Wish I had more t-shirts. I wore shorts to dinner 4 nights in a row. Wednesday early morning hiking - no so interesting and then kayaking, was cool but not the best. Afternoon (Wednesday) was ok hiking morning, but ‘activity watching in afternoon cruise’ which started out pretty boring, everyone looking but some sea lions. Weather was hot in the sun. Then someone in bridge saw something on the port shore - ship turned too hard and some dishes went flying(turns out that was autopilot accident) - but we found a large group of humpbacks were bubble feeding on the shoreline. They split into 2 different groups and were amazing. We had that all day where I stopped counting at 25 ‘breaches’ of the bubble fishing. Most amazing day ever. Would check most folks bucket list to see 1 or 2, but 25+. You have never seen a more satisfied group of passengers and crew that dinner. Most of us knew that was a ‘1 in a lifetime’ afternoon. I hope I can post a few photo’s. Thursday (Icy Strait) - morning hiking in a great rainforest - like walking on sponges. lots of wild flowers and such. After that taken to ‘kayak beach’ where we kayaked ‘follow the leader’ around the Idaho inlet and it was awesome. Guest MIT lecture on Climate and then zodiac rides (A, B, C & D) with real alaskan weather and saw whales, sea lions, otters, eagles taking fish…. great lunch day (turkey) Afternoon zodiac tour of the Inian islands. Amazing - saw whales, sea lions, otters and a Bald Eagle took a 1/2 fish from a sea lion thirty feet in front of our zodiac. I have a picture of that that Tom caught - amazing. took it easy and let folks take naps and slow down a bit. Great dinner and lecture after about summer solstice, some video of diving around the kayak route and Chelsey talking about seals, sea lions and Otters - awesome. Got cold and folks went to sleep. Alaska part 2 Plan for the best - you have your cold weather gear, but you have crazy storage on the Quest - don’t forget t-shirts and shorts. On my trip I left our walk weather stuff in Florida and regretted it. We had 3 days in a row where it hit upper 70’s and I was hot in the sun. I had only 1 pair of shorts and wish I had more. We had *lots* of empty drawers we could have used. Suitcases fit under the bed (easily) Video and camera My wife brought her DSLR (Canon) and they have free lenses for you to use on the ship. She borrowed a few 600mm lens and got the best whale photo’s of the trip. There are at least 2 professional photographers on the trip who will spend as much 1:1 time as you want. Take advantage of it. Star of the show is my iPhone 10 using 4K 60fps video. You can zoom like crazy and will be able to post-process great video. My MacBook air wasn’t powerful enough to do that and iCloud is setup that I needed WiFi (that doesn’t work at those latitudes - so don’t pay for it) I would let the iPhone take video if the whales are around - if you get it, great. If not - delete and try again. Don’t wait till you see them - will be too late (for bubble fishing). Same for glacier calving - I would record for 3 minutes and delete if nothing happened, but if it does - you will get most or all of it in 4K video. Clothing 1st day was cold and clear. I had bought these wind pants with a thin layer of fleece on the inside and they were killer good. My go to pants when cruising or a colder zodiac ride. Too hot for hiking when in 60 or 70’s, so I used my hiking pants and was ok to be a little cold on zodiac ride (10 minutes) and very comfortable on the hike. Front or side pockets to keep iPhone kept if very handy when something unexpected happened, which seems to be all the time Saturday We signed up for the ‘strenuous hike’ and had a good workout though the rainforest to a lake where the guides were surprised had some salmon already. I used my polarized sunglasses to get some good video on my iPhone. After we hiked back down we put on the low profile life jackets and went kayaking in this amazingly clear water. Most of the folks all agreed this was the best of the Kayaking on the trip. Good workout - back to the ship and ate a good lunch. The rest of the afternoon was cruising and looking for wildlife - most folks were tired and slept or started packing. This part of the cruise there seemed to be otters everywhere and I got my otter photo’s here. Right before dinner I was on the bow with some other folks when we saw porpoises on the bow. They rode the bow for 25 minutes and I got my iPhone out there for 4 minutes until my fingers were too cold to hold the phone. Some amazing video I need to edit when I get home. That night after dinner we did the guest slideshow. Each guest could submit 10 of their best photo’s and it was amazing what people got. Anyone could download it from 2 iMacs they had in the lounge. Was very fun. Lots of folks exchanging email addresses and the like for the rest of the evening. Also having some drinks with the crew as you have gotten to know them pretty well at this point. Last day We anchored outside Sitka. Hit the dock at 6am. 6:30am wake-up call. 7am breakfast and they wanted all bags (tagged) and put outside cabin before 7am. Most of us were on same flight from Sitka to Seattle at 2pm. There were 97 passengers. 13 were under age 18. 3 groups of families Grandparents and kids. Bunch of retirees - good group of folks. I'm 53 with wife 46 and we had a great time. Never felt crowded, but we had insane weather. Ask for tour of engine room and kitchen - very cool. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
