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Lindblad narrows Q3 net loss as more ships return to service

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Lindblad Expeditions slightly narrowed its third quarter net loss as eight of 10 owned/operated ships returned to service and the company reported strong bookings for 2022.

'The pent-up demand for authentic adventure travel is evident in both the overwhelmingly positive guest response as we return to destinations that we have been traveling to for decades, as well as in the sustained booking momentum we are generating across our fleet,' CEO Dolf Berle said.

$25.7m net loss

The net loss of $25.7m, or 50 cents per share, was down from the loss of $27.8m, or 56 cents per share, in Q3 2020.

Revenues were $64.5m, up from a little over $1m, driven by a $33.1m increase at the Lindblad segment and a $30.4m increase at the land experiences segment primarily due to the resumption of additional expeditions and trips. The land experiences segment also included the results of Off the Beaten Path and DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co., acquired in Q1 this year.

Lindblad segment

The Lindblad segment's adjusted loss before interest, taxation, depreciation and amorization of $11.6m improved $4.5m from a year ago primarily due to the resumption of expeditions, partially offset by the higher cost of tours, increased personnel costs and higher marketing spend related to ramping up operations. Plus, there were increased credit card commissions related to final payments for upcoming trips and deposits for future travel.

Fleetwide occupancy was 82%.

Potential for positive EBITDA in 2022

Berle noted that in 2022, a variety of geographies and destinations are still uncertain but he said things are looking positive. There's the potential to achieve positive EBITDA in Q1 2022.

Alaska strength

Two ships resumed sailing in the Galápagos, four in Alaska and two in Iceland. Berle cited 'particular strength' in Alaska, with just two ships initially scheduled however demand called for operating all four of the company's US-flag vessels there.  

Lindblad's Antarctica sailings begin this week, with the November to early March season 'well-booked' and particular strength for the company's two new polar-class ships. Lindblad has its most capacity ever in Antarctica with three vessels. 

Nine ships are expected to be in service by year's end.

COVID impacts

The Delta variant slowed bookings in late summer/early fall, with 'a number of guests deciding not to travel,' however most rescheduled to 2022 or 2023. Bookings are starting to come back now.

Lindblad continued its vaccination mandate for travelers aged 12 and over, negative PCR test prior to travel from home and a test pre-embarkation plus mid-voyage testing as needed.

There have been 'a small number of breakthrough cases' but Berle said the ships were able to limit the spread.

Supply chain challenges

The company is navigating global supply chain challenges by making more local purchases of consumables such as food and beverages plus parts needed for ship operations.

Crystal Esprit acquired

In September, Lindblad took delivery of the 126-passenger National Geographic Resolution and acquired the yacht Crystal Esprit, which it will deploy in the Galápagos next year. Following the quarter, the company acquired Classic Journeys, a luxury cultural walking tour company.

Cross-marketing opportunities

Berle sees great opportunities for cross-marketing among its five brands. The company has been able to increase web traffic more than 50% versus the same period in 2019 and has doubled its social media audience.

See also 'Lindblad Expeditions acquired Crystal Esprit to replace a Galápagos ship'

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