New Zealand Expedition Destination Top Tips:
1. View Glow worms in Waitomo Caves
Taking a guided tour through Waitomo glow worm caves is a beautiful natural excursion not to be missed. Grottos and caves house hundreds of thousands of delicate glow worms lining the ceilings, creating a magnificent natural display open for tourists to witness by boat tour.
2. Explore Rotorua
The city of Rotorua is known as New Zealands culture capital, where the Maori people present cultural village tours, tribal dances, mythology, culinary experiences and more, to share history and traditions with visitors.
Natural features such as springs and thermal baths are also worth visiting, providing relaxation alongside calm yet spectacular surroundings.
3. Visit the Fjords, Milford Sound
Explore the stunning environment of Milford Sound, voted the worlds top travel destination and location of iconic natural beauty, best viewed by tour upon its crystal clear waters. This natural park is popular for its fjords, mountainous areas and tranquil waterfalls and waters, making the perfect picturesque landscapes and postcard quality pictures.
Why Expedition Cruising Is Great For Solo Travelers
|Sunrise from the ship.|
As a solo traveler aboard Adventure Canada’s Ocean Endeavor, not once did I feel lonely or excluded. It was incredibly easy to meet and spend time with other passengers , yet also to spend time in solitude when that’s what I wanted. There was no assigned seating at meals, and joining tables with other people was welcome.
In contrast, this is not the impression traditional cruising evokes, which are so often dominated by couples and families. In chatting with a colleague who had taken a Disney cruise in the past, I plied her with questions about what the experience would be like for a solo traveler. She finally cracked and admitted that while there with her husband she didn’t pay the slightest attention to solo travelersif there even were any on board.
Part of the challenge for the solo traveler when cruising is the cost. Few traditional cruise lines waive the single supplement . Without this discount, solo travelers often have to pay up to double the per-person cost.
Supplements for solo travelers are not as prevalent in the expedition cruise industry. Various cruise lines have promotions reducing or waiving the single supplement entirely. Adventure Canada, for example, offers a limited number of single-supplement-free cabins on every cruise. Once these are booked, they offer to match up solo travelers to share a cabin, or solo travelers can simply pay 1.5 times the berth cost to have a cabin to themselves.
Where Can You Sail On An Expedition Cruise
What Cruise Lines Offer Expedition Cruises
Theres a wide variety of companies offering expedition cruises around the world, with accommodations ranging from basic cabins to all-suite ships with butler service. Some traditional cruise lines have one or more expedition ships as part of their fleet, and some specialize in only adventure cruises. A few expedition-focused tour companies also charter ships to offer specialty expedition cruises.
What Is An Expedition Micro Cruise
An Expedition Micro Cruise is a voyage with just 12 guests on a purpose-built expedition vessel. The style of the trip is an expedition and the emphasis is on exploring and learning about the natural environment. We are led by 2 expedition leaders who share their knowledge throughout the trip. The vessel is equipped with Zodiac landing crafts to make shore landings on a daily basis.
The vessels we use offer a good level of comfort, and allow us to visit places the larger ships cant access. Our trips are designed for those who wish to escape the crowds on larger ships and experience the nature in a small, friendly group.
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What To Expect When Expedition Cruising
They say a change is as good as a rest, and that’s the kind of rest you’ll get when expedition cruising. On an Arctic cruise for example, being the land of the midnight sun, the loudspeaker in your cabin may come to life at 4 a.m. announcing a polar bear frolicking on the ice flow beside the ship. While most people aren’t thrilled with wake-up calls like these, all is usually forgiven when, adorned in jackets atop jammies, you look over the side of the boat to see something most people only ever see in magazines or on TV.
On the Newfoundland Circumnavigation cruise we didn’t have polar bear sightings, but we often had 7 a.m. wakeup calls to allow us enough time to experience our destination at hand before pulling anchor and sailing to the next place.
In our initial briefing, we were assured there were a few things we could count on, which included the morning wake-up calls. . What we couldn’t count on, ironically, was the trip itinerary, because that was dictated in large part by the weather.
Because many expedition cruise stops aren’t equipped for ships, you can expect to go ashore on zodiacs rather than gangplanks. In some cases, you’ll be doing an expedition landing involving wading ashore from the zodiac, often on uneven terrain . So while many levels of fitness and physical abilities are accommodates, those with severe mobility issues may not be able to get the most from an expedition cruise.
A Typical Day On An Antarctica Expedition Cruise
Whats a typical day like in Antarctica? What do you do? How do you spend your time? How cold is it, anyway?! Ive gotten so many questions about Antarctica, but what Ive really wanted to write about is what a typical day in Antarctica is really like.
First things first: anyone who has been to Antarctica is laughing because theres no such thing as a typical day in Antarctica! Youre held to the whims of the harsh environment. Your crew might have the best laid plans, and they can be knocked asunder in an instant.
