The most unique destination experiences in expedition cruising

Travel Advice

A luxury expedition cruise is, of course, about the destination, and these cruise lines offer unique experiences that you'll often find nowhere else, many of which are truly once in a lifetime opportunities. From the unique to the adventurous, these are the best destination experiences and shore excursions on offer with our favourite expedition cruise lines.

Ponant: Overnight Nordic Skiing Polar Adventure with Local Greenlandic Guides

Ponant's polar knowledge is among the best in the industry, and this unique, immersive experience is one like no other. In the remote extremes of Greenland under the midnight sun, lucky guests can experience a 2-day, 1-night Nordic skiing polar trek to get into the heart of the Greenlandic Inuit culture. In a small group, guests will explore the ice floe with local guides and camp in the very heart of the vast wilderness.

The adventure of a lifetime, guests will get fully involved as they moor Zodiac inflatables, pitch tents and learn how to Nordic ski while transporting a pulk, a small sled used in sport or for transport, to traverse spectacular scenery from vast white expanses to snow-capped peaks. End the day with setting up camp at a local Inuit village, enjoying a meal in the communal tent and listening to traditional Inuit tunes as the guides take the bear watch, before returning the next day through the silent alpine valley and mountains back to the ship. Available on 'Inuit spring of Ammassalik' cruises on Le Commandont Charcot in April and May 2024.

Seabourn: Underwater Exploration from a Luxury Submarine

Perhaps the ultimate luxury perk of a luxury expedition ship, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the wonders of the ocean floor from one of Seabourn's high-tech submarines. Each custom-built submarine carries six guests and the highly-trained pilot and is capable of diving to depths of 984 feet, offering passengers an awe-inspiring perspective of the marine world, from sunken shipwrecks and coral reefs to unique marine wildlife normally hidden from human view.

Comfort and luxury are, of course, not forgotten, with embroidered leather upholstery, a Bluetooth stereo system, air conditioning, and champagne chiller as well as a high-tech, 4K underwater video camera system that will capture your underwater experience. Available on Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit in the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

Aqua Expeditions: Swim with Whale Sharks on a Remote Island near Komodo National Park

To truly get off the beaten path, the islands off Indonesia - in particular the secluded Moyo Island - is an off-the-tourist radar nature reserve between Bali and Komodo National Park; a true unspoiled paradise where Aqua Expeditions' excursion takes place at Saleh Bay.

You'll get a chance to swim, snorkel, paddleboard and kayak with these gentle giants as well as a wealth of other underwater life. Photographers will revel in the island's cascading waterfalls, butterflies, wild oxen and 86 bird species, from yellow-headed parrots to megapodes. Available on 30-guest Aqua Blu on Bali-Komodo National Park (or vice versa) cruises between May-September 2023 and 2024.

Quark: Greenland Helicopter Adventure

Quark's polar ship, Ultramarine, is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, and this excursion makes the most of them, allowing you to view areas unreachable with any other mode of transport. You'll step onto the colossal Greenland Ice Sheet and take in coastal glaciers and glacial lakes alongside learning about the environment and wildlife from the onboard polar expedition, as well as options for alpine kayaking, camping and mountain biking. Available on two Greenland cruises in July 2023.

AE Expeditions: Rock Climbing in Greenland

This fabulous adventure allows you to explore the granite cliffs of East Greenland, for incredible views of Scoresbysund's icy fjords among Greenland's dramatic columned cliffs. You will be escorted by some of the world's most experienced guides with at least two guides for every 4-5 climbers per group as you scale these big walls for incredible views and an unforgettable experience. Available on most AE Expeditions Greenland sailings.

Scenic: Hike a Volcano on Easter Island

Explore the archeological phenomenon that is Easter Island and its 600 volcanic stone figures, or Moai, further on this excursion. You'll hike Ma′unga Terevaka, the largest, tallest and youngest of three main extinct volcanoes that form Easter Island for spectacular 360-degree views of the area. Then, there's the chance to explore more Moai sites on an interactive photography tour, as well as scuba dive and observe a submerged Maoi statue. Available on Scenic's Pacific cruises that call in to Easter Island.

Meet the author

Claire is Marketing Manager at Mundy Adventures, having worked with the company for nearly a year and in travel for over 8 years. Her most recent adventure was a cruise on Seabourn Venture and she has also sailed with Ponant. Her favourite adventure destination is Sweden however she's also enjoyed adventures in South America, the Galapagos, Australia, Northern Europe, Southern Africa, and the Far East. When she’s not travelling she loves walking, skiing, camping and weekends away in the countryside.

More about Claire

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