Skift Take

The new partnership is just the latest in Lindblad’s recent acquisition spree.

— Jesse Chase-Lubitz

Expedition travel leader Lindblad Expeditions announced this week the acquisition of Wineland-Thomson Adventures, an award-winning adventure travel group, through its subsidiary Natural Habitat Adventures.

The companies didn’t disclose the terms of the deal.

The move is meant to strengthen Lindblad’s presence in East Africa, particularly Tanzania, with the addition of Wineland-Thomson’s most prized possession – Thomson Safaris. Four-decade-old Thomson operates experiences across the Serengeti.

Wineland-Thomson’s portfolio also includes Gibb’s Farm, a lodge on the slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater in the Eastern Rift Valley of Northern Tanzania.

Shared Values Fuel Acquisition

Lindblad and Wineland-Thomson say they prioritize “sustainable” tourism practices and education. 

“With the addition of Wineland-Thomson and its esteemed Tanzania-based travel offerings, and world-class team members, we are not only expanding our footprint but are also creating more opportunities to inspire, educate, and preserve the wonders of our nature world,” said Sven-Olof Lindblad, founder and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions.

An Acquisition Spree

Lindblad acquired three other tour operators in April, including Off the Beaten Path, DuVine Cycle and Adventure Co, and Classic Journeys. This most recent acquisition aligns with Lindblad’s strategy of acquiring established adventure travel companies.

“The strategic acquisition of Wineland-Thomson will allow us to further expand our land offerings in and around East Africa,” said Ben Bressler, Founder and President of Natural Habitat Adventures. “And with the addition of Thomson Safaris … we will tap into the growth potential of small-group safaris in the beautiful Great Plains of Tanzania and beyond.”

Wineland-Thomson will continue providing stand-alone offerings and leverage Lindblad’s resources to accelerate growth and take advantage of demand trends, executives said

Growth at Lindblad

Lindblad also published its first-quarter earnings reports this week. Its total revenue increased 7% year-over-year to $153.6 million, and bookings were 4% ahead of the same period in 2023. 

While its EBITDA for land experiences was in line with the same period in 2023, the company said that increased tour revenues were offset by higher operating costs, including staff, investing in more departure options, and increased marketing.

Photo Credit: Sunset on a private safari run by Thomson Safaris. Source: Thomson Safaris

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