Adventures cruises are not mega ships, but can offer five-star comfort, pool and spa facilities on board larger vessels. Or if you’re happy with super comfortable without all the trimmings, a smaller vessel can take you to more remote destinations that are inaccessible to most vessels, and absolutely breathtaking such as Antarctica, the Kimberly, the Amazon, the Galapagos Islands and Arctic Norway.
Unrivalled nature watching
Expedition cruises take you to remote and wild destinations that no other types of cruise liner can. Often accessing destinations by military standard craft, like heading into the rainforest by Zodiac inflatable during the Amazon’s flood season when water levels can rise over 35 metres. Or docking overnight to see a plethora of wildlife at dawn hunting at the water’s edge, from the deck of the ship or your cabin window. Visiting largely inaccessible regions such as the Kimberley and Arnhem Land, your mode of transport is the only way to see secluded gorges, awesome rocky outcrops and native wildlife that is abundant in this region.
Onboard enrichment programs with expert credentials
Not only do you see the places nature documentaries are made in, you go into them with a specialist expedition team who provide onboard presentations about the natural and cultural aspects of your destination. This is as well as leading the shore excursions. Professionals in their fields, the expedition team provide the bulk of the onboard and shore activities, so you’ll gain a multilayered insight into your destination. That’s not to say there’s no fun and games on board, it is a holiday after all and light hearted fun is always around with some nights dedicated to social activities rather than educational.
Expedition cruises stop at many destinations which are so isolated that you can only get to them by water. Visit remote villages and witness centuries old ceremonies in Papua New Guinea, or sail to the Western Sahara where the desert meets the ocean, and experience one of the world’s most extreme environments. Adventure cruises usually offer a variety of excursions at each stop, based on different interests and fitness levels. While a high level of fitness is not a requirement on expedition cruises, many stops are wet stops, where passengers disembark on to smaller vessels and sail to shore or explore in the water, so a high level of mobility is essential to be able to take part in shore excursions, and the whole focus of adventure cruises is the shore activities.
Expedition Cruise Lines
Expedition cruise lines usually exclusively provide adventure cruises. Expedition cruise line Lindblad Expeditions provides cruises in partnership with National Geographic, with onboard experts made up of naturalists and scientists at the top of their field. Australian owned Orion Expedition Cruises boasts 5-star yachts and itineraries as diverse as Borneo, the Spice Islands and the Russian Far East. If you want to see the breathtaking Arctic and the Norwegian Fjords, Hurtigruten and Lindblad offer several different itineraries. Peregrine Adventures sail ice breakers to Greenland, speciality liners to the Galapagos Islands and provide a rich program of onshore activities. For a bigger focus on luxury and wilderness locations, but less hardcore adventuring, Silversea’s Silver Explorer gets the balance just right. Enough comfort and pampering to make cold temperatures more than worthwhile.
Adventure Cruises for Luxury Cruise Lovers
If you don’t love the sound of expedition cruising, then you probably wouldn’t enjoy it that much. Expedition cruising is very different to traditional cruising – comfortable and luxurious yes, but glitz, glamour and nightly entertainment, well no. Many leading cruise lines are dipping into expedition cruising. With a blend of onboard luxury, choice dining and entertainment, plus adventurous and educational shore excursions and onboard enrichment programs, the cruise liners visit popular adventure cruising destinations like Antarctica, Alaska and the Galapagos Islands. But for a true explorer experience, adventure cruises give you the insider view on some of the world’s most beautiful and intriguing places.