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Adventure Cruises

A cruise vacation is in itself an adventure, but some destinations and itineraries are more adventures than others.


Adventure or expedition cruises are unique sailings that typically visit remote destinations otherwise inaccessible. Adventure cruise ships are typically smaller than mainstream vessels, usually serving a maximum of 150-200 passengers per voyage. Some adventure cruises involve sailing aboard a paddle wheeler, tall-masted sailboat, yacht ship or riverboat. The focus is on history, native culture and close-up wildlife viewing. Historians and naturalists are typically onboard to enhance your experience with enrichment programs.

Popular destinations for adventure cruises include:
Antarctica, which involves crossing some of the planet's roughest waters; Galapagos Islands to explore unique wildlife; Alaska to take you close to its glaciers and into remote places where big cruise ships cannot go; Greenland, Lofoten and Spitsbergen for Arctic passages and fjord cruising; Amazon River or Rajang River (Borneo) cruises for wildlife and interior jungle cruises; and Nile River, Yangtze River, Mekong River or Ganges River cruises for cultural and natural experiences.

Whether the ports of call lie in icy waters or jungle rivers, passengers get the opportunity to experience stunning wildlife viewing and to become involved in isolated cultures. The level of activities varies according to destinations and the specific cruise line; light adventure sailings are often available that only involve mild or moderate efforts; while more intensive voyages may require vigorous physical activity.

Despite the fact that adventure cruises do not offer the same amenities and elaborate comforts of mainstream and luxury voyages, cabins are often comfortable, although they may be a bit smaller. The dress code is generally casual and meals often themed in accordance with the ship's itinerary, but usually still very delicious.

To take advantage of optimal weather and wildlife conditions, most adventure cruises are seasonal and change itineraries based on what the best experience will be for passengers. In order to fully explore a remote location, voyage lengths may be two weeks or longer, though some cruise lines may offer shorter options with fewer ports of call.

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