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Scooped by Walter Christen

Polar cruises

Polar cruises | Adventure travel |

Top destinations for cruise travels are usually the Caribbean and the Mediterranean routes, where you can relax on white beaches or be enchanted by the beauties of the great ancient empires. But there is something magical that awaits you if you choose the right route and decide to sail to the Poles. The spectacle of the Northern Lights is a truly extraordinary experience which happens in one of the most fascinating and uncontaminated places in the world, the North Pole. On the other side of the planet, Antarctica offers off-the-beaten-track sceneries and alternative adventures. Hence, a cruise to the Polar regions offers you new exciting experiences, they’re much less exploited destinations and you’ll have the opportunity to follow the paths of the greatest explorers of the past.

Walter Christen's insight:

Both polar regions are on my must cruise to list. To see the northern lights would be fantastic and the south pole would be a great adventure.

Living in Florida, I am unaccustomed to very cold weather but I still want to go.  Guess I will have to look online for thermal underwear and polar coats. 

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Five alternative cruises for those who've done it all

Five alternative cruises for those who've done it all | Adventure travel |

Alternative cruises: what's available for the cruiser who's done the usual Caribbean & Mediterranean cruises? The Travelling Boomer looks at 5 alternatives

In my last post, I surveyed the cruise itineraries that are the biggest favourites with North American cruisers. But what about some alternative cruises for those who’ve already been to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean? One of the dangers of cruising is that after you’ve done a few cruises, it’s hard not to retrace your steps. So let’s go looking for something different.
Happily, there’s no shortage of alternative cruises in the wide world of cruising. Even the major cruise lines now ply almost every part of every ocean. There are cruises that choose one region to explore, and others that cover thousands of nautical miles to show you an entire part of the world — or even the whole world.

Walter Christen's insight:

I am far from having done it all but at least I have one of these five alternative cruises under my belt.  I also am in the planning stage for a second one.

Canada and New England - although I do want to do a cruise here, it is not very high on my priority list as I lived in the north east for many years.

Hawaii - This is a cruise I am in the planning stage for my 30th anniversary.  As i do not think 5 days at sea to get to the islands is ideal for us, it looks like flying to Hawaii and taking a 7 day Norwegian cruise will fit the bill.

South America - I would like to take one of the cruises that take you around the horn.  Sounds like a great trip to see a part of world with picturesque landscapes. Would also be a great start for one of my desires which it to go to Antarctica. 

Australia and New Zealand - Definitely very high on my bucket list.  Will have to dedicate plenty of time in the planning to do this one right. I can also see this being a multiple week trip.

The World - I am not sure if I could take the amount of time to do a world cruise although I am willing to try. Th cost to do it right would also be a limiting factor.


A couple of other places I would like to cruise to in the near future include Iceland and the Baltic States. Iceland for the photographic possibilities and the Baltic States for the immersion into the history of the region. 



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6 of the Best Cruise Lines for Eco Travel - TravelPulse (blog)

6 of the Best Cruise Lines for Eco Travel - TravelPulse (blog) | Adventure travel |
These small-ship, adventure-oriented lines conduct eco-friendly and sustainable cruises, seeking to truly 'leave no trace.'
Walter Christen's insight:

Is Eco travel in your plans?  Here are 6 cruise lines.

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Voyage on the North Sea with Hurtigruten

Voyage on the North Sea with Hurtigruten | Adventure travel |

The allure of maritime exploration beckons to us all at one time or another with the promise of a seafaring voyage to lands afar, perhaps the same charted courses followed by the Vikings and other legendary explorers from the past. I have long dreamed of sailing upon the cresting waves of the North Sea along a rugged Norwegian coast; a majestic setting where spectacular fjords carve their way between the mountains and the only sounds breaking this idyllic silence is the crashing of the waves, thundering waterfalls heard on high, and perhaps a cacophony of seagulls flying alongside my vessel. This is the stuff of dreams, the voyage of a lifetime.

