Think of cruise vacations and invariably the image of island hopping between paradise islands in the Caribbean comes to mind and while it is true that there are many such cruises, there are also cruise ships that offer experiences that can be described as the opposite. Luxury liners are being replaced for smaller, more specialized boats traveling between remote and pristine destinations. Guests who choose to take these adventure cruises travel in more specialized groups exploring the unknown during the day and using the cruise ship facilities in the evening.

Antarctica

Antarctica is the most remote, most undiscovered continent in the world, making it ideal for adventure cruises. It may also be the only destination in the world where people book cruise holidays but never leave their ship. This concept may sound strange, but most Antarctica attractions can be seen from the ship; perhaps because most of the attractions in the region are of the hairy and feathery variety. Watch for humpback and emperor penguins that can often be seen in the icy waters beneath your boat. Travelers to this region usually travel to the destination on special cruise ships designed with the difficult terrain in mind. However, they also include many facilities offered by other cruise ships, such as state-of-the-art gyms, basketball courts, and virtual golf simulators. There are even evening photography courses to ensure that the photos you take on your cruise are worth sharing with your family.

Galapagos Islands

The flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands are truly like nowhere else in the world. Travel on the Celebrity Xpedition, a well-equipped cruise ship that allows you and up to 91 fellow guests to explore the islands in style. The ship is specially designed to help protect the world’s famous archipelago and has an environmentally friendly design. Unfortunately, the islands aren’t a cheap cruise destination, but the price is well worth it for that once in a lifetime experience.

Founded by Charles Darwin, these Galapagos Islands famously gave rise to many of his theories of evolution. You see giant tortoises everywhere, but make sure to stop at the Charles Darwin Research Center and visit Lonesome George; the only survivor of its kind. Blue-footed boobies are one of the more unusual birds you will see in the Galapagos and are distinguished by their bright blue feet. After a day of sightseeing, enjoy a mimosa at the Blue Finch Bar or unwind after a hard day exploring with a hot stone massage.

A cruise ship is a perfect way to get around, whether you plan to view the incredible flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands or the undiscovered terrain of Antarctica. With many ships designed to leave a minimal environmental impact, you can not only travel to your destination with a clear conscience but also enjoy a cocktail on the upper deck.

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