I traveled on the Ocean Diamond in March 2018 with Quark Expeditions, who hosted me on this trip. I spent a few days taking notes on everything I did so I could write this post for you. Heres a complete log from how I spent one day in Antarctica.
6:45 AM: My alarm goes off. Leanne, my roommate, is up already and taking a shower. As a solo traveler, I knew Id be paired with a stranger I lucked out to get someone as sweet and considerate as Leanne, who is a few years older than me and comes from Melbourne via Adelaide.
I grab my phone and take a quick look at the ships email, my only source of internet during our 12 days at sea. Im only emailing a few friends and family members to let them know that Im alive and check in on everything at home.
7:15 AM:Good morning, everyone, good morning. Every morning starts the same way, with an announcement on the intercom. Its going to be a beautiful day on Danco Island.
Hilariously, the Macarena starts playing.
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Alaska Expedition Destination Top Tips:
1. Experience a Salmon Run
An incredible experience while amongst the wonderful waters of Alaska is to witness the salmon run. This occurs toward the end of July/beginning of August when the salmon swim upstream presenting tourists with an incredibly entertaining display. Other animal species are commonly spotted as a result of this natural occurring display also, such as bears and eagles, to feast upon their favourite meal.
2. Drink Glacial Water
A simple yet unique activity to experience is the opportunity to drink some fresh glacial water. There are many excursions amongst and upon the glaciers throughout Alaska when sailing on an expedition cruise, with the added opportunity on a number being the chance to drink fresh glacial water.
Cruise Ship Vs Expedition Ship: What’s The Difference
Expedition cruising began in 1966, when pioneer Lars-EricLindblad started to take travellers into regions hitherto visitedonly by scientists and explorers. Since then, more and morecompanies have joined this exclusive group of expedition cruiseoperators – so what is the difference between an expedition shipand a regular cruise ship?
Well first of all, you will never find a large expedition ship,and when you start to think about it, you will soon realise why.The whole point of an expedition is to get you close up – to thescenery, the wildlife, the land, and the sea – so you need to beable to get everyone off the ship very quickly, either into thewater itself, or onto the land nearby. So your ship needs to bespeedy, to get you where you want to go quickly – nimble,manoeuvrable, sturdy, with excellent stability and performance inheavy seas. And since you are way off the beaten track, your shipneeds to be supremely seaworthy.
It needs to be able to carry a fleet of RIBs or zodiacs to get you ashore quickly, and if you arecruising in cold waters, you will need a well designed locker andmudroom to clean and store your boots after each landing. Kayaks,stand-up paddle boards and other equipment enables you to get evencloser to the action, whilst for those exploring in warm waters,wetsuits, snorkelling equipment and even diving equipment may beavailable. Often the vessel will boast a marina as a starting pointfor this type of underwater exploration.
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Which Cruise Lines Offer Expedition Cruises
With a growing market for expedition cruises, many operators offer a tour and cruise combination such as APT or Scenic in the Kimberley, while cruise lines such as Silversea, Ponant and the Scenic Eclipse offer luxury expedition cruising across the globe.While Celebrity are possibly better known for their classic cruises they also offer expedition cruises and Viking are offering expedition cruises on their innovative new ships Viking Polaris and Viking Octantis from 2022.
Adventure travel operators such as Intrepid and Peregrine or G Adventures offer expedition cruises in their worldwide collections, giving travellers an opportunity to take on an ocean based adventure at a more affordable price .
If you have a desire to explore remote locations and witness untamed wildlife and landscapes, an expedition cruise will offer an unforgettable voyage into far flung locations with likeminded adventurers.
Sail Beyond The Reach Of Large Ships
Small expedition ships carrying less than 500 passengers
When choosing a ship for your next expedition cruise, pay special attention to the number of passengers that are taken on board. On destinations such as Antarctica and the Arctic only 100 people are allowed to go on a land excursion at the same time. Large ships with over 500 passengers are not allowed to make any landings at all. So being on a smaller expedition ship has its advantages, as you can spend more time exploring instead of waiting your turn to make a landing.
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Go Into The Wilderness
Expedition cruises take you places you just can’t get to any other way. You’ll discover places so far removed from the maddening crowds that you’ll feel like you’re the first human to set foot on a particular bit of land. In Antarctica, you’ll scramble off the Zodiac raft to walk among thousands of penguins. At the other end of the earth, in the Arctic, you might stumble upon the remains of an ancient settlement built of stones and whale bones. There are no roads leading to such off-the-beaten-path spots. No planes land there. The only way you’ll ever see these hidden gems is on an expedition cruise.
Get Closer To Wildlife
Now that everyone has spotted animals from the deck, it’s time to lower the Zodiacs and get even closer. Those leaping spinner dolphins in Hawaii look playful the orcas in British Columbia not so much. The grizzlies in Alaska? You might be close, but the bears are too busy catching salmon to notice. Besides, your guides carry bear spray and/or rifles for your protection and are always on the alert for the unexpected.
