Why expedition cruising is the new wave in the world of adventure travel



So your day started like any other. You get up, you have a shower, you prepare for the day ahead. But then you realize your day ahead is unlike any other. In fact, over the next two to three weeks, every day will be different and each day things will keep getting better.


It was like that when I was on my expedition cruise in the Canadian Arctic. Day 1 started with a spectacular sunset and a double rainbow circling the mast of the ship. Day 2 had us see polar bear on the prowl. On day 3 we saw a humpback whale breach and on day 4 we circled an iceberg. Then the morning of day 5 was sunny and bright. I woke up with a start and thought I had overslept. So I got dressed and made my way to the bridge to see what time it was.


It was 4am. The bright sunshine this far north fooled me into thinking it was much later. I turned around to go back to bed but stole one more glance over the starboard bow. There I saw something else I had never seen before - a pod of orcas on a mission. There must have been ten of them, diving through the waters, very deliberate in where they were going.


The unexpected encounters you have on expedition cruises is what is so appealing. You never know what is around the next bend or over the horizon, let alone what you will experience the next day.


Expedition cruising is different from traditional cruising in that ships are small - typically no more than 200 passengers and sometimes as few as 16; there are no casinos or other forms of entertainment. Ships tend to avoid regular ports, instead anchoring in a remote bay or near a settlement and landing passengers by tender. In such a fashion, expedition cruise ships have you go places few other modes of transport can go, allowing you to explore little visited and remote areas.


Join us for a webinar

on expedition cruising:

February 16th, 7pm

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Travelling by expedition ship allows you to react to local circumstances. If the crew spots a pod of whales, they'll hang back, launch the zodiacs and take to the water to observe these wonderful creatures.


On my South Georgia trip one morning started off with a thick fog and we had planned a shore excursion to a penguin rookery. But by lunchtime the sun came out allowing us to go into the mountains and spend a few hours trekking in the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton. It was a privilege few other travellers have had.


Back on board we had a wonderful dinner - expedition cruises are known for their high standard of food - before retiring to the lounge for a drink and a social gathering. Then it was off to our respective cabins for a well-deserved night's rest, knowing that the next day we didn't have to pack our suitcases to move to another hotel.


Join us for a webinar

on expedition cruising:

February 16th, 7pm

Register to join or watch later


Instead we were off on another adventure, and it was another day where there were multiple options to choose from. Some of us kayaked along a beach where elephant seals gathered while others hiked to a viewpoint and yet a third group spent time photographing in and around an abandoned whaler's hut. What all these activities had in common is that they took place in locations larger ships could not get to.


That's where expedition cruising really has an advantage over other cruises - getting you to hard-to-reach places. Trips can take you to Greenland, Antarctica or to remote archipelagos like Svalbard or Franz Josef Land and even to the North Pole. Or they can take you to warmer climes such as the incredible coral reefs and rain forests of Raja Ampat in Indonesia, the wildlife of the Galapagos or the coastal rainforests of Costa Rica. Even within Canada there are plenty of trips to choose from, for example through the North-West Passage, to Haida Gwaii, the Great Bear Rain Forest and to Labrador.


In fact, everywhere there are oceans, expedition cruises will take you. So why not consider joining one? If you want to find out more about this fantastic style of travel, join our webinar on February 16th.


Join us for a webinar

on expedition cruising:

February 16th, 7pm

Register to join or watch later