The word ‘cruises’ often invokes images of luxury Ocean liners sailing on the high seas to exotic destinations like Hawaii, South East Asia, Caribbean Islands, etc. Luxury cruises have redefined sea travel with 5-star services and facilities featuring comfortable cabins, delicious cuisines, on-board entertainment shows, gaming, fitness centres and plenty of activities. The lure of exploring new destinations, offshore excursions and day trips plus unique cultural experiences, further enhance the appeal of cruises.
Come 2018, ‘exploratory cruises’ are going to be the new buzzword and will rightfully claim its place among the latest travel trends. The novel concept of exploratory cruises, allow a short number of people in small ships, designed to study the environmental impacts of global warming, Hydrography, Marine Ecology, Glaciology, etc; and at the same time, enjoying memorable and adventurous cruises to far-off locales, remote uninhabited islands and hinterlands of deep riverine jungles. Sounds exciting right! Check out the list of places and cruises that you can enjoy in 2018’s upcoming travel trend – Exploratory Cruises.
Theme – Wildlife, nature conservation and sustainable tourism
1. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Follow on the steps of Charles Darwin and explore his theories of evolution at the remote and secluded islands, all part of the Galápagos National Park, and the Galápagos Marine Reserve.
2. The Pantanal, Brazil
Go deep into the heart of Amazonian rainforest in the Pantanal, world’s largest wetland area and a rich, diverse ecosystem featuring native flora and fauna.
3. Kimberley, Australia
Experience the true Australian Outback spirit in Western Australia’s northernmost region of the Kimberley and look out for native Australian wildlife, from giant crocodiles to edgy wallabies.
Theme – Adventure, glaciers and edge of the planet
4. The Arctic
Be part of an incredible expedition to North Pole, track endangered polar bears, tread the vast wilderness of Norway’s Svalbard or trace the footsteps of First Nation (Inuit and Matis tribe) of Canada; the Arctic exploratory cruise is simply an adventure of a lifetime.
The remote continent is not just the home of the South Pole, it also houses spectacular wildlife, lofty mountains and miles of glaciers and isolated research centres dedicated to research on Hydrography, Glaciology, Ozone layers and many more. It’s a journey of a lifetime, one that offers unmatched exploration and adventure.
Theme – Legendary river journeys
6. The Mekong
World’s 12th largest river plays a key role in South East Asia. Mekong River flows through 6 countries – China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Embark on a river cruise in Mekong and glide past sleepy villages, rolling paddy farms, inland riverine islands to stately cities of Ho Chi Minh, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, etc.
7. The Nile
Nile is the heart and soul of North Africa and the cradle of human civilisation in the continent. Embark on a timeless Nile cruise and relive the bygone age of the Egyptian Civilisation that still manages to inspire with its historic engineering marvels from the mighty Pyramids of Giza to the majestic temples of Luxor.
8. The Amazon
Enter the world’s largest rainforest ecosystem which generates 20% of planet’s fresh oxygen and produces 20% of fresh water; is rich in diverse flora, fauna and home to over 400 native tribes. Explore the remote communities, spot rare and endangered species of plants, animals and reptiles, camp in the forest while cruising on the world’s largest river.
Theme – Cultural exchanges and fresh perspectives
Get a chance to see the freshest destination of 2018 – Cuba in a new and fresh limelight. Mingle with the locals, savour the local delicacies while enjoying cooking demonstrations. Be part of live jazz and blues shows, visit the local plantations and garner extraordinary experiences and memories of this amazing Latin country.
10. European cities and rivers
Experience European cities from a different perspective as you glide in the European rivers of Seine, Rhine and Danube. Travel by stylish cruise ships and enjoy offshore trips and tours of these beautiful European cities – Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Frankfurt, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. These amazing city cruises also come with a host of facilities like silent discos, well-stocked bars, cooking classes, cocktail mixing classes, free Wi-Fi, yoga sessions and painting classes while on the move.
2017 introduced the concept of “Staycations”, a novel idea that focuses on short city breaks in one’s own city. The trendiest travel trend of 2017, redefined city breaks and quick escapades in more relaxing and leisurely manner. Hopefully, in 2018, exploratory cruises will add a new dimension to how we travel and see the world in a new light that is much more responsible, sustainable and eco-friendly!