But in fact there are plenty of extraordinary places to visit within easy reach of the UK. Add to that the opportunity to travel on some the newest, most technologically advanced ships, enjoying a high level of comfort, and you have a list of irresistible expeditions, some of which are bound to make their way to the top of your bucket list.
1. The Bijagos Islands with Ponant
In partnership with National Geographic, Ponant have created this magical journey on board L'Austral departing 30th March 2021, sailing from the islands of Cape Verde to the Bijagos archipelago. Home to ancient traditions and unique wildlife, the little visited Bijagos islands are the jewel in Guinea-Bissau's crown, an archipelago of 88 islands that have been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. The Azores with Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
Hapag-Lloyd's new purpose-built expedition ships have a fresh Nordic style, comfortable and spacious accommodation and a whole variety of dining options. On this unusual itinerary departing Madeira on 15th April 2021, you will visit the fascinating islands of the Azores, with their abundant plant life and stunning scenery, before travelling on to northern Spain to disembark in Bilbao.
3. Scotland to Svalbard with Quark Expeditions
Travel to Aberdeen to join Quark's Ocean Adventurer on 1st May 2021 as she sets forth to visit remote Fair Isle and the rugged Faroes, before setting a course for one of the world's most rarely visited islands, Jan Mayen, with its breathtaking volcano. If you are lucky enough to land you will have enjoyed a rare privilege, before sailing on to explore the icy Svalbard archipelago.
4. The British Isles with Silversea Expeditions
On 31st May 2021, the newly refurbished Silver Wind with her 274 guests leaves London on a 14-day itinerary visiting lesser known islands and hidden gems of the British Isles, the perfect way to explore the history, wildlife and rugged beauty of our own home. This voyage is virtually sold out, so we will probably need to waitlist you to get you on board.
5. Northern Norway & Svalbard with Seabourn
Seabourn's first purpose-built expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, sails from Tromso on 27th July 2021 to explore the northernmost reaches of Norway before setting course for the Arctic. Visit Bear Island and the Svalbard archipelago in search of walrus, polar bears and more.
6. The Northern Lights with Hurtigruten
Throughout the winter's dark, from October 2021 to March 2022, Hurtigruten's Maud will sail from Dover every 14 nights on a special winter expedition cruise under the Northern Lights. See the best of Norway's coastline and take part in exciting excursions to really discover this winter wonderland. Visit fascinating fjords and tiny coastal villages to get close to the authentic heart of Norway.
7. The British Isles with Crystal Expedition Cruises
A comprehensive 14-night itinerary takes you from Greenwich in London to Leith in Edinburgh, departing 25th May 2022 for 14 nights and creating a convenient no-fly option visiting some of the most remote and beautiful regions of the British Isles. You'll be travelling on board the new Crystal Endeavor, the most spacious expedition ship in the world, combining exciting adventures ashore with stylish luxury on board.