Everything You Need to Know About Expedition Cruising

Adventure seekers, rejoice! If you’re looking for a holiday that will take you off-the-beaten path and into some of the most remote and beautiful corners of the world, then an expedition cruise is definitely for you.

But what exactly is expedition cruising, and what can you expect from this type of holiday?

What is expedition cruising?

Expedition cruise ships are purpose-built vessels that have the ability to take passengers to far-flung, remote destinations that typically can’t be reached by larger cruise ships. 

Most have state-of-the art navigational systems and are designed to slice through ice and sail as close as possible to the shore taking you to regions that simply can’t be reached via land. 

The emphasis is on remote islands and ports of call with adventurous excursions that are typically led by expert guides who are passionate about their destination and its history, culture and wildlife.
Many expedition cruise ships have observation decks with vast expanses of glass windows to help immerse and connect passengers to the environment, plus lecture rooms where you can hear from marine biologists, historians and photographers.

What kinds of excursions can you go on?

Many expedition cruises offer opportunities for passengers to go trekking, snorkelling, scuba diving, cycling and kayaking, with some of the top expedition ships also having cutting-edge toys including zodiacs and submarines to enable you to get up close and personal with wildlife that you wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else.

Which are the main cruise lines that offer expedition cruising and where do they visit?

Some of the most popular expedition cruise lines include Hurtigruten, Seabourn, Silversea, Crystal Cruises, Lindblad Expeditions and G Adventures.

All of these cruise lines offer amazing itineraries to key bucket-list destinations around the world including Antarctica, the Arctic, Alaska, Patagonia and the Galapagos Islands.

What are expedition cruise ships like inside?

Gone are the days when expedition cruise ships were basic and functional…

Today many expedition cruise ships are built for both adventure and luxury with amenities including gourmet restaurants, spas and infinity pool hot tubs.

Some of the most luxurious expedition cruise ships offer butler service and a 1:1 crew-to-guest ration plus balcony staterooms.

What are the newest expedition cruise ships?

Expedition cruises are in huge demand and many cruise lines are adding them to their fleets. This means that you may be able to be one of the first to sail on a particular cruise ship and take advantage of special offers if you book early. Many new expedition cruise ships also feature cutting-edge facilities and toys such as zodiacs for exploration.

Take Viking, for example. Its first purpose-built expedition ship, Viking Octantis, took to the seas early in 2022 and includes a lecture theatre, a science research lab, kayaks, zodiacs and two submarines. It’s a relatively small ships catering for a maximum of 378 passengers in 189 state rooms. If you fancy hopping onboard it will be based in Antarctica in winter 2022/2023 and the US Great Lakes in summer 2023. A second identical sister ship, Viking Polaris, has also been launched.

Seabourne also has a new luxury 264-passenger expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, fully equipped with submarines, kayaks and zodiacs. Due to sail the Arctic in summer and Antarctica in winter, it also has a 26-person Expedition Team onboard to guide passengers through the numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way. A second expedition ship, Pursuit, will be launched in 2023. 

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your dream cruise by talking to us today!

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