Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Cruises Review: Ships, Destinations, Accommodations, and More

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Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic is a cruise line like no other. When you’re on a National Geographic cruise, you’ll not only travel to remote and exotic locations, but you’ll do so in the company of world-renowned photographers, naturalists, and scientists.

While cruising with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic isn’t inexpensive, almost everything you can imagine is included in your fare both on board and on shore. That means you won’t pay extra for shore excursions, meals, hotels on land, most meals on land, transfers to and from group flights, and activities like zodiacs, kayaks, and snorkeling. Some ships even include things like alcohol, gratuities, and Wi-Fi.

We’ll explore all aspects of cruising with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic so you can decide if a Nat Geo cruise is right for your next vacation.

Basic Information

Name: Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic

Parent Company: Partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic

Number of Ships: 15

Destinations: 25 regions across all 7 continents

Loyalty Program: None

Credit Card: None

Lindblad Nat Geo yacht Sea Cloud
Lindblad/Nat Geo’s yacht, the Sea Cloud. Image Credit: Lindblad Expedition-National Geographic

Ships

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has a fleet of 15 vessels including 10 expedition ships, 4 river ships, and 1 yacht.

National Geographic Expedition Ships

  • National Geographic Endeavour II
  • National Geographic Endurance
  • National Geographic Explorer
  • National Geographic Islander
  • National Geographic Orion
  • National Geographic Quest
  • National Geographic Resolution
  • National Geographic Sea Bird
  • National Geographic Sea Lion
  • National Geographic Venture

National Geographic River Ships

  • Delfin II
  • Jahan
  • Lord of the Glens
  • Oberoi Philae

National Geographic Yacht

  • Sea Cloud
National Geographic Resolution
The National Geographic Resolution was built specifically for polar exploration. Image Credit: National Geographic/Lindblad

Departure Ports

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic travels to destinations across the globe from 33 departure ports.

Departure Ports
North America and the Caribbean

Anchorage, AlaskaBarbadosGuatemala City, GuatemalaJuneau, Alaska
Ketchikan, AlaskaLos Angeles, CALoreto/San Carlos, Baja California, MexicoNome, Alaska
Panama City, PanamaPortland, OregonSan Jose, Costa RicaSan Jose del Cabo/La Paz, Mexico
Seattle, WashingtonSitka, AlaskaSt. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
South AmericaBuenos Aires, ArgentinaGuayaquil, EcuadorLima, PeruSalvador, Brazil
Santiago, ChileTrinidad and Tobago
Europe

Athens (Piraeus), GreeceBergen, NorwayCopenhagen, DenmarkDubrovnik, Croatia
Inverness, ScotlandLondon, United KingdomNaples, ItalyOslo, Norway
Reykjavik, Iceland
AfricaCairo, Egypt
Asia and the PacificPapeete, French PolynesiaSiem Reap, Cambodia

*Some departure ports are not located where you’ll board your boat. For example, Galapagos cruises start in Guayaquil, Ecuador even though you won’t get on your ship until you arrive in the Galapagos.

Private Ports/Islands

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic does not have any private ports or islands.

Onboard Activities

Sailing on a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic ship is different than any other cruise line. You won’t find the typical cruise ship activities like pools, casinos, broadway-style shows, or an endless list of activities. Instead, these small ships offer a fantastic cultural experience, local experts on board, and the opportunity to explore remote and exotic locations.

You’ll be able to immerse yourself in your destination during the day and continue the experience on board with daily recaps plus guest speakers and destination-specific presentations.

Look for these amenities and activities on board (not all are available on every ship):

  • Art exhibition
  • Daily recap with hors d’oeuvres and snacks
  • Fitness center
  • Global gallery market
  • Hot tub
  • Kayaks
  • Library
  • Pool
  • Presentations and guest speakers
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Spa
  • Yoga
  • Zodiac

Pool on Oberoi Philae lindblad nat geo
The Oberoi Philae has a pool on her top deck. Image Credit: Lindblad/National Geographic

Dress Code

There is no dress code or formal nights on any Lindblad/Nat Geo cruise. Guests are allowed to dress comfortably and casually anywhere on board.

Bottom Line: You can book a Lindblad/Nat Geo cruise by calling its expedition specialists at 800-397-3348, by filling out a reservation request online, or by contacting your local travel agent. You won’t be able to book through an online travel agency.

Dining and Beverages

Sailing with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic is different than any other cruise line. When you’re on board a National Geographic ship, riverboat, or yacht, all of your food is included.

There are no specialty restaurants or charges for any type of food on board. This includes all meals on board as well as snacks during recap. Many meals on shore are also included (these will be indicated on your itinerary).

Each ship has 1-2 restaurants, and seating is unassigned.

Dining room on National Geographic Quest and Venture
The dining room on National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture features open seating. Image Credit: Lindblad/National Geographic

Bars and Beverages

When you’re on a National Geographic cruise, many of your beverages will be included in your cruise fare. Coffee, tea, and soda are available 24 hours a day. Cappuccinos, lattes, and filtered water are also complimentary. Alcoholic beverages are not included unless you’re sailing on select ships.

