(12:22 p.m. EST) -- Lindblad Expeditions announced Tuesday it would resume its small ship adventure expedition cruises in two destinations, with the first departures beginning in June.
Lindblad will resume operations in Alaska and the Galapagos starting in June. The two destinations will be Lindblad's first cruises to operate in over a year, and the company will require all passengers over the age of 16 be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to travelling.
"We have always turned to nature, in times of collective stress and trauma, for the restoration of our spirits, believing in what Thoreau called the healing 'tonic of wildness'," said Lindblad CEO Sven Lindblad. "Our internal team has spent the last year examining every single aspect of our operation to be prepared to operate in the 'new normal'."
In Alaska, Lindblad will operate the 100-passenger sister ships, National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture -- both U.S.-flagged vessels carrying under 250 persons that are not subject to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s long-standing "No-Sail" orders.
These Alaska trips will last between six to eight days and will depart beginning June 5 and June 6, 2021.
In the Galapagos, Lindblad's sleek National Geographic Endeavour II will depart on June 4, 2021, for its first sailing around the islands. Like Alaska, the Galapagos experience with Lindblad is a remote one, with passengers visiting largely uninhabited islands or concentrating their time in untouched wilderness settings.
In addition to providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination, passengers on Lindblad's sailings in Alaska and the Galapagos Islands will need to also undergo two negative COVID-19 tests – a PCR test taken before leaving home and a second rapid antigen test administered by their staff prior to boarding. People will be encouraged to self-isolate and follow CDC guidelines between their initial test and travel.
Onboard, passengers will have daily temperature checks; as well as be given PPE to wear when necessary. Capacity on the ships is also reduced. Buffets have been turned into served meals. Masks will be required in public areas, as well as in Zodiacs and mudrooms, however, masks are not needed in wilderness areas where people can social distance, unless local regulations say so.
Unlike other lines that are having to craft brand-new voyages, these Alaska and Galapagos itineraries represent Lindblad's existing, published voyage calendar, and are available now for reservation.