Lindblad Expeditions will spend US$18 million on the acquisition of Galapagos Islands expedition ship Via Australis as it looks to expand its presence in the picturesque region and replace one of the older members of its fleet.
An agreement has been signed between the adventure travel brand and the ship’s current owner, with the deal expected to close in the second quarter of 2016. Once settled, the ship will immediately enter drydock for a US$10 million refurbishment to fit out the ship with the full Lindblad Expeditions onboard experience. The ship will enter service in the third quarter of 2016 and like others in the fleet, will be rebranded with a National Geographic name. It will replace the company’s 50-plus year old ship National Geographic Endeavour.
Once operational under Lindblad’s flag, the ship will offer:
- 50 cabins, four of which will be dedicated especially for solo travellers.
- Two lounges, one of which at the front of the ship.
- Fitness room and wellness spa.
- Fleet of zodiac vessels for off-ship exploration.
“The Via Australis will be the ideal platform for our Galapagos expeditions far into the future. Opportunities to acquire high quality expedition ships on attractive terms are infrequent so we seized this one,” said Lindblad Expeditions President and CEO Sven Lindblad.