If you want to combine your love of cruising with your desire for adventure, you’re not alone. There’s growing interest in expedition cruising, because it’s thrilling to set foot in a beautiful spot where few other visitors have been. Expedition cruises are designed to familiarize you with the unique cultures, ecosystems and histories of remote locations from Alaska to the Amazon.
It’s important to know that expedition cruises put the focus on their awe-inspiring destinations, rather than shipboard amusements. The ships are much smaller than their ocean-going counterparts, often accommodating less than 100 passengers. Instead of shows and casinos, you’ll have experts on board who will share their knowledge about the destination. However, there’s no shortage of comfort.
Some cruise providers have already announced expedition itineraries for 2020 and beyond. For example, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises just announced 11 new itineraries for 2021 aboard the Crystal Esprit. The 62-guest yacht will visit Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, and in the Middle East, where port calls in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai and Abu Dhabi; Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, or Israel, Egypt and Jordan.
Silversea Cruises is in the process of preparing a ship for polar expeditions. The 254-passenger Silver Wind is receiving an upgrade now, and a second refurbishment in summer 2020 will give it ice-class status in advance of Antarctic voyages set to begin that November. The ship will be equipped with a fleet of Zodiac boats (inflatable craft that take you from ship to shore) and additional equipment for cruising in remote regions. The ship’s 15-day Antarctic itinerary, roundtrip from Ushuaia, includes the Falkland Islands, the Drake Passage, the Antarctic Peninsula, and the South Shetland Islands.
The Hurtigruten cruise line focuses only on exploration voyages, and it plans an expansion to Alaska in 2020. Voyages through the Inside Passage will call on places rarely visited by other cruise lines, such as Petersburg, a picturesque village founded by Norwegian fishermen. Passengers will see it all on the first hybrid-powered cruise ship in Alaska, Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen, equipped with large battery packs. The ship will end its first season in Alaska by sailing the Northwest Passage from Nome to Greenland, then on to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
For more expedition cruise options to satisfy your taste for adventure, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.