Tracing its roots back 1893 when a fledgling shipping line began operations along the hurtigruten or "swift route," the Hurtigruten line sailed along the western coast of Norway from Trondheim to Hammerfest, far above the Arctic circle. More than a century later, Hurtigruten expeditions venture beyond the Norwegian coast—Spitsbergen, Svalbard; Iceland; Greenland and even to ends of the earth—Antarctica!

Sail upon a Norwegian vessel designed not only for maritime trade and transport but for leisure travel as well. While the ship's operations get underway each day, you and your fellow travelers are off on your next adventure to explore and discover the rich heritage and traditions of each new port of call. And when you arrive, be sure to take a good long look at your surrounds. What sets this port apart from the last? How has the landscape changed? What indelible impressions from the past will you discover? "Connect with your inner explorer" is Hurtigruten's hallmark and it's easy to understand why!

Walter Christen's insight:

A cruise to ports in Norway aboard Hurtigruten is on my bucket list.  The picturesque villages and cities, and the stunning landscapes are some of the reasons I want to go to this region. And depending upon the time of year, being able to see the northern lights would be perfect.

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Cruise giant Carnival Corp. wins approval for Cuba sailings

Cruise giant Carnival Corp. wins approval for Cuba sailings | Adventure travel |

It's official: Cruise giant Carnival Corp. (CCL) will launch its first voyages from the USA to Cuba in May.

The parent company of Carnival, Princess and eight other cruise brands on Monday said the Cuban government had approved its previously announced plans to begin sailings to the island nation out of Miami.

The cruises, which already are on sale, will be operated bi-weekly by the company's new social impact-focused Fathom brand, which will debut in April with volunteer vacations to the Dominican Republic. The trips will take place on Fathom's 704-passenger Adonia, a former P&O Cruises vessel.

Walter Christen's insight:

Cuba has been on my cruise bucket list for some time. Now at least it is an attainable goal. I want to explore the country, meet the people and yes, see the old american automobiles.

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Star Ships: New sciences cruises offer pristine cosmic views

Star Ships: New sciences cruises offer pristine cosmic views | Adventure travel |

A new line of science-themed cruises lets passengers stargaze from the open ocean, a unique location far away from city lights.

Princes Cruises and Discovery Channel have created a line of science-themed cruises called "Discovery at Sea." The excursions feature activities like diving with sharks, spending time with exotic wildlife, looking at auroras and stargazing.

Viewing the night sky from a location far away from city lights can be a magical experience, but it usually requires traveling to very remote locations (which, for some people, is part of the fun). But stargazing on a cruise ship is unique, because the vessel can travel to locations completely devoid of light pollution, and yet viewers are never more than a few steps away from the ship's accommodations

Walter Christen's insight:

I have always enjoyed looking up on a cruise ship to see the stars. If you can get to a upper level on the ship where there are no lights above you, the views are amazing. Princess Cruises has the right idea to offer guided tours of the heavens.

Although I do not think a telescope would work (the ship is moving), a pair of binoculars could come in handy.

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Silver Cloud moves to Silversea's expedition fleet

Silver Cloud moves to Silversea's expedition fleet | Adventure travel |

Silversea Cruises has announced the line will move Silver Cloud to its luxury expedition fleet in November 2017. 

Destined mostly for polar waters, the ship that launched the cruise line will be converted into an ice-class ship during an extensive refurbishment scheduled to start in August 2017.

Walter Christen's insight:

Silversea Cruises will upgrade the Silver Cloud to Ice class so that it can be used for Arctic cruises. Although the ship can hold 260 passengers, it will be limited to 200 when doing arctic cruises.

Silversea currently has three all-suite expedition ships, Silver Explorer, Silver Discoverer, and Silver Galapagos. The Silver Cloud will be a welcome addition to these luxury expedition cruises.


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Cruising to adventure in the land of ice and polar bears

Cruising to adventure in the land of ice and polar bears | Adventure travel |

Standing at the bow of one of expedition cruising's hardiest ships as it crunches northward through a carpet of ice, Cecilia Donnelly is almost giggly with excitement. And who can blame her.

