Expedition cruises and adventure cruises are ideal for visiting off-the-beaten-track locations and encountering the rarest of wildlife. With many specialist ships making waves and new ships emerging, the expedition club is becoming more accessible and more luxurious. Reaching the far corners of the planet other cruise ships simply cannot go, expedition itineraries include the Galapagos, Arctic and Antarctic, Falklands and South Pacific islands.
Expedition cruises may fill you with thoughts of windbreakers, polar bears and thermals, but with some of the more luxurious cruise lines leading the way for exploration, the occasional cocktail dress, some high heels and a good glass of wine can also be part of the experience, if you choose. You can visit some of the world's most remote and beautiful locations and spot wildlife that very few will ever have the luxury of seeing, all while enjoying the comfort of your chosen cruise ship.
Expedition cruises can take you to some of the most stunning locations on the planet. If remote locations and warmer climates are your thing, then you will enjoy a Celebrity Flora or Xpedition Galapagos cruise, seeing how some of the oldest species known to man influenced Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
If visiting polar ice caps and seeing the far ends of the world is more your style, then why not take a Hurtigruten Antarctica cruise? MS Fram is a ship designed specifically with the Arctic Circle and Antarctica in mind.
If you fancy visiting these amazing locations, but enjoying 6-star luxury is important to you, then the fantastic array of cruises onboard Silver Explorer might be to your liking. Silversea are proving to be popular within the world of adventure cruises, as they are committed to delivering a truly enriching experience, with emphasis on the destinations.
These fantastic ships are all designed with the locations they are visiting in mind. From ice-breaker hulls to take on the seas surrounding the polar ice caps and remote parts of Alaska and Stavanger, to the smaller shallow ships designed to sail around the Galapagos Islands and similar locations with minimal impact to the environment, the ships ensure that your journey is as smooth and as sustainable as possible. For those heading on an Antarctica cruise, read our pick of the top Antarctica cruise ships.
Life onboard expedition cruises is a little different to that of a typical cruise holiday. Instead of theatre productions and comedy nights, the days are filled with lecturers and expert talks on your itinerary highlights, including geologists, nature specialists and scientists to talk you through the wonders of the world.
There will be less need for cocktail dresses and black tie, but you will still enjoy wonderful and often locally influenced fare in the ships restaurant. There will be cocktails and fine wines in the piano bar, especially onboard Silver Explorer, and you will be surrounded by like-minded people, looking for adventure.