Join like-minded travelers onboard a research vessel, an ice-breaker or travel in style aboard a specially built luxury expedition yacht.
Our world is connected by waterways. Unlike any other form of travel, an expedition cruise opens the world to exploration, providing journeys from the ancient marvels of the Mediterranean to mystifying Easter Island. Destinations are chosen for their natural beauty and their rich culture. Icebreakers traverse the frozen waters of the Antarctic and Arctic. Expedition cruise and luxury ships explore the lush coastlines of Vietnam and China’s vibrant Hong Kong and tour Africa’s Cape Verde to the Canary Islands. The destination is up to you – an expedition cruise provides you with the means to turn ordinary travel into a world adventure. Below is a complete list of expedition cruises and tours to worldwide destinations.
Vessels have been hand-selected for their ability to navigate the oceans’ most terrific passageways, and explore isolated regions that are out of reach to the large cruiselines and traditional means of travel. We’re here to give honest and objective information to help find the best trip and ship to take you far beyond ordinary travel.
Discover the unique and rewarding travel style of expedition cruises.
What is an Expedition Cruise?
There are many different ways to explore the world – many different means of travel. But there are very few options that combine the excitement, intimacy and the ease of an expedition cruise. Learn more about what an expedition cruise has to offer and why it is such a popular choice for some of the world’s most savvy travelers.
Our world is connected by waterways. Unlike any other form of travel, an expedition cruise opens the world to exploration, providing journeys from the ancient marvels of the Mediterranean to mystifying Easter Island. Destinations are chosen for their natural beauty and their rich culture. Icebreakers traverse the frozen waters of the Antarctic and Arctic. Research vessels cruise the lush coastlines of Vietnam and China’s vibrant Hong Kong. Luxury yachts follow Africa’s Cape Verde to the Canary Islands. The desintation is up to you – an expedition cruise provides you with the means to turn ordinary travel into a world adventure.
The size and skill of expedition vessels allow access to some of the world’s most remote locations — some of which are only accessible by sea. Ships accommodate anywhere from 16 to 200 passengers. Unlike the larger cruiseliners, expedition vessels are uniquely designed with the strength to handle the seas’ powerful passageways, and are small enough to manipulate into isolated locations that are out of reach to larger ships. Vessels are equipped with zodiacs, and allow daily excusions to secluded shorelines and up-close interaction with marine wildlife.
Ease and Safety
Expedition vessels combine the convenience of guided travel with the freedom and flexibility of a small-group. Enjoy the company of like-minded travelers from around the world. Expert guides and knowledgable crew enhance your experiences off and on board. Vessels also carry naturalists and lecturers who eagerly share their insight of each region, and help prepare you for the daily land excursions.
While itineraries are designed to explore the best of each region, they allow room for the unpredictable and unexpected surprises that make each trip, each destination, unique. It is impossible to plan for a humpback whale gracing the underbelly of your zodiac. Or a cultural exchange with a Peruvian woman in the Azapa valley. Or a fiery sunset over the Niger River. Or a howler-monkey lingering in the surrounding jungles of Tikal’s ancient Maya ruins. Possibilities are as exciting as they are endless.
An Alaska cruise takes travelers into an untamed wilderness and allows up-close experiences with the natural wonders of this ecological hotspot. Wildlife sightings seem limitless: Brown and black bears, moose, spirited otters, and majestic bald eagles share this region with countless numbers of humpback whales, orcas and porpoises. The landscape of Alaska is as wild as the animals that roam the region. Discover isolated inlets only accessible by sea – zodiacs and kayaks take you through a labyrinth of glaciers, icebergs, fjords and rivers. A cruise of Alaska includes trips to the famous Prince William Sound, Glacier Bay, Point Adolphus, and Denali Park where travelers enjoy river rafting, horseback riding and hiking in the shadow of Mount McKinley. It is easy to understand why a trip to Alaska is so widely celebrated by the world’s veteran travelers.
