In recent years, the cruise market has exploded. More and more travelers are realizing how much freedom cruise holidays truly give. Forget the days of being stuck in one place on holiday; you can now visit multiple destinations, cities, and countries in one cruise trip.
However, niche markets have begun to materialize even more within the cruise industry – expedition cruising. Forget daily city visits, nightly shows, and relaxing by the pools; expedition cruising is an entirely different beast.
Expedition cruises focus on nature and landscape. They visit some of the most remote regions on earth to allow travelers to witness the truly rare and exotic. You’ll have lectures from experts, daily zodiac trips, and shore excursions to find wildlife.
For photographers, wildlife lovers, and adventurers, these written my top 3 favorites below.tick all the boxes and more. To help you better understand these cruises, I’ve
The North Pole
Yep, you can cruise to the North Pole now! Don’t worry if you didn’t know this; very few people do. There are only two trips each year, which will cost you a minimum of $28,000! For that money, you get to visit one of the most iconic points on earth, where few other people can claim to have been.
If you think $28,000 will buy you luxury, think again. Your cruise aboard the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker known as 50 Years Of Victory. Although not a luxurious vessel, she’s one of the most epic ships on earth, with enough power to plow through meters of pack ice. You can hear the ice cracking below you as you control to the North Pole.
Along the way, you’ll also visit Franz Josef Land, where you’ll see polar bears, whales, and plenty of seabirds. You’ll also visit some seriously remote islands, some of which have breathtaking rock formations.
Weddell Sea, Antarctica
Although most people know you can cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula’s west side, very few people realize you can move to the peninsula’s eastern side. This is your best cruise option if you want to see the famous emperor penguins.
The emperor penguin embodies Antarctica, yet very few people see them due to their remote locations. However, a Weddell Sea cruise itinerary takes passengers as close as you can get to one of their major rookeries known as Snow Hill. If the ice is too thick, helicopter trips are arranged so travelers can view the colony from above.
Don’t think you’re missing out, though; after witnessing these incredible penguins, your cruise heads for the peninsula’s west side. Here, you visit all the major sites that standard Antarctic cruises visit, including Deception Island, Port Lockroy, and the beautiful Lemaire Channel. This cruise doesn’t come cheap, though; you’ll have to fork over $10,000 for a basic cabin.
Wrangel Island, Russian Arctic
In my opinion, this is one of the greatest cruises on earth. Not only do you sail from beautiful Alaska, home to glaciers and grizzlies, but you also visit one of the most remote places on earth in the Siberian Coastline and Kamchatka region. To top it off, you spend a lot of time on Wrangel Island – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to polar bears, musk ox, and plenty of seabird species. This true adventure cruise will satisfy even the most experienced naturalists and photographers.
You begin in Southern Alaska, where you’ll see plenty of grizzlies, bald eagles, pods of orca, and wild salmon. You then travel across the Bering Strait into an rarely explored area. Until recently, Kamchatka’s region was closed to foreigners due to ice and cooler politics.
With warming on both fronts, you can now sail along this extraordinary coastline dotted with active volcanos and lush forests. You’ll have the chance to see plenty of brown bears that hunt along the shoreline. You venture further out to sea from the coastline before reaching Wrangel Island. Known as the polar bear nursery, it’s not uncommon for hundreds of bears to gather on a single whale carcass! The island is packed with wildlife, and each hike reveals something new.
Is there another cruise or land-based tour that allows you to see three types of bears in one trip? No.