DISPATCHES FROM EXOTIC LANDS
If the notion of a cruise evokes crooning cabarets singers and mass-catered buffets sweating under heat lamps for you, then happily we don’t offer ‘cruises’. However, if you want to navigate deep into worlds of wonder in the company of scientists, historians, and naturalists then perhaps our carefully curated collection of wilderness adventures aboard specialist boats might appeal.
A boat is a stealthy mode of transport. Aboard one, you can glide past wildlife without raising alarm and reach pockets of wilderness where land-based vehicles wouldn’t stand a chance. We offer a small collection of luxury expedition cruises, all carefully selected for their specialist guides, technical vessels, and environmental credentials. So, when is a cruise not a cruise? Head to our ‘Expeditionary Cruising’ collection, or read on to find out…
When there are only a handful of people on board
Our logic is simple – smaller boats have shallower drafts which allow far better access to wilderness areas, and they also accommodate fewer people which creates a far more exclusive environment. Having low guest to guide ratios is fundamental in sharing the kind of passion and knowledge that all our operators possess, and this is something that’s never achievable with an immense floating behemoth like the ones you see in major city ports around the world. Aqua Expeditions, who run luxurious voyages on the Amazon River, take this one step further – their 1:1 guest to guide ratio is industry leading and makes for makes for a uniquely engaging Amazon Jungle experience.
When expeditions are led by scientists and naturalists
Almost all of our luxury expedition cruises are guided by experts in their field, be they scientists, naturalists, photographers, historians, or almost any other profession! You could study the evolution of giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands with a doctor in natural history, carve up the slopes of Antarctica with a specialist cross country skiing guide, glide down the Nile in the company of an Egyptologist, or even join a community of scientists at a research facility on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen, home to one of the world’s highest concentrations of polar bears.
When it provides a voyage through history
Heading off on a cruise doesn’t mean you have to turn your back on heritage. You could explore the Galapagos Islands on a modern, state of the art vessel, but you could equally watch the stunning scenery sail past aboard the timelessly elegant M/Y Grace, commissioned during the Great Gatsby era and later, presented as a wedding gift to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, who honeymooned on board. She certainly has a stellar history!
Likewise you could sail elegantly between Esna (Luxor) and Aswan through the beautiful Nile landscape aboard a luxury dahabeya boat such as Queeny of the Nile. A dahabeya is a traditional Egyptian sailing ship traditionally built for Egyptian celebrities and the royal family who liked to travel the Nile for recreation. Today such boats remain an idyllic mode of transport, cruising without a motor in idyllic silence. Agatha Christie eat your heart out!
When it facilitates mind blowing wildlife encounters
Think massive bull seals defending their territory in South Georgia, playful pink dolphins in the Amazon, elephant encounters so close you can hear their breathing on the Zambezi and vibrant sea gardens teeming with life in the Galapagos. A boat has a very special way of immersing you into a watery wonderland, wherever in the world that may be.
When it journeys into unchartered territory
Until now the Congo basin has remained off limits due to inaccessibility and a lack of infrastructure, but a brand new safari cruise aboard a fully remodelled 4* boat from Expeditions Ducret is due to change everything.
The first of these exciting new African wildlife safari voyages will set sail from Brazzaville in July 2024 with 12 day itineraries offering navigation deep into virgin jungle accompanied by scientists, naturalist guides and local people from indigenous communities. Disembarking, guests can head into the forest on foot to search for gorillas, observe great elephant herds in forest clearings, and seek out a whole host of incredibly rare animals, birds and insects.
This is ‘Africa’ as very few people will ever see it.
Full details are yet to be published so please contact us for further information and to register your interest
When you fly part of it
For those who fear a stormy swell, it is now possible to swerve sailing over the infamous Drake Passage and fly to Antarctica instead, dropping straight in to the serenely beautiful and hypnotic landscape without wasting a moment getting there – it takes just two hours by air vs 2 days by ship! Once in situ you’ll board a custom-built exploration vessel to explore this magical kingdom where few humans have trodden, and wildlife and nature abound. Read more about the Antarctica fly-cruise here or contact us for options around combining a cruise with Patagonia luxury travel.
We offer some of the most remarkable boating holidays on the planet.
Contact us to start planning or browse our collection of luxury expedition cruises for inspiration!