At Expedition Trips, we have a deep appreciation for travel and the connections it fosters. With nearly a quarter-century of guiding travelers to remote corners of the world, we asked our staff which itineraries in 2024 stand out as innovative, invigorating, and simply unparalleled. We're pleased to present our staff's 9 Top Picks for those seeking inspiration in the realm of expedition cruising.
- National Geographic: 12-Day Pearls of the Pacific: Exploring the Society and Tuamotu Islands
Embark on a captivating journey through the idyllic islands and atolls brimming with unparalleled biodiversity and pristine beauty, aboard the National Geographic Orion. Kick off your adventure with immersive underwater explorations in the Tuamotu Archipelago and Fakarava, where the richness in flora and fauna is so exceptional that UNESCO safeguards its breathtaking reefs and diverse habitats. Witness the striking volcanic cliffs of Makatea, marvel at Bora Bora’s iconic jagged Mount Otemanu, and let the towering green peaks of Mo'orea etch unforgettable images in your memory, all while enveloped by the aquatic Gardens of Eden that cradle these secluded tropical havens.
- Quark Expeditions: 12-Day Canada's Remote Arctic Northwest Passage
On this exciting itinerary to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands, Quark's Ultramarine follows the natural guides of sea and ice to showcase the region’s cultural, historic and geographic treasures, aiming to approach the farthest stretches of this rugged, rarely visited landscape. Ultramarine’s unprecedented range of adventure options, including activities such as helicopter flightseeing, gives you an unrivalled polar experience. You’ll be able to view the magnificent wildlife that make their home in this forbidding region: sea mammals, polar bears, muskox, and possibly even the elusive arctic wolf. From soaring cliffs to mummified forests, spectacular glacial formations to stunning alpine vistas, expansive waterways to sheltered shores, Canada’s Remote Arctic provides the definitive experience of a mysterious, magical region few ever get to see.
- Seabourn: 14-Day Lands of the Celts
This special itinerary on board one of 2 Seabourn's new expedition ships, Venture, departs England and arrives in Scotland and includes a Two-Category Veranda Suite Upgrade, as well up to $2,000USD per suite Shipboard Credit. Aboard these smaller, more intimate ships you’ll be catered to in a yacht-like atmosphere by a team who is genuine and attuned to your every need. Unwrap the gift of effortless travel to any of the seven continents, and the best part is you only have to unpack once. Plan your voyage before this Black Friday offer sails away on November 27th.
- Aqua Expeditions: 8-Day High-Water Amazon Itinerary
The Aria Amazon is a luxury river cruise ship tailor-made for immersive expeditions in the Peruvian Amazon and Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, ensuring minimal environmental impact. The ship boasts 16 suites with expansive windows, top-deck amenities like a jacuzzi and observation deck, and exquisite Peruvian cuisine crafted by renowned chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. With small-group excursions led by expert naturalist guides and a fleet of ergonomic private boats, guests are guaranteed intimate and enriching wildlife experiences. Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, the Aria Amazon features a water treatment plant and nearly smoke-free, fuel-efficient engines, setting an eco-friendly standard for Amazon River cruises.
- Ponant: 21-Day Transarctic: The Quest for 2 North Poles
In 1926, Umberto Nobile made history with the world’s first Arctic crossing via the North Pole on his self-designed Norge airship, inspiring future explorations to understand our planet better. Le Commandant Charcot, a pioneering polar exploration ship, continues this legacy with a dedicated Arctic research mission. This latest fleet addition is set to navigate an untraveled, transpolar maritime route from the Bering Strait to Svalbard, cutting through ice floes and aiming for the Magnetic and Geographic North Poles. Embark on this ice-covered journey and engage with onboard research projects alongside a team of twenty researchers and expert naturalists. This unique opportunity lets you delve into polar ecosystems, comprehend their transformations, and contribute to vital scientific research. Respectfully explore this untouched world, immerse yourself in its raw beauty, and experience the hypnotic poetry of the Arctic elements as you travel alongside the ice floe.
- National Geographic: 13-Day Vietnam and Cambodia: Along the Mekong River, Including Angkor, and Saigon
Embark on a captivating journey through the countryside, navigating the Mekong River to explore the diverse cultures of Vietnam and Cambodia. Experience an immersive panorama that spans from quaint villages to vibrant cities in these two distinct nations. Enjoy a luxurious seven-night stay aboard The Jahan, an unparalleled riverboat that provides an extraordinary level of comfort and elegance for its 48 guests, setting a new standard of luxury on the Mekong.
- Heritage Expeditions: 28-Day In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton: Ross Sea Antarctica
The Ross Sea region of Antarctica, one of the planet's most secluded areas, is steeped in human history and natural wonder. Accessible for just two short months each year due to dense pack ice, Heritage Expeditions provides a unique opportunity to explore this spectacular territory on their fully equipped, ice-strengthened ship, Heritage Adventurer. This voyage offers an unparalleled experience of nature’s grandeur, as showcased in the slow TV documentary "Go Further South". Named by Sir James Clark Ross in 1841, the Ross Sea has witnessed the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, with significant expeditions led by Scott, Shackleton, and Amundsen leaving lasting legacies. Today, the landscape remains as awe-inspiring as it was a century ago, with its dramatic mountains, bustling penguin rookeries, and recovering whale populations. The journey is enriched by stops at the Subantarctic Islands, integral parts of the Southern Ocean ecosystem, setting the stage for the unparalleled experience that is Antarctica.
- Aurora Expeditions: 12-Day Svalbard Odyssey
Discover the wonders of Svalbard in continuous daylight on board the Greg Mortimer, where thrilling polar bear sightings, echoing guillemot cries, and glimpses of beluga whales set the scene. Traverse wildflower-adorned tundra, spot arctic foxes, and explore historical explorer and hunter camps. Navigate through pack ice to encounter walrus, bearded seals, and experience the striking beauty of the fjords. Key experiences include seeking out polar bears near 80° north, witnessing a variety of Arctic wildlife such as walruses, seals, whales, and foxes, cruising past glacial fronts, and hiking through stunning landscapes, making this journey a compact yet comprehensive adventure through the Arctic's raw beauty.
- Silversea: 7-Day Galapagos Islands
Nestled nearly 600 miles away from the mainland, the Galapagos Islands stand as one of the most secluded destinations globally, boasting a rich biodiversity with an astounding 9,000 species of flora and fauna across its 19-island archipelago. Esteemed as the first UNESCO Heritage Site, the Galapagos offer a unique and mesmerizing experience unmatched anywhere else on the planet. At the heart of this extraordinary adventure, our commitment is to ensure your journey with us in the Galápagos is nothing short of unforgettable. Aboard the luxurious and intimate all-suite Silver Origin, tailored to accommodate just 100 guests and designed with the archipelago’s unique biodiversity in mind, we offer a personal and convivial atmosphere, ensuring unparalleled comfort and indulgence throughout your exploration.
We hope one of these 9 Top Picks intrigued you further. If so, reach out to us to delve deeper into these exquisite itineraries, or to explore other captivating destinations that have piqued your interest!