Have you always wanted to walk in the footsteps of explorers, treading where Charles Darwin formed his theory of evolution or where Sir Ernest Shackleton conquered an ill-fated voyage with no loss of life? Expedition cruises sound like your dream holiday.

Offering once-in-a-lifetime journeys to some of the most remote and captivating destinations on the planet, luxury expeditions with cruise lines like Silversea offer unique experiences you will remember forever.

Here are six reasons why expedition cruises are the new way to explore.

The wildlife

A polar bear rolling around in the snow during an Arctic expedition

Sailing to destinations including the Arctic, Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands and the South Pacific, expedition voyages come complete with a host of bucket-list wildlife.

The animals you may see often can’t be found anywhere else on Earth, especially those found in the Galapagos. This living museum is home to Godzilla (the marine iguana), prehistoric relics like the giant tortoise, and iconic birds like the blue-footed booby and diverse Darwin’s finches.

The icy fringes of the Arctic are patrolled by polar bears and dominated by walruses, while as well as your fellow passengers and expert guides, your constant companions of Antarctic expeditions are penguins. In the South Pacific, red-footed boobies and exotic frigatebirds dominate the skies, and beneath the waves, expansive coral reefs boast astounding biodiversity.

The cruise ships

The living area in a Grand Suite on-board the expedition cruise ship, Silver Explorer

Expedition cruise ships are no like no luxury vessel you have ever seen. Some are armed with reinforced hulls allowing them to slice through Polar ice with ease, while others have been refurbished with environmentally-friendly features that reduce their impact on your destinations. All expedition ships are small in stature, but this doesn’t mean they scrimp on luxury.

The experience on-board expedition cruise ships includes gourmet restaurants, stunning public spaces, and plush staterooms and suites. Your every whim is catered for, and there is no better place to rest your feet after a day fuelled by exploration.

The guides

A Silversea expedition cruise guide talking into a walkie-talkie in a Zodiac

Experienced local guides will accompany you on every expedition cruise. Experts in their field; historians, botanists, ornithologists, biologists and more will lead your on-shore explorations and treat you to fascinating lectures on-board your ship in the evening.

These professional guides will use their knowledge and experience to offer authentic experiences in your destination of choice. From tracking must-see species to offering photography tips and answering all of your burning questions, their expertise will make you feel like a true explorer.

The itineraries

Silversea expedition guests exploring a geothermal landscape in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand

Luxury expeditions sail to the most remote corners of the planet, and regardless of where you sail, you itinerary will be based around new, unique experiences that you can’t enjoy on everyday luxury sailings. Trek across frozen Arctic landscapes one day before chasing the Northern Lights by snowmobile the next. Hop into a Zodiac and sail right up to looming glaciers, and go in search of polar bears on expansive sea ice.

On Galapagos island expeditions, get up close to giant tortoises on Genovesa Island and dive with marine iguanas as they forage for algae beneath the waves. Experience native life among the tribes in Madang in Papua New Guinea, and see Adelie penguins raising their chicks along the Antarctic Peninsula. Luxury cruise lines like Silversea will even help you craft an expedition that is truly bespoke.

The cultures

A South Pacific tribe playing music for passengers during an expedition cruise

Expedition cruises offer cultural immersion like never before. After all, it isn’t every day you can go fishing with local villagers, take part in traditional ceremonies with ancient tribes, and be guided through your destinations by local experts. You will gain incredible insights you simply can’t pick up from documentaries or guidebooks, and feel your view of the world transform forever.

The number of guests

Silversea expedition cruise guests being served chocolates in a Zodiac

Their small size doesn’t just mean expedition cruise ships can reach the most remote ports; they are also intimate vessels offering relaxing experiences accompanied by unrivalled service. With as few as 100 passengers on-board, the guest to staff ratio is often 1:1, meaning you can enjoy personalised service from crew members who will get to know your individual tastes. Small passenger numbers also mean more intimate experiences on-shore, with no crowds disrupting the natural behaviour of the wildlife or impacting the natural landscape.

Would you like to indulge your inner Attenborough or follow in the footsteps of the world’s great explorers? Book an expedition cruise and discover the world on some of Silversea’s most stunning luxury cruise ships. Click the button below or call our Cruise Concierge team to plan your perfect exploration.

Charlotte Varela

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