The steel-reinforced Fram has just arrived at the edge of the Arctic ice cap, and for the moment, at least, the 67-year-old retiree from Riverside, Calif., can lay claim to being one of the northernmost travelers in the world.

"This is fantastic!" Donnelly gushes as the 318-passenger Fram smashes into a car-length ice chunk, sending a shudder through the vessel. "In all my dreams, I never thought I would make it to the edge of the North Pole."

Fantastic, indeed. And an increasingly sought after experience. A growing number of adventurous travelers are signing up for expedition cruises to the realm of ice and polar bears at the top of the planet, prompting expedition cruise operators to offer an ever larger array of Arctic itineraries.

Walter Christen's insight:

A cruise to the arctic region is on my bucket list.  This article about Hurtigruten's 7 day circumnavigation of Spitsbergen aboard the MS Fram really piqued my interest. 

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Seven unmissable dive sites in the Cayman Islands - Lonely Planet

Seven unmissable dive sites in the Cayman Islands - Lonely Planet | Adventure travel |

Locals will tell you the Cayman Islands offer the best scuba diving in the Caribbean. Given the triumvirate of islands boasts a unique dive site for every single day of the year – and this isn’t just marketing speak – it’s easy to believe them.

Already a go-to destination for stingray spotting and dramatic drop-offs, this British Overseas Territory also offers some superb wreck dives within a pirate’s ahoy from the shore. The Caymans’ vibrant reefs are also something of a success story. With the Caribbean thought to have lost a staggering 80 percent of its coral in recent years, largely due to the effects of global warming, a 2013 study found Cayman coral health had bounced back to levels not seen since 1999.

While every diver has their favourites, we’ve scoped out seven of our own top spots to strap on a tank and dive in.

Walter Christen's insight:

If you are into scuba and/or snorkel this list from Lonely Planet gives you a real good idea of the places you may want to visit in the Cayman Islands.

I have been to the Cayman Islands quite a few times and the destination is one of my favorites in the Caribbean. I love to go snorkeling and bring my own gear (fins/mask/snorkel) with me.

I was last in Grand Cayman this past January aboard the Celebrity Cruise Lines Constellation.  I did a snorkel tour there aboard a catamaran and visited the USS Kittiwake which was placed on the north side of Seven Mile Beach.  The captain of the catamaran tour was a free diver and took my GoPro down with him into the center of the ship.  Fantastic video and memories I will not forget. 

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Get ready to sail with the Grand Expeditions of Silversea

Get ready to sail with the Grand Expeditions of Silversea | Adventure travel |

Luxury expedition cruise line Silversea is thrilled to announce the launch of Grand Expeditions. Sailing from October 2015, Silversea has created five epic, once-in-a-lifetime combined voyages, each offering guests a unique experience from sea, to land, to sea again.

Ranging from 18 to 34 days, the Grand Expeditions will begin with an expedition cruise in the Galapágos Islands, before connecting to a land adventure, and finally ending with a further expedition cruise exploring the coast of Central America, South America, or Antarctica.

The all-inclusive Grand Expeditions package is orchestrated by Silversea and incorporates cruise fares for Silver Galapagos and Silver Explorer at 20% off the individual published rate. Also featured in the package are hotel accommodation, land tours, return air travelbetween Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, intra-tour air travel and ground transportation, as well as charter flights to Ushuaia, if applicable.

Walter Christen's insight:

Silverseas Grand Expeditions sailings are a very interesting concept, combining two different cruising itineraries with a overland adventure tour in the middle.  Using both their Silver Galapagos and Silver Explorer ships, these 5 different expeditions look to be exciting adventures appealing to both adventure and luxury cruisers.

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How to maximize your animal viewing on an Alaskan cruise

How to maximize your animal viewing on an Alaskan cruise | Adventure travel |

Even vacations have goals: On a Caribbean cruise, you want to see beaches. On a European cruise, you want to see museums and historic sites.