Africa travel has long been reputed the ultimate adventure frontier and a remarkable trip into the mystifying. An Africa tour allows wildlife discovery and visits to historic religious strongholds. Africa beckons the culturally curious! During your trip, spend time in the ancient cities of North Africa that house some of the most dramatic ruins the world over. Morocco, Mopti, Libya, Senegal, Timbuktu — an Africa cruise also combines the best of the Mediterranean: Greece, Italy, Spain and the wildlife-rich Canary Islands. Then follow the winds of explorers to traverse the Atlantic. Tour volcanic islands of Fernando de Noronha and cruise to Cape Verde where a blend of Creole, African, Portuguese, Mediterranean and Latin influences provides a feast for the senses.
Experience the magical land of icy fjords, jagged mountains, and immense glaciers on an Arctic adventure cruise. Icebreakers cut through the dense polar ice to access areas previously visited by only the most daring explorers. Comfortable expedition vessels glide travelers beyond the Arctic Circle through dramatic ice floes to walk in the footsteps of the Vikings or marvel at the breaching of a humpback whale. A trip to the Arctic offers rare wildlife, intense natural beauty and unique cultures that have survived in one of the most extreme environments on Earth. During a cruise of the Arctic enjoy the celebrated landscapes of Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Finland, Russia, Scottish Isles, as well as a trip to the distant and remote North Pole, Svalbard and Norway’s volcanic Jan Mayen island.
On your Asia cruise, follow in the wake of ancient traders, visiting pristine island environments and verdant scenery along the coasts of Japan, China, Vietnam, Russia, and Indonesia. A trip to Asia includes cultural wonders, unparalleled architecture and geographic marvels. Sail into Hong Kong’s stunning harbor and cruise along the South China Sea as you wend your way toward the lush coastline of Vietnam. Halong Bay’s mist-shrouded mountains form the backdrop for hundreds of rocky islets scattered across deep-blue waters. Travel north to discover the Kamchatka Peninsula, home to more than 100 volcanoes. Continue your cruise of Asia to Indonesia where you can visit the legendary island of Krakatau and experience one of the wonders of the ancient world, the Buddhist temple of Borobudur. Unique, enriching, fantastic Asia travel.
Enjoy the quiet solitude of a Caribbean cruise. There is a timeless serenity, and a relaxing hum to the Caribbean that is whispered in its warm breezes and secluded beaches. The Caribbean has been enticing visitors and explorers for centuries – during your cruise of the islands you will certainly notice the historic footprints and the modern-day influence of British, French, Spanish, Dutch and African cultures. A Caribbean tour allows plenty of time for daily snorkeling trips in turquoise waters alive with rich and varied marine life. We’ll island-hop between the Leeward, Windward and Virgin Islands. Delight in the beach-life: swimming, sunning, kayaking, relaxing. Take advantage of the national parks that tempt visitors with jungle hikes and exceptional birding. Escape the everyday with a cruise of the Caribbean.
Central America Cruises
Multi-sport adventures, jungle-clad ancient ruins, and some of the most beautiful tropical surroundings on earth await on a Central America cruise. A trip to Central America includes Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize and extend your travel into Peru and Ecuador. Snorkel along the colorful coral reefs of Belizean coasts. Kayak through crystal-waters to white sand cayes or venture through the engineering marvel, the Panama Canal. Hike the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica’s national parks listening to the call of howler monkeys and the squawk of scarlet macaws. A Central America tour also allows plenty of chances to explore ancient Maya ruins. The choice is yours! On your cruise of Central America, distances from region to region are close, so you can spend precious vacation time enjoying this tropical paradise.