Alcoholic beverages ARE included on the following ships (except for super-premium brands):

  • Lord of the Glens
  • National Geographic Endeavour II
  • National Geographic Endurance
  • National Geographic Explorer
  • National Geographic Islander
  • National Geographic Orion
  • Sea Cloud

Hot Tip: Make sure you’re using a good travel rewards credit card that earns points on cruises to book your trip. 

Accommodations

Accommodations vary widely across the National Geographic fleet. Here’s what you can expect on each ship:

National Geographic Endurance and National Geographic Resolution

  • 69 outside-facing cabins, including 12 solo cabins
  • 53 of the cabins have a small balcony, others have a large window
  • All have an expedition command center with tablets

National Geographic Venture and National Geographic Quest

  • 50 outside-facing cabins
  • 22 of the cabins have a small balcony
  • 12 of the cabins connect via an internal door
  • Select cabins can accommodate a third person
Category 5 cabin on National Geographic Quest and Venture
A category 5 cabin on National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture. Image Credit: Lindblad/National Geographic

National Geographic Explorer

  • 81 outside-facing cabins, including 14 for solo travelers
  • 13 cabins have balconies
  • 6 suites that can accommodate a third person

National Geographic Orion

  • 53 outside-facing cabins
  • Select cabins feature a Juliette Balcony
  • All cabins feature an armchair or sofa plus a TV and bathroom with glass-walled shower stall

National Geographic Islander

  • 24 outside-facing cabins, including 2 suites
  • 8 cabins have private glassed-in terraces
  • A limited number of cabins can accommodate a third person
National Geographic Islander private glassed in terraces
The private glassed-in terraces are available in select National Geographic Islander cabins. Image Credit: Lindblad/National Geographic

National Geographic Endeavour II

  • 52 outside-facing cabins, including 9 designed for solo travelers and 4 suites
  • 7 sets of cabins are connecting to accommodate families
  • All cabins have windows only — there are no balcony rooms
  • Select cabins can accommodate a third guest

National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion

  • 31 outside-facing cabins with a window or porthole
  • Select cabins have a door to the outside deck
  • Select cabins can accommodate a third person

Delfin II

  • 14 outside-facing suites
  • 4 master suites with wraparound windows offering a 90-degree view
  • All suites have at least 1 large window, closet, chair, and private bathroom
Master Suite on Delphin II lindblad nat geo
The Master Suite on Delphin II features wraparound windows offering a 90-degree view. Image Credit: Lindblad/National Geographic

Jahan

  • 24 cabins, including 2 suites, with balconies
  • Each of the 2 suites has a private balcony
  • Each cabin has a mini-bar with refrigerator

Lord of the Glens

  • 26 outside-facing cabins with a picture window or 2 large portholes

Sea Cloud

  • 30 outside-facing cabins with a window or porthole including 2 owner’s suites
  • 2 owner’s suites feature original marble bath and fireplace
  • Each cabin has a mini-bar stocked with soft drinks and water

    Owners Suite on Sea Cloud lindblad nat geo
    The Owner’s Suite on Sea Cloud has a fireplace. Image Credit: Lindblad/National Geographic

Oberoi Philae

  • 22 cabins, including 4 suites, with large almost floor-to-ceiling windows that can be opened
  • Category 5 suites feature a private terrace and heated whirlpool
  • All cabins have a large bathroom with overhead shower and hand-held shower; suites have a separate bathtub

Hot Tip: If you’re curious about other small ship cruises, check out Crystal Cruises or Viking River Cruises.

Loyalty Program

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic does not have a loyalty program.

Final Thoughts

A Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic cruise isn’t like any other cruise. You’ll experience a unique trip that will immerse you into the culture of your destinations.

Lindblad’s small ships ensure an intimate and personalized experience. On board, you’ll be surrounded by National Geographic experts, including photographers, naturalists, and scientists, so you can make the most of your trip.

If you’re looking for waterslides and deck parties, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic isn’t for you. However, if you want a true cultural experience that enriches your mind and temps your senses, you may want to book a Lindblad/Nat Geo cruise for your next vacation!


Frequently asked questions

Is everything free on Lindblad Expedition cruises?

The price you pay for your Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic cruise includes almost everything! You’ll never pay extra for shore excursions or meals. Beverages like specialty coffees, teas, and soda are also included. Alcoholic beverages are included on some voyages as well. You also won’t pay extra for group flights or activities like snorkeling and kayaking. Generally, you’ll be responsible for paying for tips, Wi-Fi, alcoholic beverages, and some meals on shore. Scuba diving is also an extra charge.

Are Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic kid-friendly?

Kids are welcome on any Lindblad/Nat Geo cruise. However, they are more prevalent on summer cruises to the Galapagos Islands and Alaska because of the National Geographic Global Explorers programs on those itineraries.

Do I have to dress up on a Lindblad Expeditions cruise?

No, you don’t have to dress up when you cruise with Lindblad/Nat Geo. In fact, there is no dress code nor are there formal nights on board.

Katie Seemann

About Katie Seemann

Katie is an Ohio native who caught the travel bug after spending a semester in college in Nottingham, England. In addition to exploring England, she visited Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands during that time and loved every minute of it (everything except the hostel in Scotland – that’s an experience she doesn’t intend on repeating!) In 2015, Katie discovered the world of points and miles, and since then she’s earned countless points and has an embarrassingly large number of credit cards in her wallet (which she needs a spreadsheet to keep track of!)

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