One of our goals was to go to the Galapagos Islands and this experiential trip did not disappoint. You'll find scenery and wildlife not found anywhere else in the world. We were pleasantly surprised with the friendliness of the ... Read More
One of our goals was to go to the Galapagos Islands and this experiential trip did not disappoint. You'll find scenery and wildlife not found anywhere else in the world. We were pleasantly surprised with the friendliness of the crew. Many greeted us by name, even without our name badges on. The crew is quite talented which provided an additional layer of fun. They even made us a special cake for our honeymoon/anniversary complete with song and other festivities. We've been on other cruises, however, make no mistake, this is an expedition versus a traditional cruise. There are at multiple outings each day and you don't want to miss any of them. One of the other unique aspects to this particular expedition is every staff member on the ship was Ecuadorian. The Naturalists were locally trained experts who internalized the nuances of the area throughout their entire lives and were able to pass on that knowledge to us-the interlopers. We were so happy with this experience, our first with National Geographic, we plan on taking another adventure in the next year or so. One word of advice I'd give to serious photographers is you may want to stick with specific photo expeditions versus a general expedition. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Wanted to do something very special for our 25 th wedding anniversary . Nature and evolution in front of your eyes, absolutely amazing. All guides were so knowledgeable, in many fields, Geology, Biology ,Ornothology, and more, all ... Read More
Wanted to do something very special for our 25 th wedding anniversary . Nature and evolution in front of your eyes, absolutely amazing. All guides were so knowledgeable, in many fields, Geology, Biology ,Ornothology, and more, all expeditions were very well organized , mostly by Zodiacs wet or dry landing. Even though I am somewhat handicapped, knee replacements, I managed it well. Every day was a new adventure, we met very many nice people and made new friends. Tour of City Coaquil was very interesting. Ecuador is a very interesting country. Enjoyed some of their dance and music. One day we had Ecuadorion food, very good. Impressed by their effort to help the environment. We had Coca Cola without corn syrup, tasted great. Also air service to the Galápagos was great. We flew Avianca to and from the Galápagos Surprised to see so many other airlines to service the islands. Weather their was always comfortable 70s temperature even on the equator . People who live there are very lucky. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I visited the Galapagos Islands in Oct. of 2012 and it was and awesome trip. I've always wanted to go back. This year, I decided to take my two adult daughters on a cruise. the stars aligned and the July -Aug cruise fell into place ... Read More
I visited the Galapagos Islands in Oct. of 2012 and it was and awesome trip. I've always wanted to go back. This year, I decided to take my two adult daughters on a cruise. the stars aligned and the July -Aug cruise fell into place for all of us time wise. The girls had a fantastic, jaw-dropping time and said it was best vacation ever. We shared a cabin for 3, which tho lacking in enough storage drawers, was comfortable and sufficient for the little time we spent there. The food was amazing, lots of choices and specialty foods. One of my daughters is vegan and I eat gluten free. Every meal and snack time, there were dishes especially prepared for both of us. There were others with dietary requirements and all were personally taken care of. Service was A-One. Excursions were amazing and led by very experienced Naturalists. The atmosphere is casual..no dressy dinner clothes needed. The ports were an adventure every excursion with lots of wildlife..flora and fauna to see and experience, like snorkeling among sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, penguins and tropical fish. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My wife and I took the one week Galapogos excursion on the Linblad National Geographic on the ship Islander in mid-February. It was a fantastic experience, exceeded our admittedly high expectations and a trip we can recommend highly. ... Read More