Boasting dozens of languages, half a billion residents, and over 25 countries in an area less than half the size of the United States, Europe could easily be considered the most culturally diverse continent on the planet. During a Europe cruise, nature enthusiasts will be awed by the icy blue fjords of Norway and Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher. The archaeologically inclined will delight in the ruins of Troy, or Delos, revered as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. The list of “must-sees” on a Europe tour are as varied as its visitors. A trip includes such classical destinations as Venice, Athens, Spain, London and France, but a cruise to Europe also invites travel into the Arctic, Turkey, Serbia, as well as the treasures of Africa’s Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Cape Verde. Experience the majesty of Europe travel and find your own off the beaten path European adventure.
Come see the islands that Charles Darwin made famous. Galapagos travel beckons every birder, nature lover and curious traveler. Each day on a Galapagos cruise you leave your yacht to explore these uninhabited island treasures. On our Galapagos tours, we stay in hotels and set out by foot, kayak, horse or bike with a naturalist guide who shows the diversity of Galapagos wildlife and teaches about the area’s natural history. Each island is filled with Galapagos travel highlights: snorkeling with playful sea lions, admiring the amusing blue-footed Boobie, whale-watching, or hiking to lava tunnels on Santa Cruz Island. Travel with us to the Galapagos Islands and visit one of the most undisturbed ecosystems in the world!
A Mediterranean cruise takes you into the cradle of Western Civilization. This is the world of Greek heroes and legendary scholars, yet is also a region of brilliant landscapes and historic port cities. Explore the ruins of Troy and Olympia, then travel to Sicily where Mt. Etna reigns over the countryside. The temperate climate allows vineyards and olive groves to flourish. And the ancient Mediterranean sea provides access to remote archipelagos and harbors of Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Corsica and Malta Islands. Combine your cruise of the Mediterranean with a tour of the culturally rich shores of North Africa.
Middle East Cruises
Embark on an adventure of a lifetime on a small ship cruise to the Middle East. The Middle East is a region that encompasses southwestern Asia and Egypt. Rich in history, the region of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, and throughout its history the Middle East has been a major center of world affairs. The historical origin of major religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Baha’i Faith, any cruise to this destination will be full of culture and historical interest. Small ship expedition cruises explore the Arabian Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, all of which surround the arid and hot climate of this fascinating region.
North America Cruises
From kayaking amongst the outer islands of southeast Alaska to snorkeling with sea lions in the Sea of Cortez off the coast of Mexico, a North America cruise offers a bounty of wildlife, stunning landscapes, modern history, and unforgettable nature adventures. Get to know a small area intimately on a river cruise through the wine country of the Pacific Northwest or follow in the footsteps of ancient peoples as you journey across two continents from the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska to the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. Whether you are looking for a fun family adventure or a romantic honeymoon getaway, a cruise of North America offers something for everyone!
South America Cruises
Ancient ruins, rainforest adventures, jungle wildlife, awe-inspiring mountain peaks, and scenic fjords can all be part of a South America cruise. Wind through the Amazon tributaries in search of pink dolphins or round the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego for its spectacular views of glaciers and steep rocky shorelines. Patagonia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay – each destination offers natural and cultural discovery. A cruise of South America combines travel to the celebrated French Polynesia, Central America, Africa’s Morocco and Cape Verde, as well as the wildlife-rich Canary Islands. During your tour, you’ll encounter some of the most welcoming people in the world. Travelers tour South America to see its sites – Machu Picchu, the Amazon, Torres del Paine, Easter Island – but return because of its people. Experience a lifetime of memories on your cruise to South America.
South Pacific Cruises
A South Pacific cruise offers the allure of unrivaled natural beauty and mysterious island cultures. Vanuatu, Krakatau, Java, Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga – even the names of these islands evoke images of a fairy tale paradise so removed from our daily lives that they almost seem to exist in the fantastic. Watch water buffalo race across a rice field on the island of Sumbawa. Get a close-up look at Komodo Island’s “dragons.” During your trip witness the Leonid Meteor shower from the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, or travel to one of the wonders of the ancient world — the Buddhist temple of Borobudur. And, of course, enjoy a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef. There is no better way to access these remote islands and experience so many diverse cultures as on an adventure cruise through the South Pacific
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