Those are easy goals to achieve. But many travelers booking their first Alaskan cruise want to see wildlife, and they wonder how hard it is to ensure they will. After all, beaches, museums and ruins stay put, but whales and bears tend to move around.

So how hard is it? According to cruise experts, it isn’t hard at all.

Walter Christen's insight:

I can attest to the fact that you would be hard pressed to not see wildlife on an Alaska cruise.

I took our family on an Alaska Cruise on Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas a few years back.  When in Juneau, I did a photography tour that included whale watching.  Seals, Whales, Eagles, and one bear were all seen on the tour.  The tour operator was very knowledgeable about where we would see the most and also very helpful in giving hints and tricks to capture the moments with your camera.

Another memorable moment was when we had completed our ports of call and were heading back to Vancouver.  While eating dinner, a pod of whales were very close to the side of the ship. What a way to end a fantastic journey.

Alaska was one of the most beautiful places I have been.  The scenery and wildlife were amazing.  This is one destination I do plan on doing again, although I think next time I will extend the trip to also go to Denali.

See what the Cruiseable team has for travel guides in Alaska ports.

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Antarctica Cruise | Travel to the Southern White Continent

Antarctica Cruise | Travel to the Southern White Continent | Adventure travel |
Explore the White Continent with Hurtigruten and MS Fram. Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.
Walter Christen's insight:

Hurtigruten cruises to Antarctica.  Possibly the greatest adventure. 

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Adventures by Disney Announces Additional 2016 River Cruise Sailings - Travel Agent

Adventures by Disney Announces Additional 2016 River Cruise Sailings - Travel Agent | Adventure travel |

Looking forward to Adventures by Disney? You now have more options to enjoy this river cruise option now that new sailings have been added to the 2016 itinerary.

The cruise itineraries will take place in the months of July and August in 2016. Specific dates:

  • July 7-14
  • July 14-21
  • July 21-28
  • July 28 – August 4
  • August 4-11
Kirshan Murphy's insight:

"Travelers will visit eight destinations across four countries including Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Guests will be escorted by Disney Adventure Guides to tour scenes from the movie “The Sound of Music” in Salzburg, explore Devin Castle in Bratislava, and take a traditional Austrian folk dancing lesson in Melk."

To learn more, visit the link above and also

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Sailing soon from the U.S. to Cuba: ships from Norwegian and Royal Caribbean

Sailing soon from the U.S. to Cuba: ships from Norwegian and Royal Caribbean | Adventure travel |

It’s full steam ahead to Cuba for two of the world’s major cruise companies.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Cruises, both Miami-based, signed agreements Wednesday with the Cuban government just minutes apart to take passenger ships to the island nation.

All three of Norwegian’s lines — Norwegian Cruise Line, premium line Oceania Cruises and luxury line Regent Seven Seas — and two Royal Caribbean brands — Royal Caribbean International and high-end line Azamara Club Cruises — will sail from the U.S. to Cuba in the near future, the companies said.

Previously, the only U.S.-to-Cuba sailings stopped only in the island nation, aboard Carnival Corp.’s Fathom brand.
Walter Christen's insight:

This is great news for people who want to take a cruise to Cuba. It is on my bucket list for the culture and people of this island nation.  The trips will be people-to-people exchanges, one of the 12 categories of travel under which Americans can visit Cuba.



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The best destinations for an adventure cruise

The best destinations for an adventure cruise | Adventure travel |

Looking for a more adventurous cruise experience? AOL’s UK website has some suggestions for livening up your next sailing.
“While a cruise might not be the first thing that springs to mind when planning to go off the beaten track, you'll certainly venture to places you never imagined and many that can only be reached by sea,” writes Roshina Jowaheer.






Walter Christen's insight:

Two of the three suggestions are actually on my bucket list. My order of preference (yours may be different) would be:




Check out the Cruiseable Guides for these locations.


