By Michelle Baran
Lindblad Expeditions has developed a family product it is calling the National Geographic Global Explorers Program that is
led by National Geographic-certified field
The program has been developed in
partnership with National Geographic
Education, a division of the National
Geographic Society that provides education and curriculum resources to parents,
students and teachers. (Lindblad has a
long-term relationship with National
Geographic that includes shared resources and cross-branding.)
While Lindblad welcomes children on
all its itineraries, the Global Explorers
Program takes that commitment a step
further by incorporating naturalists
who have completed a new National
Geographic Education curriculum designed for educators
who work outside
the classroom, such as museum or zoo
The Lindblad field educators were the
first group to complete the training, and
they oversee kid-friendly educational activities onboard select Lindblad sailings.
The program had a soft launch in June
when Lindblad began offering it on its
Galapagos sailings on the 96-passenger
National Geographic Endeavour ll and
the 48-passenger National Geographic
Islander. Next year, it will be offered on
all of Lindblad’s Alaska itineraries. The
ultimate goal is to roll it out across the
Global Explorers is “an evolution of a
long-term commitment” to families, said
Amy Berquist, Lindblad’s director of conservation and strategic initiatives.
Designed for all kids under the age of
18, the program kicks off by providing
participating children with field notebooks in which they can keep track of
their experiences throughout the trip.
They will have the opportunity to engage
in shore experiences such as “spot-it challenges,” described as a wildlife-spotting
activity similar to a scavenger hunt, as
well as naturalist-guided activities onboard.
Kids will be encouraged to use
and even to create
a short film about
their exploits. There
will be citizen science projects such as helping to count sea
turtles during nesting season.
The experience will culminate in a
storytelling challenge, whereby they will
summarize their experiences through
writing, photography, music or another
medium of their choosing.
Berquist said that initial feedback from
families who took part in the program
this summer has been very positive.
She said that while kids can’t get school
credits for participating in the program,
parents and teachers might be more apt
to view it as a legitimate educational experience because of the certification process the guides go through via National
The launch of the program was timed
union properties in order to attract quality staff, such hotels can still operate more
efficiently than union properties because
they can be more flexible with staffing in
terms of shift hours and position deployment.
“You can’t get a good-quality employee
for less than what the unions are paying,”
Swig said. “But the union contracts are
very specific by categories and what the
work days are. And all of those nickels and
dimes add up to quarters and dollars re-
Freed from such constraints, the new
brands and their developer partners have
been lured by a market where room de-
mand has been consistently high in recent
to commemorate the 50th anniversary of
the first citizen explorer expedition to the
Galapagos Islands led by Lars-Eric Lind-
blad in 1967.
There is no additional charge for the
program, and children under the age of
18 travel for $500 less than the adult price
for Lindblad sailings.
years, driven by high tourism numbers
and a continually expanding tech industry.
Through June, San Francisco-San Mateo’s average nightly room rate of $225
trailed only New York’s $233 and Oahu’s
$229, though revenue per available room
was down 5.1% from a year earlier, largely
because most of the Moscone Center convention complex closed in April for an
That’s not to say traditional brands are
avoiding the local market. Lured by the
development of the $4.5 billion Transbay
Transit Center in SoMa, which is being
billed as the “Grand Central Station of the
West,” the Langham Place San Francisco
luxury hotel is slated to open in 2020,
while the city’s first Waldorf Astoria is
scheduled to debut the following year. A
250-room Marriott will open next year in
the Mission Bay district near AT&T Park,
home of the Giants baseball team.
That said, with new-economy companies like Google, Twitter, Uber and Sales-force either establishing or expanding
their presence in the Mid-Market district,
whose gritty history — the area was once
part of the Tenderloin — shares an uneasy
existence with younger tech workers, the
newer chainlets represent the most promi-
nent trend in a local lodging sector in flux.
“Those workers want to stay where
their businesses are taking them,” Swig
said. “The millennials who work across
the street are populating the area because
they’re the new, hip places to go.”
Lindblad Expeditions steps up its family-oriented offerings
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Continued from Page 6
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The Global Explorers Program
incorporates National Geo-
graphic-trained naturalists who
oversee kid-friendly activities.