Lars-Eric Lindblad really wanted to be an explorer, and he channeled his passion to the travel business. But organized tourism proved to be a bit tame for his adventurous spirit, so he formed his own organization in 1958, Lindblad Travel. He got around the tameness, would take anyone anywhere, and his itineraries ventured where no tourist had gone before.
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.