The Crystal Esprit is now the National Geographic Islander II for Lindblad Expeditions, upping the company’s product offering in the Galapagos, where it starts sailing this August.
“This replacement for the National Geographic Islander represents a meaningful upgrade in comfort, cabin accommodations and food and beverage capabilities for our guests. This is our first all-suite ship and it will provide spacious and elegant accommodations, along with highly functional expedition capabilities for our guests. The initial response to our marketing of this new vessel from guests and travel agents has been very enthusiastic,” said Dolf Berle, president and CEO, speaking on the company’s first quarter earnings call.
Replacing the Islander, Berle said the acquired ship, Fresh off a big refurbishment in Demark, had just as good expedition capability, which was fundamental to the guest experience.
“But the real upgrade is the quality of the cabins and accommodations. And the fact that it’s an all-suite ship, we do enjoy a reasonably good family business down in the Galapagos, and we saw the need for cabin configurations that allowed for more people inside a cabin,” he said. “And so we think this is going to be a really nice complement to the Endeavor II, which has been a stronghold for us down there for many years.”
Craig Felenstein, CFO, said the company took the opportunity during the pandemic to acquire the ship at what he said was attractive pricing.
“We knew at some point the Islander would have to be replaced, and this was a way to do so relatively economically and also provide a shift that would add or enhance where we were with the Islander I, which will allow us to generate more revenue from the Islander II moving forward,” he said.