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  • Writer's pictureColette DeGrazia

Expedition Cruising

Phenomenal expeditions of a lifetime are lifelong learning journeys for the heart and mind. Your expedition is an immersive cultural experience both on and off the ship. The shipboard programs are educational and immersive. You can join daily presentations and workshops that provide perspective and understanding. The expedition staff—experts in their fields—are approachable, available on deck and at meals, and always on shore during excursions. Some voyages have a unique mix of entertainment and camaraderie that is integral to evening concerts, daily gatherings, and learning opportunities. Each day, your onboard and onshore programming is thoughtfully planned to make the most of the local environment. Hiking, wildlife viewing, historic sites, community visits, and Zodiac cruising are regular activities. You can spot wildlife from the deck, take a polar plunge, relax in the hot tub, take care of yourself at a stretch class, or unwind with a great book from the onboard library. You choose the activities that are best suited to your abilities and interests. Your personal voyage of discovery Explore and learn about new lands and people as you discover the rich culture and fascinating landscapes of the places you will sail to. Take the road less travelled and enrich your perspective during visits to communities, natural habitats, and historic sites that can otherwise be difficult to reach. Often, expeditions are designed to be flexible and allow the crew to make the best of Mother Nature’s conditions. They often make landfall at new places and are able to share new discoveries and local knowledge with you. Your voyage will be marked with thoughtful discussions, expert interpretation, and the spirit of discovery. Get off the ship, get into a Zodiac! Search for marine mammals; explore prehistoric sites; wander a dramatic coastline…or simply enjoy the freedom of being out on the water daily! The goal is to get you off the ship, as often as possible. Zodiacs free one from the dependency on ports, piers, and other man-made infrastructure. These safe, stable, versatile boats take you where the action is. Learn from passionate experts Expedition leaders are hand-picked experts that are as excited as you are to be on board. You can join them on deck searching for wildlife, share daily meals for personal in-depth conversations, participate in workshops, attend presentations, and learn on the land. All teams have a deep love for discovery, learning, exploration, and growth, and are always at your service. Make the most of every learning opportunity, aboard and ashore, in geology, botany, marine biology, archeology, photography, cultural history, and more! Experience local culture and traditions From generations-old far flung villages to fishing camps with just a few souls, embrace local music, dance, food, language, and traditions everywhere! Expedition travel isn’t just about what you see, or where you go. It’s who you meet and get to know. Wildlife encounters Daily excursions with expert guides put you where you are most likely to see wildlife such as whales and seabirds. Whether viewing on deck, in the Zodiac, or learning during a presentation series, you’ll come away with an appreciation for the fine creatures that inhabit our world. Best practices ensure the safety and integrity of the wildlife you have the privilege to view. Considerations in selecting an expedition voyage that is right for you

  1. What kind of ship is best? Large, small, plain Jane or would you like some luxurious comforts?

  2. What safety features are vital? ice-worthiness, medical staff and logistical operations are important components. Will your crew have Ice masters aboard?

  3. How active will your voyage be? Sea kayaking, submarine adventures, camping, heli-skiing, photography, close-up wildlife viewing, scuba diving are all possibilities.

  4. Do you want to view from a window or get out and explore at any opportunity? Size of ship and number of passengers is key. You can go on a voyage with as little as 12 or as many as 2500. It will make a huge difference in your experience.

  5. On board experts - not only do you have to have a marine crew that sails in these challenging environments you also want knowledgeable experts steeped in research & study and just as excited as you are when they spot a pod of killer whales hunting for seals on ice flows.

  6. What is the companies commitment to conservation and sustainability? Does the ship run on lighter fuels (MGO) or even battery power? (Yes that is possible these days) What's the footprint for waste reduction? Does the food provided come from sustainable sources? Is there a visible commitment to the communities visited by giving back to the economies and preserving their way of life? Does the line participate in building a legacy and promote conservations through good works?

All of these factors should be considered when selecting an expedition especially with the increase in popularity of these cruises. It's an investment of sorts, one that will give lasting, incredible memories back to you.

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