One day I really want to try an Expedition Cruise. I love to get up close with nature and wildlife during my cruises so I know this type of voyage would be perfect for me. I really like the idea of having a TRUE adventure ashore, where you pull up onto a rocky beach in a RIB, jump of wearing wellies and really get a feel for where you are. I suspect days like these will also make you appreciate the comfort of your ship a lot more than usual.
So what is Expedition Cruising all about? It’s about exploration and adventure and more people each year are embarking on these types of voyages. Because expedition vessels are smaller with shallow drafts, they have the ability to get much closer to less visited ports, enabling guests to truly get up close and personal with each and every destination. There are no shuttle buses or hours spent figuring out local transport routes, this is an entirely different kind of voyage. You are taken to the very heart of each location.
The relationship between the voyage and the port is one far more intimate than that of a normal cruise holiday too. Expedition Vessels do not offer a cruise director, instead onboard you will find an expedition team. These teams are also usually supported by guest lecturers who will give presentations on all aspects of the vessels destinations, including, biology, anthropology, geology, history, geography and culture. These lectures will be the first glimpse at what guests have to look forward to when they get ashore.
One thing many people find surprising is that the onboard expedition team leader can in fact change many aspects of the voyage to coincide with things like sea conditions, weather and wildlife sightings. In short he or she in agreement with the captain can alter the ships course to ensure guests get the absolute very best from their expedition voyage. Can you imagine doing this on a 130,000 ton monster in the middle of the Med? I think not.
There are several cruise lines with expedition vessels and they include Silversea Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Noble Caledonia and Lindblad Expeditions.
Destinations for these voyages include Antarctica, Galapagos Islands, South Pacific, Far East, Australia and New Zealand, Amazon, Central America and Chile.
There are many agents out there specializing in Expedition Voyages including The Cruise Line
I also want to mention that The Cruise Line Luxury Cruise Collection for autumn 2013 was released today.
Have you already enjoyed one of these cruises? If so I would really like to get some comments on what you experienced.