Lars-Eric Lindblad originated expedition sailing for the rest of us 50 years ago, taking regular passengers, rather than scientists and researchers, to remote destinations other cruise lines had never dreamed of serving. His son, Sven-Olof Lindblad, now heads this pioneering company, which expanded its fleet, added luxurious appointments and partnered with the National Geographic Society to add renowned photographers to every voyage. Decade after decade, Lindblad has been the pacesetter in marine eco-tourism, and with National Geographic aboard it now increases passengers’ amenities while enhancing their experience of the wild with new technologies.
The Lindblad/National Geographic fleet consists of a dozen company-owned and chartered vessels designed for small-ship adventures. Its most luxurious model, the 102-passenger National Geographic Orion, comes equipped with wet suits, snorkeling equipment, kayaks, 14 Zodiac inflatable rafts for excursions and a glass-bottom Zodiac for underwater viewing. The Orion visits both poles (the Arctic and Antarctic) as well as the coastlines of Europe, the Baltic and the Mediterranean yearly. The 148-passenger National Geographic Explorer, the line’s largest vessel, explores the north and south polar regions as well, adding voyages to the British Isles, Canada and South America, including Patagonia. Two of its smaller vessels, the National Geographic Sea Bird and Sea Lion, each with just 62 passengers, are deployed to Alaska, Baja, Panama and the Pacific Northwest.
A notable focus of Lindblad/National Geographic cruises is the Galapagos, where two ships, the 96-passenger National Geographic Endeavor and the 48-passenger National Geographic Islander, operate year-round. Both ships provide kayaks, Zodiacs, scuba gear, expert lecturers and photographers, along with well-appointed cabins and several spacious suites. Later this year the Endeavour is slated to be replaced in the Galapagos by a newly refurbished 95-passenger vessel.
As small expedition cruise ships and yachts go, Lindblad’s National Geographic fleet is luxurious, with several features common to large cruise ships, including some spa and fitness facilities. But the emphasis is on nature, wildlife and geographic discovery, meaning an abundance of expert lecturers and naturalists instead of entertainers and celebrities, libraries instead of casinos, a single-sitting dining hall rather than a plethora of specialty restaurants, underwater cameras and video microscopes rather than climbing walls and water slides, and daily landfalls at uninhabited islands as opposed to glitzy ports.
Lindblad/National Geographic also charters four top-of-the-line boutique ships carrying 28 to 58 passengers for explorations of the Amazon, Scotland, Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as less-visited parts of the Caribbean and Mediterranean. With two new American-built, state-of-the-art, 100-passenger ships scheduled for delivery in the next two years, Lindblad Explorations/ National Geographic should remain a top-notch choice for passengers seeking natural adventures at sea.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Nice, France, with us.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
As a native of the Philadelphia region, I’m quite familiar with the drive in and out of the City of Brotherly Love. Even as the city’s skyline continually transforms, my favorite views of Philadelphia have always been along Boathouse Row, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art rising in the background, before looping around the museum to the flag-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Home to many of Philadelphia’s incredible and world-renowned museums, the Fairmount neighborhood is fittingly aesthetically pleasing and practically synonymous with fine art.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.