The term “expedition cruising” carries a promise of adventure. These cruises provide an exciting experience and a sense of exploring off the beaten track of tourism. Interested? Here are a few tips about preparing for an expedition cruise:
Have realistic expectations. Expedition ships are small and purpose-built, with limited onboard amenities; the focus the cruise will be the onshore experience. Your stateroom will be well-equipped and comfortable, perhaps even luxurious. But, don’t look for multiple restaurants, big theaters or a social director. Onboard programs are usually led by naturalists or scientists who help immerse you in the environment, history and culture of your destination.
Get in shape. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete, but most expedition cruises require a certain level of agility. Often, you’ll need to step from the ship into a Zodiac craft – a type of small, inflatable boat – to reach the shore (this may also involve getting a bit wet). In addition, enjoying your time onshore may depend on your ability to hike.
Select a destination that speaks to you. There’s a surprisingly wide variety of destinations for expedition cruises. For an unforgettable experience, select a destination that truly interests you. Popular expedition cruise destinations include:
· The Amazon. You can take some ocean-going ships as far up the river as Manaus, Brazil, but most expedition cruises begin way upriver, in Peru. Your ship will navigate through dense rainforest, stopping at small villages surrounded by the region’s distinctive flora and fauna. You may be able to add a pre- or post-cruise visit to Machu Picchu to your itinerary, too.
· Antarctica. The icy expanses of Antarctica make spectacular scenery, and the waters around the continent are full of marine life. A highlight of many cruises is a visit to a research station, where the scientists are passionate about their work and eager to share it with you.
· The Galapagos Islands. These isolated, rocky islands feature incredible and unusual wildlife, from giant tortoises to blue-footed boobies. The animals have no fear of humans, so you’ll get wonderful photos. You can hike with naturalists and dive with the sea lions, too.
Expedition cruise destinations also include Alaska, British Columbia, the Arctic, Iceland, Costa Rica, the South Pacific, and more. To explore all of your options and select your adventurous expedition cruise, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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