Demand for expedition cruises is set to reach an all time high, as reports reveal that 28 new expedition ships will be launched by the end of 2022.
Gone are the days where cruises consistent of retired, older passengers looking for opportunities to socialize with others and enjoy their later years. Cruising has now become the preferred travel experience by passengers of all ages, including solo travellers, families and those looking for extreme explorations.
Despite many associating cruising with the summertime, winter cruises continue to be extremely popular, with certain destinations lending themselves well to the temperatures at this time of year.
Tapping into the growing demand for winter destinations, expedition cruise company Exclusive Expeditions recently released a list of the best winter expedition cruise destinations. Here are their top three:
The Indian Ocean is surrounded by Asia to the North, Africa to the West, and Australia to the East, and is home to the idyllic settings of tropical paradise islands, animals and adventure that many travelers dream of, boasting sunshine all year round and still obtaining desirable temperatures compared to the winter months in the UK. The beautiful islands of the Seychelles will offer temperatures from between 25 to 30 degrees Celsius in the month of December and combined with golden sands and warm crystal waters make for the perfect escape from the grey skies back home. The island of Mauritius has always been a favorite of many travelers, with the opportunity to explore the archipelago of 16 islands, and offering the chance to experience some of the world’s most beautiful wildlife and plants first hand at the Black River Gorges National Park. Also just off the coasts of Africa, the island of Madagascar boasts 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites to visit, national parks, picturesque landscapes for hiking, endless wildlife and forests. You can also take time to relax on their white sandy beaches and venture to the capital of Antananarivo offering shopping and dining aplenty.
The warmer temperatures of the Indian Ocean are home to several species of sharks, dolphins and porpoises and will be great for spotting from the decks of your cabin. Moving further across the ocean, the luxury islands of the Maldives are never set to disappoint. Sri Lanka also has a lot to offer with beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls as well as glorious beaches providing the perfect waves for all levels of surfing. With 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Sri Lanka is rich in history and culture.
If you are looking to escape the cold and dull setting of winter, Africa will not disappoint. The South West of Africa on the banks of the Indian Ocean are set to bring warm temperatures all year round and an array of settings to explore the African cultures and animals. The Serengeti, also home to the Serengeti National Park where you will find an abundance of some of the most magnificent animal’s people dream to see in real life including Lions, elephants, rhinos and giraffes. Kruger National Park features various Game Reserve, safari and lodges and camping facilities to fulfill your safari experience. Cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg will bring an abundance of culture and entertainment.
The Arctic Circle/Polar regions:
Whilst many wish to jet off to find some winter sun, for many people adventure can be found in the snowy terrains. With the scale of the arctic circle incomprehensible for some, combining 8 different sovereign states there will be a full itinerary for keen explorers. Follow in the footsteps in the route of many famous travelers through the northwest passage through Canada’s archipelago and locations such as North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe is always a tourist point.
Arctic cruises provide the ability to showcase the brilliance of the arctic circle. Photographic opportunities aplenty, the mountainous and icy blue waters are the perfect environment to wrap up and spot native wildlife including whales, polar bears and walrus. And of course why not designate a stop to the North Pole making sure to visit Lapland over Christmas.
Set to embark on an expedition lit by 24-hour sunshine, known as the midnight sun and the polar nights of the winter with the sun not rising, this time of year is a true sensation. The Northern Lights more commonly known as the Aurora Borealis can be spotted through August to April due to the nights having darkness in them, in the northern polar latitudes of Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Siberia. A cruise of the Arctic Circle enables a taster of all the countries and archipelagos making up this region, seeing their beauty from the water.
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