In 1979, Sven Lindblad founded Special Expeditions as a division of Lindblad Travel, enabling the company to further its mission of offering innovative and educational travel expeditions that were primarily marine focused. Offerings expanded to Costa Rica, Baja California, and Alaska providing travelers with opportunities to explore, on small ship cruises, the islands, coves, and open spaces of the sea that reminded Lindblad of the remote and vast expanse of the Serengeti plains. The company’s name was later changed to Lindblad Expeditions.

National Geographic Expeditions, the travel program of the National Geographic Society, was founded on the same belief in the importance of exploration that distinguishes the Society's 125-year history. Launched in 1999, National Geographic Expeditions now operates hundreds of trips each year, spanning all seven continents and more than 60 destinations.

Since its founding in 1888, the Society has developed incredible resources—from its network of experts, contacts, and Society-sponsored researchers all over the globe, to the top-tier editorial staff of National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines, and the books, maps, and film and television divisions. National Geographic Expeditions taps these resources to create unique and authentic expeditions to fascinating parts of the world.

As part of the National Geographic Travel group, National Geographic Expeditions aims to fulfill the Society's mission to inspire people to care about the planet by providing meaningful opportunities to explore it. Proceeds from all travel programs support the Society’s efforts to increase global understanding through exploration, education and scientific research.

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