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Lindblad Explorer

The Lindblad Explorer, the Little Red Ship, was during several years owned
by United Cruising Co, Nassau, Bahamas, with ownership connections to SAL
Several officers and crew alternated between the SAL ships and Lindblad Explorer.

Original name:

Lindblad Explorer


Nystads Varv AB, Finland



Length oa

72.86 m

Length bp

64.5 m

Delivered to SAL:





Sank on November 23, 2007,
Antarctic Ocean

Liberian flagged MV Explorer, ex Lindblad Explorer, sank in the Antarctic Ocean on November 23, 2007, local time, after colliding with an ice floe. An ice floe is a floating chunk of sea ice that is less than 10 kilometers (six miles) in its greatest dimension. (Wikipedia.) The ice was sharp enough to pierce the hull, and make a hole the size of a fist. Water came pouring in, and after some time the electric power for the pumps failed. The Lindblad Explorer was once owned by a company affiliated to SAL.

All 100 passengers and 54 crew were picked up by the Norwegian ship Nordnorge, one of the Hurtigruten ships.

From the Dawe collection.

The Lindblad Explorer was built by Nystads Varv AB, the first vessel in the world built especially for Antarctic cruising. The vessel was constructed under the supervision of Det Norske Veritas for classification + A1 Ice Class A, and to comply with the requirements of SOLAS 1960, the IMCO regulations at the time, and US Coast Guard regulations for fire protection. The hull was ice strengthened but not provided with an ice-breaker bow, and was transversely framed throughout. There was an ice knife at the stern to protect the rudder.

From the Dawe collection.

Excerpt from a press release from Lindblad Expeditions, New York, NY (November 24, 2007):

“It’s a sad day for all of us who knew and traveled aboard the Explorer”, said Sven Lindblad, whose late father commissioned the ship in 1969 for Arctic and Antarctic exploration. The ship was sold by Lindblad in 1982 and has had several owners since. GAP Adventures, a Canadian company, owned her most recently. While the ship remained listing in Antarctic waters yesterday, Lindblad spoke by phone to many of his top expedition leaders, staff and crew who knew and had remembered happier times aboard the little red ship. “In some ways”, he said,“ending her illustrious career in Antarctic waters, where she began, is fitting for a ship of her great stature. Certainly, her legacy will continue through the stories and memories she gave to all her knew her.”

Commissioned in 1969 by expedition travel pioneer, Lars-Eric Lindblad, the M.V. Explorer was the first of her kind – an ice class expedition ship designed to take non-scientific travelers to the ends of the earth. Lars-Eric Lindblad, known to many as the father of “eco-tourism”, pioneered expedition travel in Antarctica in the 1960s. In fact, Lars-Eric’s legacy in Antarctica was so wellknown that the US Geological Survey mapped a cove in his name (Lindblad Cove) on Trinity Peninsula to mark his contributions to the region. With a passion to discover unknown places and a pioneering spirit, Lars-Eric opened the world to tourism and wrote about it in his book, Passport to Anywhere.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, Lars’ son, traveled extensively with his father, learning early on the joy and wonder of exploring the pristine corners of the globe. Today, Sven continues the Lindblad tradition of exploration through his company – Lindblad Expeditions (LEX). With its hallmark staff and carefully researched and planned itineraries, Lindblad Expeditions owns and operates six vessels and the company is lauded for it innovative exploration and conservation efforts. Most recently, the company forged a multifaceted strategic alliance with the National Geographic Society (NGS) in which the two organizations collaborate in the areas of exploration, technology and conservation.

From Lindblad’s earliest days, the company set out to proactively protect the world's wild places. Sven Lindblad continues to run his business with the approach that respectful adventure tourism can be a key factor in helping to sustain a region and, in some cases, even repair it. With that philosophy in mind, Lindblad Expeditions has built robust travel philanthropy programs in the Galapagos, Antarctica, Baja and Alaska. To date, the company has raised over $5 million to support local efforts in the destinations where it travels. Earlier this year, Lindblad Expeditions received the 2007 Tourism for Tomorrow Global Tourism Business Award, presented annually by the World Travel & Tourism Council. The coveted award recognized Lindblad Expeditions for“outstanding leadership as a global model for environmental stewardship.”

About Lindblad Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions is an expedition travel company providing voyages in Galápagos, Antarctica, Baja California, Alaska, the Arctic, and beyond. Sven Lindblad has received international recognition including the 2007 Global Tourism Business Award, 2007 Seafood Champion Award, U.N. Programme Global 500 Award and recognition from HRH, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg for his dedication to the conservation and environmental stewardship of the Galápagos archipelago. The company has also been named #1 Small-Ship Cruise Line (Travel + Leisure's World's Best Value Awards 2006); "The Best Ships in the World" and "The Best Itineraries" (Condé Nast Traveler: Truth in Travel Awards 2006).


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