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If setting sail for rarely-visited locations is your idea of a good time, you’ve found the right article. In this handy guide, we’ll outline the top expedition cruises you can book today.
Unlike standard cruises, luxury expedition cruises transport you to coral reefs, tropical islands and wilderness that are only accessible by ship. Expedition cruises involve lots of time on land, walking in unique locations rarely visited by humans. Expect to find breathtaking scenery and charismatic wildlife.
If you’re one of the 78.5% of people traveling on their bucket list, you couldn’t find a more exciting and breathtaking opportunity than an expedition cruise. Let’s hop aboard and discover the best expedition cruises on the market.
1. Seabourn Expedition Cruises
Seabourn’s expedition ships are packed to the rafters with a suite of entertainment activities. You’ll find a card room full of games, a fitness center with treadmills and weight machines, a salon, a restaurant and an observation bar offering panoramic views of the ocean. Onboard, you’ll get to live a life of luxury as you drink fine wine, chill by the pool and experience spectacular sunsets from the deck.
We think you’ll love the Alaska tours, which offer kayak excursions and the chance to see bears, wolves, orcas and humpback whales in their natural habitat.
2. Lindblad Expeditions
With multiple majestic ships in its fleet, Lindblad Expeditions provides a great opportunity to see spectacular sights while enjoying luxurious dining experiences. The cabins onboard are comfy and provide ample storage, while amenities include bars, observation decks, yoga studios and restaurants.
Our favorite of Lindblad Expeditions’ luxury adventure cruises is their Upper Amazon tour. On this ten-day trip, you’ll explore the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve with a team of knowledgeable guides and see pink river dolphins, piranhas, scarlet macaws and monk saki monkeys.
3. Viking Expeditions
Cruise lines don’t come much more intimate than these. Viking Expeditions has two magnificent ships - Octantis and Polaris, each accommodating 378 guests. But don’t let the limited capacity fool you. These ships have spacious bedroom suites, as well as a spectacular terrace with panoramic views where you’ll listen to guest speakers who are excited to share their research. There are also libraries, cafés, swimming pools, spas, salons, fitness centers and places to eat and drink.
This company’s Antarctica Cruises shouldn’t be missed. They offer fantastic photography opportunities of giant glaciers, remote islands and birdlife.
4. Quark Expeditions
Powered by Rolls Royce engines, Quark Expeditions’ luxury ships are setting sail for interesting locations. The three cruise ships on offer are out-of-this-world, featuring wraparound decks for panoramic views, theatres for fascinating lectures, and restaurants for fancy meals and spas for relaxing.
We love Quark Expeditions’ Emperor Penguin Quest. You’ll embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Snow Hill Island in Antarctica, where you’ll visit the home of 8,000 emperor penguins. The ship for this journey, Ultramarine, is limited to 150 guests - meaning it’s a great opportunity to meet other explorers and make friends for life.
5. Hurtigruten Expeditions
Hurtigruten Expeditions promises an eco-conscious cruise to far-off places. Being the first major travel brand to remove single-use plastic from their ships, it’s clear that this company wants to protect the natural world. With seven stunning ships offering unique tours, you can’t go wrong with a Hurtigruten Expeditions tour.
You can expect to enjoy cocktails in the bar, read a book while overlooking the ocean, and soak up the sun on the deck. A fitness room and hot tub will also be for staying fit and healthy.
On a Galápagos Islands expedition, you’ll walk in Charles Darwin’s footsteps and witness giant tortoises, marine iguanas and albatrosses. The team traveling with you are experts in the field and on hand throughout your trip to answer questions and provide interesting facts.
6. Aurora Expeditions
Aurora Expeditions’ cruise ships are designed with education in mind. Lecture theatres onboard are a great space for listening to expert naturalists, while libraries provide a calm space for further reading. Gyms, jacuzzis and restaurants are available too, and cabins contain calming and neutral furniture to connect you with the natural world outside.
We love this company’s Norway expeditions. You’ll journey along the Norweigan coastline, identifying fjords, glaciers, mountains and waterfalls. Plus, if the conditions are right, you’ll be in awe as you gaze up at the Northern Lights.
7. Albatros Expeditions
Named after the birds, this company’s expedition cruise trips will take you to unique locations. Two ships offer different destinations, including a swimming pool, bar, jacuzzi, restaurant and lecture lounge.
The Vikings of the North Sea tour is a quirky option, taking you between Aberdeen, Copenhagen, Skagen and Orkney. The journey is Viking themed, so expect to hear from experts about how the Vikings traveled, fought, and died in these locations.