What Are Adventure Cruises?

Adventure cruises are quickly growing in popularity. But most casual cruise travelers still don’t know what exactly they are. The name certainly conjures up some exciting images: crashing waves, towering glaciers, maybe someone really rugged climbing up a jagged mountain by the seashore. But adventure cruises can be a lot of different things, and you don’t need to be the next Ernest Shackleton to enjoy them. You just need to be willing to get a bit off the beaten path.

Let’s start by talking about what exactly an adventure cruise is. For the most part, the term refers to itineraries that are destination-focused. You book an adventure cruise to get to an amazing location rather than to relax on the deck during a day (or days) of scenic ocean cruising. Once you get to the port you’re aiming for, the goal will be to get off the boat as quickly as possible to actually interact with the destination. This includes exciting activities like kayaking, hiking, biking, and just generally exploring.

Adventure cruises also generally take place on smaller ships. Because these itineraries are dedicated to getting you up close and personal with interesting locations, the cruise lines opt for vessels that are able to get away from the main ports and head to more obscure spots. For some travelers that are used to being around thousands of other guests, this can be off putting. Others, however, love it. The crowds will be smaller, and everyone will be just as excited about adventure as you.

Another major draw of adventure cruising is that you get to do things that you simply can’t do on your average, run-of-the-mill itinerary. You’ll likely get to see wildlife and scenes of natural beauty that you would never dream of spotting on a Carnival cruise to a Caribbean beach. You’ll definitely get a unique experience on an adventure cruise.

These kinds of itineraries can be found all over the world, but there are a few destinations that are considered to be perfect. Spots like Peru, the Galapagos, New Zealand, and Canada should all be on your adventure cruise bucket list. And if you’re looking for an even more adventurous feeling, Antarctica and the Arctic can’t be missed.

Adventure cruises aren’t for everybody. If you’re looking for an itinerary focused entirely on relaxation, you may feel more at home on a more traditional cruise. But for those that want to really see and experience life, adventure cruises are the way to go.

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