My wife and I took the one week Galapogos excursion on the Linblad National Geographic on the ship Islander in mid-February. It was a fantastic experience, exceeded our admittedly high expectations and a trip we can recommend highly. Here are some further thoughts on the subject. NATURALISTS MATTER. A critical feature of the experience were the three naturalists that guided every hike, boat ride and snorkel. The ability to make a 1 mile hike into an interesting and engaging two hour nature experience is dependent wholly on the naturalists. The three on our trip were extraordinary and well versed in the smallest detail of the geology, history, flora, fauna and culture of every stop. We had been told by others who did the Galapagos (with other providers) that most naturalists who work in the islands aspire to get hired by Linblad/Nat Geo, and therefore, they get the best. While we have nothing to compare it to, our experience was excellent. I would pick Linblad/Nat Geo for that reason alone. ACTIVITY LEVEL. The pace was significantly more active than we imagined, and to our liking. The ship accommodations matter, but we didn’t have as much lounging time as I had thought. We kayaked twice (regulations limit the number of kayaks they can send out), and we took every boat ride, snorkel and hike offered. While that pace was by no means exhausting, some guests opted-out on occasion. The pace of the hikes was leisurely and the terrain well handled by all except a few of the more frail passengers. Even on the more rocky trails, a pair of sturdy hiking sticks for less active folk (supplied by the boat) were all that were needed. Typically, we started before or just after breakfast, got in one or two events before returning to the ship by noon for lunch, lounged or napped, and then resumed excursions at 3:00 to avoid the mid-day heat. SHIP CONDITION. Despite being a slightly older ship and not having been renovated recently, the ship was in excellent condition with beautiful teak accents, shiny brass hardware, nice carpets, and always impeccably clean with three room services per day! There was nothing worn or old about it. CLOTHING. The dress was quite casual, and what I would call “resort casual.” Shorts, t-shirts, polo shirts, bathing suits and casual sun dresses predominated. During mid-February it was quite hot mid-day so wicking active gear, loose shirts and sun protection clothing was key. Air conditioning kept the interior of the ship pleasantly cool. Next day laundry services (at hotel prices) are available. FOOD. The food was really good. It was not fine dining in the metropolitan sense, but it was tasty, varied and plentiful. Alcohol was reasonably priced from $4 for a local (and good) beer to $8 for a glass of decent wine. Tellingly, most passengers felt like they were gaining lots of weight on the trip! GYM. For fitness buffs, there was a small gym with two high quality treadmills, an elliptical and a good spinning class-styled exercise bike. It had some dumbbells up to 25 pounds. The gym has large windows with great views. It was rarely used with most succumbing to a nap or a book in the shade during the siesta break, and therefore getting a machine was never an issue. WATER. Water temps for swimming and snorkeling were in the 70’s on our itinerary (which can vary) in mid-February. The shortie wet suits provided were buoyant and kept us warm enough to be the last out of the water on most snorkel outings. Some guests also wore rash guards or SPF clothing, either in place of, or underneath wetsuits. Some guests and the guides did fine without the wetsuits. The snorkeling gear was good. I have my own gear but left it at home, and was glad I did. Some put an underwater camera or GoPro to good use, but Linblad provided us with a great DVD filmed by a photographer that accompanied us on all our excursions so we all got some great footage to take home! SERVICE. The service was excellent. I think there are 42 crew or so for 46 guests. The entire staff was professional, efficient, accommodating and helpful. It was our first Linblad experience but likely not our last. STATEROOMS. As to which stateroom to pick (level 2-4) there are some considerations. All have excellent cabin level air conditioning, so you could make your stateroom as cold as you pleased. The level 2 and 3 rooms do not have a window or portal directly to the outside, but rather have a small window that looks through an exterior hallway (either the library on side 302-304-306 with less traffic) or the computer lab (301-303-305 