What is Expedition Cruising and is it for me?

Catherine Mackey on 27 April 2019
There is most definitely a cruise out there for everyone. If you are an adventurous traveller who is interested in exploring the world, enjoy nature, embracing new cultures, love expanding your knowledge, and sharing your experiences with like-minded people, then expedition cruising could be for you.

Where expedition cruises differ from classic cruises is that they are all about the destination and exploring parts of the world that are sometimes so remote that they are only accessible by sea. The onboard experience is generally more low-key (definitely no Broadway shows or waterslides!). The ships used for expedition voyages are much smaller too, accommodating anything from 20 to 200 passengers, of all nationalities, with a common interest in immersing themselves in the destination. Some ships are more simple yet comfortable (eg. G Adventures), whereas others are 5* luxury (eg. Silversea Expedition), but all are totally destination-led.

Expedition cruise destinations include everywhere from the Arctic to the Antarctic, the Far East, Russia, The North West Passage, South America and the Galapagos, Polynesia, Micronesia, the South Pacific and more…

All expedition cruises are hosted by expert guides, highly trained in their fields – including geologists, naturalists, photographers, marine biologists, and historians. The expedition team give on-board lectures as well as lead off the beaten track expeditions on land and sea excursions on RIB boats.

You’ll spend as much time as possible learning about your destination off the ship, only returning at the end of the day to rest, swap stories with your fellow travellers, compare photos, enjoy delicious food and build up your excitement levels for your next day of adventure. Expedition cruising is perfect for solo travellers - with the ships being small and everyone having a common interest, it is extremely easy to make new likeminded friends, who can often become friends for life and even future expedition cruise buddies!

If you are passionate about travelling responsibly then expedition cruise lines lead the way in sustainable travel with many of the destinations being visited being fragile and carefully controlled. For example, Hurtigruten collect plastic pollution left on beaches on every landing in Svalbard which passengers can help with, and single-use plastic is of course banned on board. This year, Hurtigruten are also launching the first ever cruise ship to be powered by hybrid fuel.

Expedition cruising is so diverse and suited to those with an adventurous spirit and a love of the natural world. However finding the right cruise company and destination is hugely important, and that’s where I can help. I provide a full consultation with my clients, get to know their travel dreams and their interests, so that I can guide them through all the multitude of options available, based on factors including budget, ship size, region, activities, itinerary, and any special requirements they may have.

So if you’ve always yearned to explore the most remote parts of the world get in touch and I will help you plan your adventure of a lifetime at sea! Xx