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Sail away

VOLANTE Jody Miller discovers how World of Hyatt and Lindblad Expeditions are making it easier to unearth your inner explorer
Photographed by the author




Catalina: perfect for a day excursion


Jody Miller is a correspondent forLucire.

What’s your fantasy destination? Antarctica? French Polynesia? Costa Rica and Panama? The Russian Arctic or Ægean?

So close to nature you could make eye contact with a penguin or a polar bear. You may feel the tingly rush of being on the edge of the world. Isolated, you are not alone. You are on a Lindblad expedition accompanied by like-minded adventure seekers and the expert guides, naturalists, marine biologists, and photographer plus a dedicated crew of officers and staff. The world’s most remote, pristine, and exciting places are within your grasp, especially when you are a World of Hyatt member.

Hyatt and Lindblad Expeditions have collaborated in an exclusive loyalty programme that enables participants to enjoy the luxury and service of Hyatt while rapidly earning points toward what to many is merely a dream—the opportunity to explore the many wonders on far-reaching corners of the globe that are otherwise inaccessible to tourists. And in case you think you’re not the “explorer” type, put that idea to rest where it belongs. Curiosity and a thirst to see the world as few see it are the only prerequisites you’ll need.

This loyalty collaboration strongly aligns with Hyatt’s well-being strategy by offering authentic, educational experiences that support Hyatt’s three landmarks of well-being: Feel, Fuel and Function. Through Lindblad Expeditions’ photography experiences, wildlife encounters, certified field experts and group travel outings, members are able to enjoy personalized adventures that enhance their own well-being while gaining a new perspective of their surroundings.

World of Hyatt members are able to enjoy the following loyalty benefits on Lindblad Expeditions booked through Hyatt.

· Members earn five Base Points per US$1 of eligible spend.
· Members receive their standard élite-tier bonus points on eligible spend.
· Members are able to redeem points to use for free expeditions.
· Members of all tiers are rewarded with a US$250 on-board credit to use on expeditions.
· Members receive élite-tier qualifying night credits for eligible nights on a Lindblad Expedition.
· Members can purchase or redeem points for specially curated Lindblad Expedition experiences during limited-times through FIND.
· World of Hyatt credit card holders can earn an additional four times points per US$1 of eligible spend on Lindblad Expeditions.
· Hyatt credit card holders can earn an additional three times points per US$1 of eligible spend on Lindblad Expeditions.
· AAdvantage members with élite status (Gold or higher) who are also members of World of Hyatt and have linked their accounts can earn one AAdvantage bonus mile per US$1 of eligible spend on Lindblad Expeditions.

In honour of this alliance, a select group of press and influencers were invited to experience Lindblad aboard the National Geographic Venture for a one-night sailing to Catalina. Part of the Channel Islands archipelago with regular ferry service and less than 30 miles from off the coast of Los Angeles, Catalina is a popular day excursion for locals. Avalon, the only incorporated city on the island, is the typical drop-off destination for a day of relaxation, open-air cafés, and shopping. Home to exotic flora, fauna, and endemic animal species, most of the island is administered by the Catalina Island Conservatory to protect its natural habitat.

Launched in 2019, the National Geographic Venture, along with sister ship National Geographic Quest, are the newest additions to the Lindblad fleet. Accommodating 100 passengers, the Venture sets a new standard in comfort and style. Cabins are equipped with all modern comforts including wifi access, temperature controls, hairdryers, organic toiletries, premium linens, and ample storage. Did we forget something? Oh yes, there are no TVs. You won’t need or miss one. We promise. You will be much too busy to think about what’s on Netflix.

For the brief island sojourn, the Venture docked at the isthmus of Two Harbors on the northeast shore of the Catalina. After a champagne and hors d’œuvres reception in the spacious and plush lounge, everyone convened to the exquisitely appointed dining room for a gourmet meal consisting of fresh and locally sourced meats, fish, and produce.

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Above: Dining on board the National Geographic Venture.

Exploring Catalina


With a wake-up call just after sunrise, a light breakfast was served before participants commenced in small groups to hike, kayak, paddle-board, or enjoy an hour-long zodiac boat ride. A naturist or marine biologist accompanied each group, along with a professional photographer. Catalina may be only a ferry ride from Los Angeles, but our guides led us through natural wonders that made us feel as if we were in a private paradise far from home. For those who think they are not fit or energetic enough, rest assured there are activities for all ability levels. No one is ever left out and the experiences are full of fun, comradery and enrichment.

Upon return to the ship, explorers were greeted with mimosas and hot apple fritters before indulging in a scrumptious brunch in the dining room. And since the weather was so favourable, a dessert bar was prepared on the sundeck after an outdoor stretch class or a chance to visit the fitness centre.

One of the most unique features aboard any Lindblad ship is the open bridge. Ask the officers or captain whatever you like or just enjoy the spectacular views with binoculars. •



Heading out on an adventure, and returning to refreshments





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