If relaxing on a cruise with a cocktail in hand isn’t quite your thing, how do you dip your toes in more exciting waters? One option is expedition cruising – a high seas holiday that takes cruising to a different level. Besides venturing to off-the-beaten-track locales, expeditions offer a different kind of cruise adventure – and you don’t have to rough it either; today’s expedition cruise ships have comfortable accommodation, fine dining, and even spas and gyms. Here are a few options to whet your appetite.
The operators: Lindblad Expeditions, Un-Cruise, American Safari Cruises.
The season: May to early September.
Alaska has it all, from dramatic landscapes and age-old glaciers, to wildlife and marine life. The experience usually includes glacier hiking, kayaking, bear watching, dog sledding, and long days with spectacular sunsets.
The operators: Lindblad Expeditions, Hurtigruten, Quark, Gap Adventures, Silversea Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd, Compagnie du Ponant.
The season: December, January and February.
It’s the world’s remotest and coldest region, but isolation and inhospitable conditions make Antarctica a top pick for many expedition lovers. Cruise guests enjoy many experiences, from scenic cruising through an icy terrain, to whale watching and penguin encounters.
The operators: Lindblad Expeditions, Hurtigruten, Silversea Cruises.
The season: June to August.
Cruises to this remote region combine icy scenery and wildlife, including polar bears. Other animals to watch for include Arctic foxes, caribou, and walruses, while enjoying wildflowers, and rocky islands inhabited by thousands of sea birds.
The operators: Lindblad Expeditions.
The season: May to September.
Borneo is the third-largest island in the world, and is divided between three countries – Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia. Its rainforest dates back 130 million years, and it possesses 15,000 species of flowering plants, 221 species of animals and 420 species of birds, making it a diverse region for adventure cruising.
The Galapagos Islands
The operators: Gap Adventures, Lindblad Expeditions, Natural Habitat Adventure, Celebrity Xpedition.
The season: usually any time of year.
A UNESCO World Heritage Centre nearly 1000 kilometres west of Ecuador, these remote islands are famed for the vast number of species studied by Charles Darwin. The main activities to enjoy are spotting wildlife and marine life, including fur seals, sea lions, the Galapagos tortoise, the flat-bellied lizard, penguins and a variety of birds.
The Operators: Lindblad Expeditions, Silversea Cruises, Northstar Cruises, Coral Princess, Odyssey Expeditions.
The season: May to October.
Tucked away in the north of Western Australia, The Kimberley has a long coastline, with a terrain marked by steep mountain ranges and limestone gorges. A haven for wildlife, marine life and birds, The Kimberley is where cruise guests can enjoy crocodile watching, heli-hiking, hiking, swimming in fresh water pools, fishing and exploring indigenous art.
To find out more about cruising or to find the cruise of your dreams within your budget, visit CruiseGuide.com.au.