Many cruise lines offer expedition- or adventure-driven itineraries designed to engage guests with the destinations. You can expect more lines to join the adventure ranks, but here is a listing of many of the prominent lines already in the business and the itineraries they provide.
Fleet: Pacific Explorer, Spirit of '98, Spirit of Alaska, Spirit of Columbia, Spirit of Discovery, Spirit of Endeavour, Spirit of Glacier Bay, Spirit of Nantucket, Spirit of Oceanus, Spirit of Yorktown.
Program: Cruise West is for guests who would rather watch whales than play slot machines. The small ship line is primarily known for its Alaska itineraries, but also operates cruises in Japan, the South Pacific, Mexico, Costa Rica, Southeast Asia, British Columbia and even California's Wine Country (adventurous to the palate).
Pricing: From over $4,000 to more than $15,000.
FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES
Fleet: Balmoral, Boudicca, Black Watch, Black Prince, Braemar.
Program: Fred. Olsen covers North America, South America, Europe, Greenland, Asia, the Caribbean and West Africa, with cruises lasting less than a week to more than a month.
Pricing: Prices range from $1,000 per guest to more than $8,000.
Contact: +01473 746175; [email protected]
GALAPAGOS EXPLORER II
Fleet: MV Galapagos Explorer II
Program: Three- and four-night cruises depart from San Cristobal and Baltra airports and visit Espanola Island, Charles Darwin Station, Rabida Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santiago Island, Fernandina Island and Isabela Island.
Pricing: Rates fluctuate based on the season from $1,355 to $4,500 per person.
Contact: 800-613-6026 or Mercedes Velez with the U.S. sales department at [email protected]
Fleet: MS Finnmarken, MS Fram, MS Kong Harald, MS Lofoten, MS Lyngen, MS Midnatsol, MS Narvik, MS Nordkapp, MS Nordlys, MS Nordnorge, MS Nordstjernen, MS Polarlys, MS Richard With, MS Trollfjord, MS Vesteralen.
Program: Hurtigruten has been navigating some of the most treacherous waters in the world for more than 100 years. Rest assured, your clients will feel safe. The line offers multi-day itineraries to Antarctica, Greenland, the Arctic's Spitsbergen and Gota Canal.
Pricing: From $2,000 to more than $20,000 per person.
Fleet: Lord of the Glens, National Geographic Endeavour, National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Islander, National Geographic Polaris, National Geographic Sea Bird, National Geographic Sea Lion, Panorama, River Cloud, Sea Cloud II, Sea Voyager, Triton.
Program: Lindblad is focused on finding new ways to explore places already discovered, and does so through its expedition ships, Zodiacs, sea kayaks, onboard naturalists and underwater cameras. Destinations include Alaska, Antarctica, Arctic Norway, the British Isles, the Caribbean, Central America, Egypt, Europe and the Galapagos. One of its featured itineraries this winter is gray whale watching in Baja California. Pricing: Rates begins at around $5,000 and go to well over $10,000 per person.
ORION EXPEDITION CRUISES
Fleet: MV Orion
Program: Orion operates itineraries mainly in the South Pacific including Kimberley, Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Antarctica.
Pricing: Depends on length of voyage and stateroom category; ranges from $2,500 to over $31,000 per person.
Contact: +1300 361 012; [email protected]
Fleet: Akademik Ioffe, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Akademik Shokalskiy, Clipper Adventurer, Kapitan Khlebnikov, Lyubov Orlova, Ocean Nova, Ocean Novas Adventure Ship, Professor Multanovskiy, Yamal.
Program: Quark operates Antarctica and Arctic expeditions through a fleet of icebreaker ships. From June 28 through July 23, 2008, Quark will cover more than 4,000 miles of Russia's remote North Coast.
Pricing: The Northeast Passage sailing ranges in price from $24,700 to $35,800 per person. Pricing for other voyages starts at over $3,000 and reaches more than $35,000 per person.
VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY
Fleet: MV Discovery
Program: Voyages of Discovery goes to the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Red Sea, Galapagos, Panama Canal, South Pacific, Scandinavia, Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica and South America. The line, which will offer a total of seven expeditions in the upcoming season, just launched a new Antarctica web site (www.antarcticadiscovery.com) that displays photos, video clips and journals from passengers, onboard lecturers and staff. The web site also gave an opportunity for travel agents to win a free cruise to Antarctica. (The extended deadline for registration was October 31; if the entry cutoff is extended again, register at http:// us.voyagesofdiscovery.com/agentcruise.com.)
Pricing: Fares begin at over $2,000 and reach well over $10,000 per guest.
Program: World Discoverer, the luxury line's newly purchased ship, will hold 140 guests and is set to begin sailing in spring 2008. ?