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The Essence Of Small Ship Expedition Cruising
Redefine your definition of cruise travel
According to our limit of 500 passengers, all ships we offer are considered small. The main advantages of small expedition ships are being able to travel with a small group, often with similar focused goals, and the ability to reach places the big ships cannot visit. Expedition cruises also have a distinctive learning element and bring to mind a sense of adventure, whether its visiting remote settlements along the Amazon river or cruising amongst amazing ice formations in Antarctica. You will get a chance to immerse yourself in nature, discover wildlife, enjoy local cultures and learn about history. Each expedition cruise is different from the last one, as we optimize every opportunity to show you the best of a destination. Trained experts give talks on board and lead shore landings and activities. Together with the other passengers you are having a shared experience which often will create a bond after a few days on board.
What Is An Expedition Ship
The dictionary meaning for the word expedition says a journey taken for pleasure. Going by this definition, it becomes quite clear that an expedition ship or an expedition vessel is solely used for the purpose of pleasure travelling. In simpler term, they can also be termed as cruise ships.
Expedition vessels have been an exclusive part of the shipping industry and they provide a lot of comfort and luxury to the people who travel in them. In the olden days, before travelling through planes became the preferred mode of transport, the cruise ships were very well-known and famous.
However, as plane-travelling became more common, in order to maintain the same level of popularity that an expedition ship once enjoyed, many alterations and modifications were introduced to the concept of cruise ships. Over the years because of such favourable and unique alterations, a voyage on an expedition vessel has become even more pleasurable and intriguing.
In contemporary times, cruise ships offer facilities of not just a bar and a taproom but also facilities like theatre, discos, private pools and many other ultra-luxurious amenities. The providing of such facilities is to ensure that more and more people get hooked to the idea of enjoying a cruise in areas that have never been explored thoroughly.
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What Is Expedition Cruising
An expedition cruise is a different style of holiday to atraditional cruise, and indeed to the traditional idea of anadventure holiday. So what exactly is expedition cruising?
The word ‘expedition’ could put you off right from the start.But if you are picturing crampons, sturdy boots and a rucksack withyour tent in it then you would be mistaken – that’s notwhat we’re talking about..
Expedition ships carry a full complement of lecturers andexpedition leaders, whose expertise ranges from photography tomarine biology, from birdlife to geology, and from geopolitics toexploration and climate change. These are people who are passionateabout their subject, and ready to tell you all about it.
Expedition ships carry a number of RIBs , also known as Zodiacs, which are sturdy boats carryingabout 12 people. As a rule, you are supplied with a life jacket,and then clamber from the expedition ship into one of these boats,and sit on the side, holding on to the ropes around the edge. Afterthe first time, you gain confidence doing this – the crew is highlyexperienced at helping you get in and out of the boats, andensuring you don’t fall. However, you do need a certain amount ofagility, as they often land straight onto the beach. The crew standby to help you on and off the vessels, and you quickly learn thebest technique. But you should aim for efficiency rather thanelegance!
Australia Expedition Destination Top Tips:
1.Visit a winery in Barossa Valley
Located in South Australia, Barossa Valley is a major wine region well-known for producing some of the most famous wines, positioned on the outside of Adelaide. Walk amongst the extensive vineyards and enjoy a wine or olive oil tasting experience while visiting this beautiful valley location.
2. Take a camel ride around Uluru, Ayers Rock
A short trip from Alice Springs is the breath-taking view of Uluru, surrounded by desert landscapes and natural beauty, a favourite view specifically at sunrise or sunset. Whether you take a camel tour around or a helicopter over this magnificent natural feature you will be informed of its history.
3. Visit MONA , Tasmania
A daytrip to the MONA in Hobart, Tasmania, is the perfect excursion for those with an artistic flair. Unlike a traditional museum, there is no specific route to follow, however open to explore. This unique architecturally designed building has many large displays, exhibitions, and art pieces to capture the interest of all.
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Cruise Lines Offering Luxury And Ultra
- Abercrombie & Kent
- Atlas Ocean Voyages
- Crystal Expedition Cruises
- Ponant Expeditions
- Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours
- Seabourn Expedition Cruises
- Silversea Expeditions
- Viking Expeditions
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Have you ever taken an expedition cruise? Id love to hear what you thought of your experience. Let me know in the comments below!
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Friday 2nd of October 2020
I would love to go on an expedition cruise, most especially to Antarctica!
Friday 2nd of October 2020
Hi Carol, doesn’t a cruise to Antarctica sound like a blast? Expedition cruises are such a great combination of adventure travel and the comfort of traveling by ship. I bet you’ll love it!
Friday 2nd of October 2020
Carrie Ann – I absolutely love reading your articles on cruising/cruises. I have not done one yet for I fear of the waters but the more I read, I am much encouraged to try one soon. I like the idea that cruiselines offer the option to include gear when on expedition. Thank you so much for sharing your insights.
Friday 2nd of October 2020
Friday 2nd of October 2020
Friday 2nd of October 2020