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Best Cruise Experience

Great adventure cruises

All across the globe, exploration ships — outfitted with a high capacity for fuel and food and made with shallower hulls to ply previously uncharted waters — are more in demand than ever. Read on for cruises to Bali, Iceland, Burma and beyond that prove “adventure” and “roughing it” are no longer synonymous. 
By Jane Wooldridge, Travel + Leisure


adventure cruises Australia …




adventure cruises Galapag …
Galápagos
A trip aboard the 96-passenger Celebrity Xpedition is manageable enough for a multigenerational crowd—but that doesn’t diminish the thrill of watching 800-pound tortoises lumber near you. At night, head to the bar for a pre-dinner cocktail and a talk by a naturalist about the next day’s activities. celebrity.com; seven-night cruises run year-round; from $3,200 per person. 

(Photo: Celebrity Cruises)




adventure cruises Peru
Peru
As rain forests worldwide diminish, there’s no better time to explore the world’s largest remaining tropical rain forest, along the Amazon River. Daybeds on the observation deck of Aqua Expeditions’ 16-suite Aria Amazon let you observe the landscape as towering rubber trees, palms, and fig trees slip past. aquaexpeditions.com; seven-night voyages run year-round; from $6,615 per person. 

(Photo: Aqua Expeditions)



adventure cruises Antarctica …
Antarctica
Passengers on the 256-passenger Fram can brave the Drake Passage, cruise among icebergs, land on the White Continent and pitch a tent on the ice (weather permitting). A lottery determines which guests get to spend the night in a two-person pop-up tent — not nearly as comfortable as the ship’s contemporary cabins, but undeniably memorable. hurtigruten.us; trips range from 10 to 19 days and are offered from November to February; from $6,300 per person. 



adventure cruises Bali and …
Bali and the Spice Islands
Azamara Club Cruises brings indulgence to the bush. Its 17-night Explorer’s Asia itinerary on the 694-passenger Azamara Journey mixes a caviar-and-champagne bar and a chef’s table in the steak house with visits to Bali’s Elephant Safari Park, where guests can feed and bathe Sumatran elephants. azamaraclubcruises.com; sails March 17, 2014; from $5,300 per person. 

(Photo: Azamara Club Cruises)




adventure cruises Iceland …
Iceland and Greenland
This 12-day voyage aboard Silversea’s Silver Explorer ferries guests from Iceland — home to fiery volcanoes — to the remote, frosted towns of Greenland. You’ll pass fantastical twists of ice, follow whales and hear first-person accounts on the rigors of daily life in a frozen land. silversea.com; sails July 28, 2014; from $9,750 per person.

(Photo: Richard Sidey / Silversea)



adventure cruises Greenland …
Greenland

As the climate has warmed, polar bears’ habitat and accessibility to food have waned, leaving the species endangered. Their stark beauty has made sightings a highlight of far-north cruises. Wanderbird, a trawler converted for comfort, heads to Greenland along the Labrador coast (where last summer owner-sailors Rick and Karen Miles spotted 18 of the majestic beasts).wanderbirdcruises.com; 21-day sailings leave Labrador in July and August; from $8,000 per person.

(Photo: Wanderbird Cruises)





adventure cruises Burma
Burma
The country also known as Myanmar is becoming more accessible, opening up its Buddhist temples and 1,000-year-old pagodas to Westerners — and beginning in January 2014, to passengers aboard Viking River Cruises’ Mandalay. In 15 nights on the Irrawaddy River, you’ll shop in rural markets and villages devoted to pottery. vikingcruises.com; from $5,000 per person. 

(Photo: Viking Cruises)



adventure cruises Bangkok …
From Bangkok to Rome
On Oceania Cruises’ 35-day voyage, passengers can visit tombs near ancient Luxor on a day excursion — without the need to stay ashore in (potentially) unstable Egypt. Another stop? The holy city of Jerusalemoceaniacruises.com; sails March 31, 2014; from $8,999 per person. 

(Photo: Oceania Cruises)




adventure cruises Greenland …
From Greenland to Russia
In 1906, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first to successfully complete the Northwest Passage linking Europe to Asia. Compagnie du Ponant is one of a handful of companies inaugurating sailings between west and east through this northern route. ponant.com; 2014 dates forthcoming; from $16,091 per person. 

(Photo: Compagnie du Ponant)

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