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Take a Hurtigruten cruise in Norway

Take a Hurtigruten cruise in Norway | Adventure travel |

You may never have heard of Florø, Stamsund or Øksfjord. But if you visit them, you'll be very glad you did. They are just three of the 34 ports on the historic and visually stunning Hurtigruten coastal voyage.

A journey with Hurtigruten is unlike any cruise. The ships – they are an intriguing amalgam of cruise liner, ferry and cargo boat – sail up and down the Norwegian coast every day, just as they have done for more than 120 years.

They carry vital goods to isolated hamlets, pick up freshly caught fish and take locals to visit relatives. But a fair proportion of those on board will be travellers eager to admire the breathtaking seascapes on what is arguably the world’s most beautiful voyage.

The ships are nearly always close to the coast, sailing between islands and into slender fjords to hidden villages. It means passengers enjoy incredible vistas, especially in summer when the days barely pause for night. Spring and autumn are also great times to experience this spectacular journey when fares are at their lowest.

Walter Christen's insight:

Cruising in Norway is on my must do cruise list. The scenic beauty of the region and the people and culture are fascinating and as an amateur photographer, the photographic possibilities are endless.

Hurtigruten Cruises is the premiere luxury adventure cruise line and the cruise line I will pick when I plan this cruise.

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Adventures aboard the Silver Galapagos

Adventures aboard the Silver Galapagos | Adventure travel |

At first glance, the Galapagos Islands look like scrubby, desolate bumps of land in the middle of the ocean.  But when you actually set foot on the beach, you immediately see an amazing abundance of wildlife.

You’ll see birds called boobies with red feet and blue beaks, napping sea lions, giant tortoises, iguanas and, if you’re lucky, Galapagos penguins. There are also magnificent frigate birds with chests that puff up like red balloons, sea turtles that pop their heads out of the water to look at passing kayakers, finches, bright red crabs, herons and even owls.

Many of these species are found only here in the Galapagos, located in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles west of Ecuador.  And what’s fascinating and almost disconcerting is that the birds and animals look directly into your eyes and don’t fly or scurry off.  They have no natural predators and are therefore fearless.

Walter Christen's insight:

I imagine that the Galapagos Islands are on many adventure travelers bucket list. Silverseas 100 guest Silver Galapagos would be a great way to check this off the list.

I am an avid amateur photographer and would love the oppurtunity to capture the wildlife with my cameras.

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Crystal Cruises to return to legendary Northwest Passage in 2017

Crystal Cruises to return to legendary Northwest Passage in 2017 | Adventure travel |

Continuing its trend of groundbreaking news, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line will return to the famed Northwest Passage in August 2017. Beginning August 15, 2017, Crystal Cruises’ award-winning ocean ship, Crystal Serenity, will sail a 32-day expedition-style voyage traversing the Arctic Ocean from Anchorage/Seward, Alaska to New York City via the legendary route (500 miles north of the Arctic Circle), first completed successfully by Roald Amundsen more than 100 years ago. The announcement comes shortly after the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line’s plans to reposition Crystal Serenity’s 2017 voyages during the spring and summer to Alaska and coastal itineraries.

The booking window opens on March 7 with all-inclusive “Book Now” fares starting at $21,855 per person, double occupancy, if booked by April 29, 2016.

“We are thrilled to offer intrepid luxury travelers a second opportunity to explore this historical sea passage,” said Crystal’s CEO and President Edie Rodriguez. “Given the tremendous response to our inaugural Northwest Passage sailing in 2016, it’s clear that discerning travelers continue to value rare and memorable experiences as much as they prize unmatched luxury.”

Walter Christen's insight:

Crystal Cruises expedition cruise through the Northwest Passage is a adventure I would love to do.  Imagine cruising on the luxury cruise ship Cystal Serenity, to a place that most people have not been to.

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Norway coast cruise offers a lot to do

Norway coast cruise offers a lot to do | Adventure travel |

The dining room doors swing open and passengers swarm to the Arctic Buffet, an elegant send-off for those leaving the ship next morning. On offer is the bounty of the north, from reindeer in cream sauce to fresh Greenland halibut, and tables of desserts from cheesecake to cloudberries and cream.

