Best Small Ship Cruise Line for Families Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic’s Partner

Earlier, Travel + Leisure Magazine announced Disney Cruise Line as best large-ship cruise line for families for the fourth year in a row.  No surprise there, but looking over the list I saw the category “best-small ship cruise line” won by Lindblad Expeditions for the past four years.  Our family has sailed aboard the Disney ships many times, but we don’t know anything about the small-ship cruising experience.  Lindblad Expeditions happens to be the official partner of the National Geographic Society (our interest is piqued).  Cruises aboard Lindblad’s fleet of small ships (~50-100 passengers) are staffed by National Geographic naturalists, researchers, and photographers, giving guests the opportunity to interact and participate in exploration above and below the sea, and get tips from National Geographic photographers and videographers.  Wow!  These cruises sound right up our family’s alley.  Continue reading for more details on Lindblad Expeditions latest award, while I look into booking a cruise for our family.

National Geographic Endeavour in Galapagos, photo by Sven-Olof Lindblad ©2012 Lindblad Expeditions & National Geographic

From Lindblad Expeditions Press Release

New York, NY – Travel + Leisure Magazine has announced its 2012 World’s Best Awards for Families, and Lindblad Expeditions was once again named the #1 small‐ship cruise line.  This is the fourth consecutive year that Lindblad Expeditions has earned the top slot, an honor it has held since the inception of the award category in 2009.  The awards are based on data collected in Travel + Leisure’s reader’s survey.

Photographer at twilight, expedition ship Sea Lion at Isla Santa Catalina, Gulf of California, Baja California, Mexico, photo by Ralph Lee Hopkins ©2012 Lindblad Expeditions & National Geographic


The small ship line, specialists in expedition travel, voyages the world in the Galápagos, Antarctica, the Arctic, Baja California, Alaska, Costa Rica & Panama, the Amazon, Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond.  The company works in alliance with the National Geographic Society to inspire travelers to explore and care about the planet and offers families the chance to share an awe‐inspiring learning experience together.

Killer whale, Chatham Strait, Southeast Alaska, photo by Michael S. Nolan ©2012 Lindblad Expeditions & National Geographic


With a team of naturalists onboard, Lindblad’s staff‐to‐guest ratio of 1 to 15 ensures kids are engaged in activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages.  Activities include arts and crafts projects, stargazing, photography lessons with a Lindblad Expeditions‐National Geographic certified photo instructor, navigation and map making, scavenger hunts, bridge visits with the captain, personal journal making, and pizza and movie nights.  Excursions vary depending on the expedition region and could include snorkeling with sea lions and other wildlife, kayaking, hikes, Zodiac driving lessons and polar dives.  The line’s cool high‐tech tools – including microscopes and underwater cameras – provide wows for kids and parents alike.

Adult Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) hunting fish underwater in the Galapagos Island Group, Ecuador. This is the only species of penguin in the northern hemisphere and is endemic to the Galapagos Island archipeligo, Ecuador only. Photo by Michael S. Nolan ©2012 Lindblad Expeditions & National Geographic


Congratulations to Lindblad Expeditions on their recent recognition.  So what do you think?  Would you be interested in the small cruise ship experience?  Have you taken a cruise like this?  Please leave a comment below with your thoughts.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.