Lindblad Expeditions, the adventure cruise operator, has come ashore to enter the land-based tourism sector.
The company has purchased an 80.1% stake in Natural Habitat Inc (Nat Hab), the US-based adventure travel and ecotourism company, enabling it to compete in both the land and sea adventure tourism spaces. Under the terms of the deal, Ben Bressler, Nat Hab’s president, will retain a 19.9% stake in the company he founded, and will continue to lead it when it becomes a subsidiary of Lindblad.
Natural Habitat focuses on responsible land-based travel, such as polar bear tours in Canada, Alaskan grizzly bear adventures, small-group tours to the Galapagos Islands and African safaris.
The company also partners with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and as part of this transaction, the WWF has now extended its tie-up with Lindblad until the end of 2023.
Lindblad said the acquisition would give it “a platform for expansion into land-based offerings”.
“I’ve known and interacted with Natural Habitat and its president, Ben Bressler, for over a decade,” said Sven-Olof Lindblad, president & CEO of Lindblad. “Knowing our travel audience has diverse interests beyond sea-going expeditions, Nat Hab offers a perfect complement on land to what we do with ships.
“They are a focused, quality-oriented enterprise while, at the same time, understand the imperative for supporting important conservation work in areas visited from both a moral and business objective. We look forward to a productive partnership to broaden our offerings and our impact in the world’s wild places.”
The purchase price for the 80.1% stake in Nat Hab was approximately US$20 million, including US$14.85 million in cash.