I’m set to dig in when the public-address system interrupts the meal. The captain, we’re told, has spotted the northern lights. After five cloudy nights on our winter voyage, the celebrated aurora borealis that lured passengers to Norway in the dead of winter has finally made an appearance.

What to do? Feast on a gourmet spread or partake in a celestial wonder?

I take a bite of smoked sea trout, and make my choice. Dinner can wait. I head to the windswept deck.

Walter Christen's insight:

It is one of my dreams to see and photograph the northern lights. Preferably on a cruise ship. A cruise to Norway aboard Hurtigruten is on my list of cruises to plan. The shore excursions sound like they would be fun and educational and varied enough for people of differing physical abilities.

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New England's best fall foliage cruise deals

New England's best fall foliage cruise deals | Adventure travel |

Mother Nature will do one of her best shows in late September and early October, with cruise ships providing views of coastal New England and Canada during the colorful fall foliage display. You'll visit prime leaf-peeping destinations such as Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine and the narrow channels of Quebec's St. Lawrence Seaway, where you'll see colorful leaves on both sides.

Walter Christen's insight:

Living in Florida, but originally from the New York, I sometimes do miss the Fall and the changing colors of the leaves on the trees. These cruises would be wonderful to experience this time of year and some really nice ports of call.

Cruise ships mentioned included

Crystal Cruises: Crystal Symphony

Seabourn Cruise Line: Seabourn Quest

Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Gem,

Holland America Line: Veendam and Maasdam

Princess Cruises: Regal Princess,

Oceania Cruises: Regatta

Cunard Line: Queen Mary 2,

Royal Caribbean: Brilliance of the Seas

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Survey: Few Americans booking new Cuba cruises - USA TODAY

Survey: Few Americans booking new Cuba cruises - USA TODAY | Adventure travel |

The thaw in relations between the USA and Cuba has set off a race among cruise companies to start up sailings between the countries. But so far, few Americans are booking the trips, according to a survey conducted for USA TODAY by one of North America's largest travel sellers.

The survey of 1,034 travel agents who book cruises by Travel Leaders Group found that just 2.9% have taken a booking for one of the recently announced Cuba voyages.

Still, nearly 42% of travel agents queried said they've had a customer express interest in the trips.

Walter Christen's insight:

When I first started hearing about all the cruise lines starting up the cruises to Cuba, I was very excited. I for one want to visit this country and see the historic sites.

For America travelers though I think it will be a while before it becomes a mainstream destination in the Caribbean. There are still many restrictions with the people to people exchanges allowed and there is no "on your own touring" allowed.

I would imaging at some point Cuba will become one destination for a Caribbean cruise that visits other ports of call as well. 

Carnival Cruise line will be sailing to Cuba, in the near future, with their new Fathom brand. Norwegian Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises are also looking at providing cruises to Cuba.

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Silversea Arctic Tips - 9 questions you should ask before exploring the Arctic on Silver Explorer - Tips For Travellers

Silversea Arctic Tips - 9 questions you should ask before exploring the Arctic on Silver Explorer - Tips For Travellers | Adventure travel |

The biggest regret I have about my trip on board Silversea’s Silver Explorer to the Arctic was that I did not have it at the top of my bucket list years ago. Over the course of ten days I discovered that I had missed out on an incredible adventure, and experience, that could have thrilled me ages ago. While indulging in the pampering, good food and service on board, each day was a revelation about the majesty, beauty and fascination of nature in this isolated part of the world. I saw, heard and felt vast glaciers calve off huge chunks of ice. Chuckled as perky Atlantic Puffins peered back as we explored their remote nesting spot and felt my heart lift as lumbering polar bears sniffed at us before going about their business of seeking out food. This is an incredible trip, and one that I want to help anyone thinking about doing it to get the most out of. This is the aim of the following nine questions I believe travellers should ask with my answers and tips on heading to the Arctic.

