Everything You Need to Know about Expedition Cruises

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Expedition cruises will open your eyes to a different way of cruising. You may already be familiar with larger-than-life megaships – accommodating thousands of passengers from around the globe; brandishing over-the-top entertainment options, such as waterparks, multi-storey theatres, and casinos; and sailing off to the world’s top tourist destinations. Well, expedition cruising is nothing of the sort.

Instead of focussing on the bells and whistles of the cruise ship, an expedition cruise truly immerses its passengers in the destination. Expedition cruise lines typically command a fleet of small ships outfitted with simple amenities, such as a single dining room and modest cabins. And you know what small ships mean: a small number of passengers. It will never feel crowded on board.

An expedition cruise will introduce you to parts of the world few humans have experienced. Intrigued? Read on and decide if expedition cruising is right for you.

Expedition cruises will transport you to adventurous destinations in comfort

Expedition cruises carried passengers to daring areas of the world. Think the polar regions like Antarctica and the Arctic, the Amazon, the Galapagos Island, and the world’s other remote destinations. However, you don’t need to be a rugged adventurer or an experienced cruiser to enjoy an expedition cruise.

Luxury amenities vary wildly across expedition cruise ships. While some vessels go above and beyond with spas, fitness centres, and libraries, others boast the basics: observation deck, lounge, and dining room with meals served at set times.

Comfortably sailing on a cruise ship, you will neither need to pitch a tent in the woods nor arrange land transportation from site to site. When a climate-controlled cruise ship provides accommodation and transportation, you can focus on what matters: exploring astounding bucket-list destinations.

Expedition cruises are on smaller ships

Modern cruise ships can comfortably accommodate several thousands of passengers; however, expedition cruise ships are much smaller than these megaships. Expedition ships usually hold between 100 and 200 passengers. The benefit of cruising with like-minded, well-travelled guests is that it will be easy to make new friends.

On these smaller expedition ships, you won’t find the crowds associated with huge cruise vessels. You will also avoid long queues to embark and disembark the ship for excursions. Not to mention that shore excursions are divided into small groups, so you’ll never feel packed like sardines.

A key advantage of sailing on small expedition ships is access to more harbours. Megaships from Royal Caribbean International or Carnival Cruise Line just can’t dock on the fragile ice of Antarctica or the Arctic. Quark Expeditions, on the other hand, can visit these delicate polar regions. Also off-limits to huge vessels are the tiny riverside villages of the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands, where a 100-passenger limit is enforced. Expedition ships will bring you closer to unbelievable destinations.

Expedition cruises will immerse you in your surroundings

An expedition cruise is just the best way to explore certain areas of the world. Antarctica and its fragmented islands, as well as the home of the polar bears: the Arctic, can only be reached via expedition cruising. Quark Expeditions is one of few cruise lines that can transport you to these polar regions. When it comes to exploring the Inside Passage in Alaska, expedition cruising is less expensive than flights and less time consuming than ferries. You will simply experience more if you opt for an expedition cruise around the Galapagos Islands.

Most expedition cruise ships are equipped with Zodiacs. These small passenger vessels transport guests from the ship, into shallower waters, and to the shore. Zodiacs can be launched at the drop of a hat and offer passengers plenty of opportunities to observe and photograph fascinating wildlife and gorgeous flora. Thanks to Zodiacs, you will be able to explore isolated beaches and verdant jungles and view glistening glaciers and breaching sea mammals.

expert lecture with expedition team

Expedition cruises will teach you about intriguing destinations

What expedition cruises lack in classic cruise ship entertainment, they make up for in enrichment and education. Biologists, geologists, anthropologists, natural historians, and other experts make up the crews. They truly know the destination and can not only identify the local flora and fauna but also provide cultural context.

These specialists are brimming with knowledge they are ready to share with you. Expert talks typically make up the evening entertainment, illuminating what you’ve seen during the day, whether from the ship or up close onshore. With this new understanding of the destination, you won’t just see a new place, you’ll learn to appreciate it as well.

Comfort, no crowds, new harbours, and full-on destination immersion. What more could you ask for? If you’re ready to move away from a traditional cruise holiday, consider exploring destinations off the beaten path by going on an expedition cruise. Browse our online cruise catalogue. If you need help with booking or have a question, ring our Australia-based cruise experts on 1300 857 345.

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About Author

Josh K

Josh is a content manager and blogger at Cruise1st. His love of travel has driven him to share his expertise in the cruise industry. When he's not writing, you can catch him playing a game of foosball, sticking his nose in a book, or trying out a new restaurant.

2 Comments

  1. Rafael gutierrez on

    Hi

    I certainly the untouched world and scenery that is not an every day place, love watching documentaries , regarding wildlife in its natural environment and all the about different cultures and way of life.

    Cheers Rafael

    • Josh K

      Hey Rafael! People think the world is small, but there’s so much out there that’s still begging to be explored. On an expedition cruise, you can live what you’ve seen in those documentaries.

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