You can get a workout on pretty much any cruise, but to maximize your adrenaline-pumping options, it's best to find the right combination of cruise ship and destination. Active cruise travelers will usually turn up at least a handful of shore experiences to whet their appetites for adventure, but if you're cruising with a sedentary lot, that city bike tour or rainforest hike might get canceled due to lack of interest. Likewise, certain ports simply don't lend themselves to athletic adventures, while others have so many active choices, it's hard to make up your mind. Below, we have listed our picks for the 11 best adventure cruise destinations for those who are active travelers, as well as our suggestions for the cruise lines that make the best matches. Just don't forget to pack your running shoes and snorkel gear.
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Sponsored by Hurtigruten Antarctica is a place etched in the imagination, carved there by early explorers and adventurers who risked their lives to forge a path into an unknown world. Scott. Shackleton. Amundsen. Their names ring down through the years for their daring exploits on the most remote and inhospitable continent on our planet. Almost two centuries after its discovery in 1820, the White Continent remains so mysterious that NASA may well know more about Mars than the entire scientific world knows about this desolate, frozen landmass. These days, however, ordinary travelers can forego starvation, deprivation and frostbite to fulfill their exploration fantasies from the safety and comfort of a modern-day expedition vessel, such as Hurtigruten’s 970-passenger Midnatsol (in Antarctica, Midnatsol only carries 500 passengers).
Sponsored by Hurtigruten The act of visiting the polar regions has thankfully evolved. The journeys to the extremes aren't as harsh as they were for Ernest Shackleton and his ill-fated Antarctic exploration. (Thanks, comfy cruise ships.) Nor is the landscape as endlessly icy as it was for John Franklin's Arctic expedition. (We see you, warming climate.) Also, you likely will not be hailed as a hero for your intrepid presence, like pioneering double-pole reacher Roald Amundsen. Your Instagram shots will get a ton of likes, though. Because we're seeing the polar extremes more and more in our social feeds, and we're building on the paths blazed by the giants of polar exploration, we now know a lot about these regions and how they differ from one another in intriguing ways. Technology helps, too. Just recently, for instance, researchers released the first, high-resolution terrain map of nearly the entire continent of Antarctica. Still, Antarctica and the Arctic continue to confound and inspire travelers, much as they did the early explorers. Mysteries abound and adventure calls. If you're asking yourself what you should expect during a polar cruise to the Arctic or Antarctica, and which destination and approach might be best for you, we're here to break it down.
Sponsored by Hurtigruten From whale watching to penguin peeping to iceberg gazing, Hurtigruten's expedition leaders have a front row seat to some of the world's most amazing experiences. It's no surprise, then, that the Arctic and Antarctic exert a powerful attraction on these intrepid scientist-guides. They are deeply passionate about sharing these quintessential polar experiences with passengers. And, they love awakening their guests to the magic of the poles. Wonder what it would be like to have a career as an expedition leader? What may surprise you is the level of education and job experience that's somehow related to the environment they live in while on expedition cruises. We asked them to share their most meaningful on-the-job experiences cruising in the polar regions.
Sponsored by Hurtigruten For anyone considering an expedition cruise, the polar regions represent some of the most exciting journeys on the planet. The Arctic and Antarctic also involve some of the most challenging logistics a cruise line crew will ever face. From unpredictable weather at the extremes to maintaining rigorous safety standards, working on high-end expedition cruise ships demands so much more than making sure pillows are fluffed and cappuccinos are served steaming. What does it take to be a successful expedition guide for a cruise line that sails to the back of beyond? For Karin Strand, the route to such a coveted position was unusual.