Top 15 Cruise Experiences
NORTHWEST PASSAGE, Crystal Cruises
32 days, Seward, AK to New York, NY
The frozen far north is typified by the mythical Northwest Passage, the navigable route through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Last year, the 1070- passenger Crystal Serenity became the first luxury cruise liner to make the crossing. She is set to reprise her triumph for a second transit this August, complemented by new onshore Crystal Wilderness Adventures and Boutique Adventures, such as adrenaline-charged Arctic scuba diving.
ANTARCTICA, Aurora Expeditions
For active travellers, Antarctica can offer a hands-on experience like no other. Skiing, mountain climbing, sea kayaking, camping, photography, polar snorkelling and scuba diving, not to mention expert-led Zodiac expeditions, are all options for the 100 passengers aboard Aurora Expeditions’ as-yet-unnamed new ship, set to make her debut in the 2019/20 Antarctic season.
NEW ZEALAND, Ponant
17 days, Dunedin to Wellington, NZ
The subantarctic islands may only be a day’s sail from New Zealand, but their otherworldly avian populations make Ponant’s January 2018 expedition a bucket-list journey. Black-sand beaches home to seal colonies and penguins contrast with the majestic fjords of New Zealand, with naturalist-guided Zodiac excursions to bring the landscape to life.
MEDITERRANEAN, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Guests on Seven Seas Voyager northern summer Mediterranean cruises will be the first to experience the new Seven Seas Wellness programme, focusing on soul-enriching excursions – such as tai chi in the gardens of Marseille’s Pharo Palace, or swimming in hydrothermal waters in Sorrento – complemented by healthy eating options and a choice of five included 50-minute Canyon Ranch spa treatments. Keep an eye out for the programme on other Regent Seven Seas Cruises itineraries in the future.
RUSSIAN FAR EAST, Silversea Expeditions
12 days, Otaru, Japan, to Petropavlovsk (Kamchatsky), Russia
Arctic foxes, colonies of seals, bears… the Russian Far East needs to be seen to be believed. Silver Explorer will visit the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka Peninsula on three itineraries in 2018, including a July expedition cruise that offers an in-depth exploration of this remote region.
GALAPAGOS, Silversea Expeditions
7 nights, Baltra, Galapagos, Ecuador to San Cristobal, Ecuador
Follow in the wake of Charles Darwin as you encounter the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands aboard Silversea’s 100-passenger adventure cruise. Two new seven-night itineraries for 2017 will get you even closer to the natural wonders of Ecuador.
ACTIVE DANUBE, Avalon Waterways
9 days, Budapest, Hungary to Linz, Austria
The new Active Discovery on the Danube is inviting travellers to explore their destination while biking, hiking and canoeing. There is also the option to delve into an ice cave, sling arrows in an archery class, and taste wine in the Wachau Valley.
CROATIA, Katarina Line
7 nights, Split roundtrip
Flopping between the sun-soaked islands of the Croatian Adriatic is best done aboard an intimate yacht rather than a cruise liner. Katarina Line is revamping its deluxe cruise options this year, with the new 18-cabin MV Avanguard set to debut later in 2017, offering the best in new technology, comfort and the yacht lifestyle.
MIDDLE EAST, Crystal Cruises
18 days, Rome to Dubai
Crystal’s annual ‘President’s Cruise’ with CEO Edie Rodriguez is heading to the Middle East in November for the first time since 2012. Crystal Symphony will call at Cyprus, Israel, Jordan and Oman, plus traverse the Suez Canal during the journey. The highlight will be an excursion into Wadi Rum and a Bedouin feast under the stars.
NORTH POLE, Poseidon Expeditions
13 days, Murmansk, Russia roundtrip
There’s only one ship that can take you to 90° North: 50 Years of Victory. This powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker offers an expedition experience worthy of scientific exploration, topped off with a helicopter aerial tour and encounters with the wildlife of Franz Josef Land.
WINE VOYAGE, Sea Dream Yacht Club
7 days, Nice, France, to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Indulge your passion for fine wine with one of Sea Dream Yacht Club’s specialty Wine Voyages. There will be nine such journeys in 2018, including two in the Caribbean. Oenophile adventures in the Mediterranean feature truffle hunting in Italian forests and the opportunity to meet Clovis Taittinger, export director and scion of one of the last of the family-owned Champagne houses. The first Mediterrean wine voyage of 2018 departs on 12 May.
NORTHEAST PASSAGE, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
27 days, Tromso, Norway to Nome, AK
The Northeast Passage sea route stretches across the Russian Arctic from Europe to Asia, offering a fascinating itinerary for those entranced with the north. Hapag-Lloyd’s MS Bremen will navigate the passage for only the second time since 2015 in August 2018, cruising from Norway to Alaska. Hapag-Lloyd ships are the only non-Russian passenger ships allowed on the intrepid route.
AMERICAN SOUTH, American Queen Steamboat Company
9 days, New Orleans, LA, to Memphis, TN
American Duchess, introduced June 2017, is the first all-suite vessel of her kind on America’s rivers, carrying 166 guests in a stunning Southern voyage.
30 days, Copenhagen, Denmark, to Dover (London), UK
Seabourn Ovation’s first European season will include a 30-day itinerary discovering the stunning Norwegian fjords. Five days are dedicated to scenic cruising to soak up the landscape.
BIG FIVE, Zambezi Queen Collection
4-night combination on Zambezi Queen and Ichingo Chobe River Lodge
The Chobe River between Namibia and Botswana is dense with wildlife, including Africa’s coveted Big Five. See them on board the elegant 14-suite houseboat, Zambezi Queen, as well as from on land.