Exploring Ashore & Zodiacs
There are some experiences which words cannot adequately describe such as standing on a crest of an age old glacier, seeing a whale gracefully breach above the sea’s surface, watching a grizzly hunt for spawning salmon in the gushing Alaskan waters or stepping foot on remote tropical islands which are unscathed by the modern world – all this and much more is achievable during one of our expedition cruises.
Small, expedition vessels are the only way to access some of the more remote destinations in the world which we include in our itineraries and with these vessels we are able to forsake the wider shipping lanes for channels just a few hundred feet wide. Expedition cruises vary from a ‘usual’ cruise in that the itinerary is less defined. Although we set sail with a defined itinerary, it is the unscheduled events that often become the highlight of the journey and the places visited and the order in which this is achieved will vary depending on wildlife sightings and diversions such as following a whale that may appear at anytime.
For those who enjoy seeing and learning about the wonders of nature, be it birds, mammals, marine life, geology or botany, these cruises offer the perfect environment. In place of the customary Cruise Director and entertainment staff, our expedition cruises are managed by an Expedition Team; a well qualified team of naturalists who travel ashore with you and also provide informative talks onboard. These hand-picked experts are naturalists, historians and ecologists who will share their knowledge and enthusiasm during forays ashore and whilst onboard. They will supervise the daily programme and hold talks and briefings throughout the cruise. The expedition teams have one aim, to make your trip as enjoyable, relaxing and informative as possible. Most excursions during one of our expedition cruises employ Zodiac craft, these agile inflatable craft are ideal for landing in otherwise inaccessible places and allow us to get close to wildlife such as whales and bears.
Expedition is defined by the use of Zodiacs, versatile, inflatable boats, which provide a unique platform for observing wildlife or enjoying majestic landscapes from sea level, or a fast and safe way of going ashore in remote places. Zodiacs are safe, reliable and convenient boats that allow us to go from ship to shore, whether we land on a beach, on rocks, or on a concrete jetty. Zodiacs can negotiate shallows, river estuaries, coral reefs and ice floes. In many places which we visit during expedition cruises, they are the only way to go ashore. Zodiacs also enable the Expedition Team to offer Zodiac cruises along the voyage: near a seabird colony, next to a cliff, along a glacier front, or a beach where polar bears dwell. Zodiacs will also be used as platforms from where swimming and snorkelling can be conducted.
You will notice that some cruises are classified as ‘soft expedition’ which means that although the Zodiacs will not be used as regularly as they are on our expedition cruises, they will still be used on some days to explore coastlines and transport passengers ashore. If you have any concerns or queries pertaining to expedition cruising and what it entails, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced travel consultants.