with slightly more traffic) which also serves as the entry to the lounge. Those walkways are floor to ceiling glass so lots of light shines through, but we mostly kept the curtain pulled on our porthole for privacy. As to the level 2 staterooms, we were told by guests in 210 and 208 that they were closest to the engines and may have had a bit more engine noise at night. The area between 205 and 208 is where the guests gather to disembark, which is not a problem if you are disembarking with them, but if you are looking to sleep through it, it might have been loud. We thought the best value were staterooms 306 and 305, as those are sized to accommodate three passengers, and if they will give you one of those as a double, the extra room in the form of a day bed/couch is nice. The remaining level 3 staterooms, and the level 4 staterooms (but for 401 and 402, see below) are all about the same size. The difference is that the 4 level rooms have a small enclosed “porch” that some guests used as a place to hang wet clothing, but does have enough room for two people to sit with a book or a drink (it is slightly bigger than it looks in pictures.) The level 4 rooms are more private than the level 3 rooms (no exterior traffic), and had more light due to the window on the door to the deck. Staterooms 401 and 402 (on an older brochure I think those were labeled 501 and 502) were really spectacular with large dramatic windows overlooking the bow and sides of the boat, with the same small but functional enclosed decks like the other level 4 rooms. By comparison to any other staterooms, the light in those rooms was extraordinary. The bathrooms too were larger in those suites. The exterior walkways (rather than internal) offer the great benefit of providing many air conditioned places to lounge on either side of the ship with fantastic exterior views. Of course the lounge to the stern and two upper decks (open but shaded) also provide lots of space. The public spaces are sufficiently varied for socializing, or napping, reading or sunning in relative privacy. Therefore, we used our stateroom mostly to sleep, nap, shower and change, and lounged elsewhere on the boat. So overall, as you consider the class of accommodations, we thought 1) a level 2 stateroom offered a great overall experience because the you spend so little time in your room and this trip is about the outdoors; 2) if you are on level 2, rooms 201-204 might be quieter, but noise was never really an issue; 3) the premium for the extra space of 303-306 was worth it to us; 4) if you want to splurge and the stateroom matters to you the most, splurge on 401 or 402; you won’t be disappointed with the premium space. But regardless of which accommodations you pick, make sure you pick one and go. It is a unique travel experience like none other on the planet. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I was referred to this cruise/expedition by our dentist! As it turned out, he was exactly right! My daughter had the most enjoyable experience of our lives! When we arrived in Ushuaia, we were taken to a catamaran where we were treated ... Read More
I was referred to this cruise/expedition by our dentist! As it turned out, he was exactly right! My daughter had the most enjoyable experience of our lives! When we arrived in Ushuaia, we were taken to a catamaran where we were treated to a wonderful lunch and saw a little part of scenery Ushuaia. When we arrived at the port which we were to embark, we were greeted by a friendly, smiling crew member who welcomed us aboard the ship. Once on the ship, we were asked if we wanted to register at the time we boarded or if we would like to be taken to our cabin. We chose to be taken to our cabin and, without hesitation, they took us. Once we reached the cabin, they showed us all about the cabin to make our stay more comfortable. The cabin was cozy and comfortable and well appointed. The ship was beautifully appointed and it was rather easy to find our way around once we settled in. After we settled into the cabin, we went to register ourselves into the ship. It was quick and easy with not much waiting. The dining room was equally beautiful and our dining requests were met every step of the way! The staff was friendly, polite and efficient and they tended to our every need! The quality of the food served was top notch and there was no skipping on service! All of the dining room staff went out of their way to meet our needs from our first meal to our last! Each day, our schedule was full of activities and interesting seminars on Antarctica and other topics of interest! There was never a time in the day when there was nothing to do, unless you chose to do nothing but relax or read. It was always interesting and NEVER boring! What we found to be interesting is that this cruise/expedition was