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Lindblad has eight of nine ships in service, 2022 bookings up 36%

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After resuming ship operations in June, by end-July Lindblad Expeditions had eight of nine vessels in service. Bookings for 2022 are 36% ahead of the bookings for 2021 a year prior.

In reporting a second quarter net loss of $36.6m, or 71 cents per diluted share, compared to the loss of $39.7m, or 80 cents per share, in Q1 2020, the company today said bookings for future travel are encouraging and include new to brand customers. Also, for 2021 voyages that have been canceled or rescheduled, the majority of booked passengers have opted for future travel credits instead of refunds.

$174m in new bookings this year

Lindblad continues to see new bookings for future travel, including over $174m since the beginning of 2021, and is receiving significant deposits and final payments for future travel.

In June, the company restarted three ships in Alaska and another in the Galápagos. A month later, operations resumed on most ships, with additional restarts in Alaska, the Galápagos and Iceland.

The company requires all crew to be vaccinated for COVID-19 while the same goes for passengers over 12. Plus, passengers must present a negative PCR test taken prior to sailing and they undergo an antigen test before embarking.

Keeping a close eye on the Delta variant

Addressing his first earnings call as CEO, Dolf Berle said Lindblad was prepared to handle COVID-19 situations and had done so on a couple occasions. The company is 'keeping a close eye on the Delta variant' but 'as of now, bookings are pacing well ahead of two years ago.' With new ships, Lindblad has 30% more available guest nights than in 2019.

National Geographic Resolution is on track for Q4 delivery.

Berle said Lindblad continues to evaluate growth opportunities including adding ships and acquiring complementary brands. It's also investing heavily in technology upgrades.

'The new ships are not devaluing our older ships'

Co-chair Sven Lindblad stated customers remain happy with the smaller, older ships in the fleet because they continue to deliver well in the destinations they serve.

'I'm delighted our fleet is diverse,' Lindblad said. 'While raising standards, the new ships are not devaluing our older ships.'

That noted, the recently inaugurated National Geographic Endurance, in his view, is unrivaled in 'expedition excellence and elegance,' and Lindblad marveled that National Geographic Endurance can launch 10 Zodiacs in just 15 minutes and is 'so quiet, you don't know you're moving' while it also can 'turn on a dime.'

Antarctica?

Some key destinations still aren't accessible. Lindblad is focused on the upcoming Antarctica season, where it likely will have to charter air to get its customers to the ship. 

Q2's $3m lower net loss primarily reflects the resumption of several expeditions and trips and a $0.2 million foreign currency gain versus a $3.9m foreign currency loss a year ago. These increases were partially offset by a $1.5m increase in interest expense due to additional borrowings and higher rates.

Tour revenues of $15.3m were up by $15.5m compared to the same period in 2020. The increase was driven by a $6.7m increase at the Lindblad segment and a $8.8m increase at the land experiences segment primarily due to the resumption of several expeditions and trips. The land experiences segment also included the operations of Off the Beaten Path and DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co., acquired during Q1 2021.

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