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

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

Senior Content Contributor and News Editor

360 Published Articles 64 Edited Articles

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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic is a cruise line like no other. When you’re on a one of these cruises, 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 it’s right for your next vacation.

Basic Information

Name: Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic

Parent Company: Partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic

Number of Ships: 16

Destinations: 25 regions across all 7 continents

Loyalty Program: None

Credit Card: None

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

Bottom Line: National Geographic Expeditions cruises are operated in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions. There are additional NatGeo land-based trips that aren’t associated with Lindblad.

Ships

Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic has a fleet of 15 vessels, including 11 expedition ships, 4 river ships, and 1 yacht. The newest ship, the National Geographic Islander II, was introduced in August 2022.

National Geographic Expedition Ships

  • National Geographic Endeavour II
  • National Geographic Endurance
  • National Geographic Explorer
  • National Geographic Islander
  • National Geographic Islander II
  • 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.

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

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
  • Glass-bottom boat
  • 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 Expeditions/National Geographic

Dress Code

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

Bottom Line: You can book a Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic 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 Expeditions 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 to 2 restaurants, and seating is unassigned.

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

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 for up to 126 guests
  • 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 for up to 100 guests
  • 22 of the cabins have a small balcony
  • 6 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 Expeditions/National Geographic

National Geographic Explorer

  • 81 outside-facing cabins, including 14 for solo travelers, for up to 148 total guests
  • 13 cabins have balconies
  • 6 suites that can accommodate a third person

National Geographic Orion

  • 53 outside-facing cabins for up to 102 guests
  • Select cabins feature a Juliette Balcony
  • All cabins feature an armchair or sofa plus a TV and bathroom with a glass-walled shower stall

National Geographic Islander

  • 24 outside-facing cabins, including 2 suites for up to 48 guests
  • 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 Expeditions/National Geographic

National Geographic Islander II (Coming August 2022)

  • 26 suites for up to 48 guests
  • 18 regular suites, 4 solo suites, 4 Islander suites
  • All suites have large windows and in-room coffee and tea

National Geographic Endeavour II

Cabin 201 National Geographic Endeavour II
A Category 1 room on National Geographic Endeavour II. Image Credit: Katie Seemann
  • 52 cabins, including 9 designed for solo travelers and 4 suites for up to 96 guests
  • 7 sets of cabins can connect to accommodate families
  • All cabins have windows only — there are no balcony rooms
  • Select cabins can accommodate a third guest

Hot Tip: Check out our full review of a cruise to the Galápagos Islands onboard the National Geographic Endeavour II.

National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion

  • 31 outside-facing cabins with a window or porthole for up to 62 guests
  • Select cabins have a door to the outside deck
  • Select cabins can accommodate a third person

Delfin II

  • 14 outside-facing suites for up to 28 guests
  • 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 Expeditions/National Geographic

Jahan

  • 24 cabins, including 2 suites, each with a private balcony, accommodating up to 48 guests in total
  • Each cabin has a mini-bar with refrigerator

Lord of the Glens

  • 25 cabins with a picture window or 2 large portholes
  • Holds a total of 48 guests

Sea Cloud

  • 30 outside-facing cabins with a window or porthole, including 2 owner’s suites, accommodating up to 58 guests in total
  • 2 owner’s suites feature original marble bath and fireplace
  • Each cabin has a minibar 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 Expeditions/National Geographic

Oberoi Philae

  • 22 cabins, including 4 suites, with large almost floor-to-ceiling windows that can be opened
  • Holds a maximum of 42 guests
  • Category 5 suites feature a private terrace and heated whirlpool
  • All cabins have a large bathroom with an 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 Expeditions/National Geographic 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 Expeditions/National Geographic cruise. However, they are more prevalent on summer cruises to the Galápagos 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 Expeditions/National Geographic. In fact, there is no dress code nor are there formal nights on board.

Is Lindblad owned by National Geographic?

No, Lindblad and National Geographic are separate companies that have a partnership to provide luxury adventure travel expeditions.

How many ships does Lindblad Expeditions have?

Currently, there are 15 expedition ships in the Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic fleet. However, a brand new ship, the National Geographic Islander II will debut in August 2022.

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About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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