More than Bunks and Baked Beans - Five Expedition Cruising Myths Busted
Just because you cruise to remote destinations that cater to researchers and scientists does not mean that your cruise digs have to be all about bunks and baked beans. Expedition cruising has long been stepping up a notch and now blends a great on-board luxury cruise experience with a real wildlife adventure. Below we dispel misconceptions about this exciting way to see the world.
1. Expedition Cruising is all about basic accommodation and even more basic food
Untrue – There are expedition ships like Peregrine’s Ocean Endeavour that offer a superb guest experience with great dining, an expansive choice of cabin categories, large cabins and common areas, a sundeck and observation area, plenty of deck space for polar landscape viewing.
Endeavour also has a whole health and wellness program onboard that offers a specialty cuisine and a range of health and fitness facilities. Facilities include a spa, His & Hers saunas, a saltwater pool, a gym, and a juice and smoothie bar. There are also plenty of other cruise lines offering a more luxurious on-board experience while still providing plenty of expedition adventuring on far-flung shores.
2. The on-board and on-shore activities are just about the expedition
Untrue – Passengers aboard expedition vessels have come to expect expert guides and lecturers to help them interpret the rich cultural and natural histories these exotic destinations deliver. More and more cruise lines are also introducing more adventure activities that take advantage of the destination’s landscapes – things like, skiing, ice-plunging, fjord hiking and hot air ballooning.
Many expeditions also include daily shore excursions with options for additional activities such as kayaking, camping, zodiac excursions, photography workshops, and extend to yoga classes, stand-up paddle-boarding, cycling, snorkelling and artic diving.
3. The expedition itinerary is fixed and regimented
Untrue - An expedition cruise consists of a voyage plan and itinerary that has inbuilt flexibility and redundancy – it has to, because itineraries are determined by elements that are beyond mere mortal control - things like weather, likely appearance of animals, weather, ice conditions, and oh the weather.
It doesn’t matter if the expedition is in a tropical or frozen seascape, the impact of weather on the ship’s itinerary is always significant. Currents and tides always dictate to expedition leader as to which waters to head to or which rocky cove is the best to land.
Fortunately expedition vessels are designed for intended and unintended conditions and are equipped to deliver the experience upon arrival, whether it is weaving through a melting ice field or creeping past vivid coral atolls.
4. Expedition cruising is only for the wealthy
Untrue - Taking a polar expedition cruise is on many a traveller’s bucket list, yet remains un-ticked off the list due to the cost of getting there especially when compared to cheaper options available.
With growing interest in this type of cruising, operators are becoming more competitive and offering much cheaper options across smaller and larger ship expedition cruises. Also expedition cruisers ages range wildly from 8 to 80 year olds and with increasing affordability, this only extends the mix of people – well and truly, you don’t have to wait for retirement to afford to go.
5. Expedition cruising is just to the North and South Poles
Untrue – whilst the very top and bottom of the planet are popular expedition cruising spots, this is not exclusive with expedition itineraries going around places like the Galapagos, or throughout the Panama on the National Geographic Sea Lion.
Or you can board the Hapag Lloyd MS Hanseatic for a 20 night cruise that starts in Papeete, and sails east towards South America, where along the way passengers visit a range of remote Pacific Islands, and then encounter Easter Island, Robinson Crueso Island and Puerto Montt.
Or you can go from the humidity and heat of the Panama region and head north and sail the route of early Viking explorers with a circumnavigation of Iceland cruise. Here you can visit the Westfjord region, where you can hike through valleys filled with wild orchids and Nordic grasses. Weather permitting, you can venture into the largest fjord system in the world to cruise among magnificent icebergs and visit the village communities where people live in accordance to ancestral traditions.
So are you ready now for an expedition cruise? Call 1300 954 661 and speak with our friendly cruise consultants to get started!
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