made up of mature passengers, but also of young adults who enjoyed the interaction by all! I believe that all of us learned something from everyone! Aside from going on shore and seeing glaciers up close in addition to the wildlife, it was wonderful to be able to go anywhere on the ship including the bridge where we were welcomed with open arms. Not only did the crew allow us to enter the bridge at anytime, they were willing to explain to us what we were seeing and what we could expect as we were traveling along! They pointed out interesting sites and went into detail about what we saw in order to help us understand all that we were seeing! They explained all about what they were doing, as well, which made the trip even more interesting. The naturist were informative and interesting! Needless to say, the service that was provided was the best that I have ever seen. Every detail was thought of and nothing was ever left out! I could not have asked for more as it went beyond my expectations! If I had the chance to go again, and I hope I do, I would do it again in a heartbeat! Furthermore, I would recommend this cruise/expedition to anyone at anytime! The money spent to book this trip was more than worth it! Thank you to the crew, Linblad and National Geographic for the trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The Lindblad/National Geographic team on the boat was superb. The 7 naturalists (all certified by the Galapagos Nationa Park) were incredibly well trained and knowledgeable the wildlife, the ecosystems, and local history and culture. Two ... Read More
The Lindblad/National Geographic team on the boat was superb. The 7 naturalists (all certified by the Galapagos Nationa Park) were incredibly well trained and knowledgeable the wildlife, the ecosystems, and local history and culture. Two of them also served as photography advisors and videographers. All of the passengers were encouraged to share some of their best shots and the videographer share his work. We also had the opportunity to learn more about the life of Charles Darwin, watch an extensive documentary from National Geographic, visit a local school training children to become naturalists, etc. Each day we spent time visiting one or two islands with vastly diverse species of wildlife, ecosystems, and recreation opportunities. The meals were well prepared using very healthy foods (except the desserts) and the dining room staff was excellent. The other crew members, from the ship captain's team to the cooks, housekeepers, etc. were also very supportive. All of the logistics arrangements were very well handled. We met many interesting fellow passengers with whom we spent field trips, group meals and many hours of fascinating informal conversations. It became a small community of fellow nature enthusiasts within hours of boarding the vessel and stayed that way until we departed at the airport eight days later. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This is not your big boat cruise. I've been on those and the whole reason for the choice of this ship rather than the 2800 passenger ship that was also in those waters with us is to become intimate with the flora and fauna, make ... Read More
This is not your big boat cruise. I've been on those and the whole reason for the choice of this ship rather than the 2800 passenger ship that was also in those waters with us is to become intimate with the flora and fauna, make photographs. We sailed into all the nooks and crannies along the route, stopping for zodiac trips to shore with NatGeo photographers who were also naturalists, so we learned not only how to make great photographs, but also details about what we were photographing. Many times, one would hear the engine die followed by an announcement that wildlife had been spotted on shore and the captain would nose the boat very close to shore so everyone could get a good look and great pix. Don't know about other cabins, but no problems with smells in my cabin and the overall appearance of the ship was clean and tidy. The cabins are small - a place to crash after a busy day experiencing all there was. The shower/head was really tiny - to take a shower, throw some liquid soap against the walls, step in and turn around a few times. Don't forget to draw the curtain between the shower and the head or you will be trying to dry off with wet towels. But then again, I had one of the small cabins. There are a few larger ones. If you want a luxurious stateroom, take the 2800 passenger ship. You'll sort of get the experience. But if you want to get the pix of the black bear whom you could see had recently been in a fight, you are looking for something like this. PIX at http://flikr.com/photos/clind/albums. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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