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  • Writer's pictureJulie Prusak

Dare to Explore: Busting 9 Common Misconceptions About Expedition Cruises

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

Unexplored by the masses, utterly remote, and jaw-droppingly beautiful—the appeal of expedition cruises for nature and wildlife lovers is huge. But these cruises are often misunderstood, too.

If you’ve ever wondered whether an expedition cruise was really right for you, keep reading—you may find yourself ready to board a ship and start exploring sooner than you think!

Here are nine myths about expedition cruising, busted:

1. “I won’t be comfortable.”

Wet. Cold. Miserable. If you think that’s what an expedition cruise is like, think again. While the cruise ships are designed nimbly to traverse different ocean conditions, life on board is very comfortable. The ships are modern, the food is gourmet, and the service is impeccable—some staterooms even come with butlers.

2. “I’m not in shape enough.”

An expedition cruise is a lot more accessible than you might assume. While you are traveling to wild terrain, the crew is there to assist you every step of the way. You’ll get help into and out of the zodiacs, the inflatable boats that take you to land, so slips don’t happen—and that’s likely the most taxing part of your travel experience. I like to say that if you can comfortably climb a flight of stairs, you can tackle an expedition cruise.

3. “It’s dangerous.”

The highly skilled crew will not take any chances on your vacation—safety is always paramount. That applies to any nasty weather you encounter; the captain constantly monitors conditions and will reroute an itinerary when needed. And with trained naturalists on board, your animal encounters will be safe as well; they know how to get you close but not too close.

4. “I don’t have the right gear.”

On many sailings, you won’t need it—as it’s supplied for you! Most cruise lines sailing in the polar regions provide snug parkas and rubber boots so you stay cozy while exploring.

5. “I’ll be too cold.”

There’s no such thing as “too cold” with the right gear—see above!—but if you're chill-averse, there are still tons of expedition opportunities for you. Embrace indigenous cultures in Papua New Guinea, marvel at the stunning isolated shores of Australia’s Kimberley Coast, swim with marine iguanas in the Galapagos … your sun-drenched expedition options are nearly endless.

6. “I don’t have time for that.”

True, you can’t exactly escape for a long weekend on an expedition cruise, but many classic itineraries are just a week (plus flights) long. Take advantage of the “fly-sail” option for Antarctica cruises by flying to your Antarctic base and then boarding your ship rather than arriving by sea; you’ll save six days of travel that way. Galapagos itineraries are often only a week long, while Arctic expeditions tend to be a little longer—up to two weeks.

7. “I need wifi.”

I’ve sailed to the Galapagos, the Arctic, and Antarctica … and always had wifi. I told you, ships are modern! Yes, sometimes the connection was slow, but I consider that a plus. You have connectivity for when you really need it, but you’re encouraged to get out and enjoy all the natural beauty otherwise.

8. “It’s just too expensive.”

Expedition cruises are considered a luxury product—but I wouldn’t say they are any more costly than other luxury cruise experiences. If you enjoy or are ready to splurge on brands like Silversea, Regent, Seabourn, or Oceania, an expedition cruise won’t likely give you sticker shock.

9. “But won’t I get seasick?”

You may have heard of the infamous Drake Passage, the churning dark sea you sail over to reach Antarctica. It’s no picnic—but with the “fly-sail” option I mentioned in #6, you can bypass it entirely! Waters closer to the shoreline in Antarctica are much calmer, and that goes for the waters of the Galapagos (very calm) and the Arctic.

Dreaming of an icy, otherworldly journey to Antarctica, the Arctic, or the Galapagos?

Contact us today to learn more about planning your trip.

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