Inaugural Expedition Kicked Off in Portland, OR, with FOOD & WINE’s Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle and Debuts New Onboard and Land-Based Programming

NEW YORK, NYAPRIL 4, 2024 – Wine lovers and gastronomes rejoice! National Geographic Sea Bird has embarked on the inaugural Columbia and Snake Rivers: Food, Wine, and History expedition, co-created by Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic and FOOD & WINE. The first in a new series of gastronomic expeditions, this extraordinary journey promises to immerse guests in the rich tapestry of culture, cuisine and history along the iconic waterways of the Pacific Northwest.

Onboard, guests will enjoy regionally inspired menus designed around ingredients and wine sourced almost entirely from within 250 miles of the destination and with farmers and fishers committed to sustainable practices; an extensive wine list featuring more than 40 regional varietals curated by Esteves in collaboration with FOOD & WINE’s Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle; nightly onboard wine tastings; exclusive access including a private museum event and vineyard tours; cocktails, canapes, and spectacular scenery while transiting towering locks; and more. Expert-led discussions and immersive excursions will also offer discerning travelers insights into the rich, natural and cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest, offering a deeper understanding of the ecosystems, traditions and personalities that shape this captivating region.

“Our reimagined Columbia and Snake Rivers: Food, Wine, and History expedition represents a unique fusion of adventure, education and culinary exploration. Our guests will deep-dive local food history and learn more about why the geological complexities of this region make it so culinarily rich and diverse," said Ana Esteves, Vice President of Hotel Operations, Lindblad Expeditions. "Our collaboration with FOOD & WINE has presented us with an exciting opportunity to further deepen our commitment to the local farmers, fishermen and foragers we work with along the way. We are proud of the new experience we have created together to offer guests an unforgettable journey, remarkable conversations around the dinner table and a unique connection to this rare yet extraordinary food region!”

Embarking on this pioneering voyage, travelers will be guided by seasoned experts and naturalists into a world where history comes alive and flavors are bountiful. From the historic seaside town of Astoria through the rugged cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge and an array of celebrated wine regions—including the charming vineyards of Walla Walla Valley—every moment of the expedition offers an opportunity for discovery and delight.

“I'm thrilled that we're finally launching to the world this unique collaboration between FOOD & WINE and Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, and—even more than that—I'm happy that I'll get the chance to experience it firsthand, alongside a ship full of eager, and hopefully hungry, travelers on the inaugural voyage,” said Isle. “The Pacific Northwest is one of the great wine regions in the world, one that I've been to and written about many times, and today we’re embarking on a new type of expedition: traveling the world in a glass.”

Nimble and intimately scaled, National Geographic Sea Bird and its sister ship National Geographic Sea Lion which will also sail this new itinerary — each feature just 31 outside cabins and suites. These U.S.-flagged vessels were purpose-built and expertly designed to navigate shallow and tight waterways inaccessible to larger ships. Due to this intentional, unique design, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic is able to access fast-moving channels where whales come to feed, transit a series of locks in the Pacific Northwest, approach waterfalls in secluded coves, and sail into small bay anchorages perfect for snorkeling and kayaking.

The inaugural season of the new Columbia and Snake Rivers: Food, Wine, and History expeditions will run through April 28, 2024, when the two ships then reposition to Alaska for a season packed with once-in-a-lifetime experiences exploring seldom-seen areas of The Last Frontier. Beginning Sept. 21, 2024, the ships will return to the Pacific Northwest for the fall 2024 season, where the changing leaves signal to guests an entirely new experience, fresh bounty and exciting flavors.

For itinerary details and more information about this exciting collaboration between FOOD & WINE and Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, visit

About Lindblad Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions reveals the beauty and wonder of the world by leading high quality, authentic and immersive travel to the world’s most remarkable and wild places. In collaboration with National Geographic Expeditions, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Expeditions is a co-brand that offers expeditions in 120+ destinations across all seven continents for curious and discerning travelers seeking to experience the world from a new perspective. 

For reservations or additional information on voyages to some of the most beautiful, remote, and fascinating places on Earth, visit, call (855) 734-3271 to speak to an Expedition Specialist, or contact a travel advisor. Connect with Lindblad Expeditions on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest

About National Geographic Expeditions

For more than 135 years, National Geographic Explorers have ventured across continents and into remote cultures, down to the oceans’ depths and up the highest mountains to further their understanding of the world. National Geographic Expeditions builds upon this legacy, inviting travelers to embrace their inner explorer and encounter the wonders of the world firsthand — up close and in depth — and be inspired by the experience. With many ways to explore the world via Signature Land, Expedition Cruise, River Cruise, or Private Jet, National Geographic Expeditions gives travelers unparalleled access to the world through the eyes of knowledgeable Experts. Additionally, traveling with National Geographic Expeditions helps further the work of the global community of National Geographic Explorers around the world. Through every trip booked, travelers support the National Geographic Society’s researchers and Explorers who work to preserve, protect, and advance our understanding of the planet.

About FOOD & WINE:

Food & Wine celebrates the global epicurean experience with its award-winning magazine, website, social platforms, newsletters, podcasts, premium events such as the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and accolades like its annual Best New Chef awards. With rigorously tested recipes and the most trusted restaurant, drinks, culinary travel, and home coverage, the brand inspires and empowers people to discover, create, and devour the best in food and drink—every day and everywhere. FOOD & WINE is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family.

Media Contacts:  

Bradley Norman, Lindblad Expeditions: [email protected]