Forget the bingo, theme nights and fancy frocks; Expedition Cruising is not really cruising at all. It would be better described as adventure by ship as gumboots are definitely more useful than evening frocks on these expeditions. If you’re keen on wildlife and minimizing environmental impact you’ll love these small ships that can inch closer to tiny ports, scenic wonders and off-the-beaten paths.

The daily itinerary on an expedition cruise can involve anything from rafting around icebergs, making wet landings on remote beaches or hiking through jungle. The ship may divert course to follow whales or there will be lectures on subjects such as navigation or geology. While the ashore explorations are relatively demanding and there is little special treatment for those that can’t keep up, these kind of cruises are far from being bare bones and Spartan. Onboard facilities are ample; the food is great and the company usually stimulating with film crews, photographers and field experts often onboard.