Is Expedition Cruising for You?
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Want to get to more remote destinations while you're traveling, but love the convenience of not having to pack all your stuff every night? Prefer smaller crowds or smaller ships? Love outdoor activities like wildlife watching, kayaking, and hiking? Expedition cruising might be exactly what you're looking for.
Itineraries - Expedition cruises are well-known for amazing destinations like Antarctica and the Arctic, but other common itineraries include Iceland, Greenland, Alaska, Patagonia, and even the Caribbean.
Ship Size - Expedition ships generally carry hundreds of passengers at most, and this may vary based on the itinerary. In Antarctica, for example, ships carrying more than 500 passengers cannot land, and it's very common to see passenger counts capped at 200 to ensure more landing site options.
Accommodations - These range ship to ship and line to line, but you can expect a selection from quite basic to suites, all of which have everything you need to be comfortable. Often cabins are equipped with great space-saving features like a bed that turns into a couch during the day.
Onboard Entertainment - While there is entertainment on board, you generally shouldn't expect production shows, casinos, and comedy clubs. Entertainment generally consists of an activity in the main lounge in the evening, as well as educational sessions throughout the day.
Excursions - This is where expedition cruising truly excels. With smaller vessels available for ferrying passengers to shore, this allows them to stop in many more places than larger ships. On some itineraries, you may have several shorter stops in a day. If plan A doesn't work out, the expedition team can often come up with a plan B on the fly.
Dining - While you won't often see a lot of selection for dining, the food is generally very good and easily accommodates allergies and restrictions. Dining times are generally set, there may only be one dining option (some larger ships will have a few options), and things like hot beverages are generally available throughout the day.
Wi-Fi - If you need to be connected at all time with fast connection speeds, this could be an issue. Some of the areas expedition cruising specialize in are quite remote and their satellite Internet may not always have the greatest connection.
Expedition Team - The expedition team on these ships generally consists of a variety of experts in various fields like ornithology, marine biology, geology, culture, and history. There's often at least one professional photographer on board as well to document the journey, and who may offer workshops to help you take the best pictures of your trip.
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