Walter Christen's insight:

A Truly excellent article about what to expect on a cruise on Silversea's Sliver Explorer to the Arctic. Gary Bembridge gives a fantastic account of his cruise and information on what to expect, what you will see and what to take along with you.

A cruise to the Arctic circle is one of my goals. This article has me pushing up the priority on my list.

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Are you brave enough? 10 cruises for adventure

Are you brave enough? 10 cruises for adventure | Adventure travel |

Some adventure travel types may scoff at the idea of getting on a cruise ship, thinking of it as being too conventional. They should get over that. There are places in the world that are best seen and experienced on water, including little-visited emerging destinations. Check out our picks for the 10 best adventure cruises.

Walter Christen's insight:

For the dedicated adventure traveler, this list would be a good start.  Out of the 10 on this list I have been to two of them.  Alaska on Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas and Hawaii although that was not via a cruise ship.  A few of these are on by bucket list.

Here is the list

Antarctica and the South Shetland Islands

The Galapagos


The Arctic

The Peruvian Amazon

Australia's Kimberley

Greenland and the Northwest Passage



The Marquesas

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Hurtigruten adds new expedition ship – MS Norway Explorer

Hurtigruten adds new expedition ship – MS Norway Explorer | Adventure travel |

Hurtigruten will be adding one more ship to its current fleet of 13 with the purchase of a new expedition ship that will temporarily be named MS Norway Explorer.

“The new ship’s maneuverability and optimal size will bring Hurtigruten’s guests even closer to nature,” says CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “We invest in our fleet to ensure that Hurtigruten remains a world leader in sustainable explorer travels along the Norwegian coast and polar destinations as well as enrich our guests’ unique experiences by expanding our service at destinations such as Greenland, Svalbard and Antarctica.”

The ship was built in Portugal in 2009 at the Viana do Castelo shipyard and is now making its way to Scandinavia. The ship will undergo a total reconstruction including adapting for polar waters; upgrading the cabins, suites and public spaces for the 320 passengers; and adjusting the power plants and emissions so as to meet Hurtigruten’s high standards, the ship will then join the fleet along the Norwegian Coastal Voyage route. The new ship will replace the Midnatsol, which will join the MS Fram in Antarctica for the 2016/17 season.

Walter Christen's insight:

Adventure Expedition Cruise Line Hurtigruten is adding a new ship to their fleet and will be sailing the Norwegian coast after a complete overhaul and upgrade. The beautiful landscapes, ports of call rich in culture and history are only a few of the reasons to consider Hurtigruten.  Don't forget about the northern lights.

See what the Cruiseable Team think about Hurtigruten:

  • Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Cruises cover more than 1,100 miles between Bergen and Kirkenes.
  • Hurtigruten offers shore excursions ranging from coastal city tours to snowmobiling across the Tundra, viewing the Northern Lights or getting up close to Arctic birds on birding expeditions.
  • Ships visit 34 ports of call along the Norwegian coast, with some calls just 30 minutes and others as long as six hours.
  • Every Norwegian Coastal Cruise crosses the Arctic Circle.

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Alaskan cruise excursions: From glaciers to dog-sledding -

The entire scenic trip seemed like an epic film rolled out on grand scale on this 1,945-nautical mile trip up and down Alaska's Inside Passage. The 82,000-ton Noordam ship, with its 2,000 guests and 800 crew, may have looked to the humpback whales and orcas like their prehistoric parent as it cruised grandly northward from Vancouver, British Columbia. At 6:30 am on the first morning at sea, as I lounged on my perfectly wonderful veranda, a humpback sounded with a wave of his gigantic tail. I was sure that Holland America had staged it, on cue.

We traveled north by northwest and the natural setting of mountain ranges, sea and islands were draped in layers and tones of dark grey, silver grey and black by the mist and soft cloud cover. It was a day for taking in the vista but also to explore the ship: 11 decks high, two swimming pools, four hot tubs, 14 passenger elevators, 1 Promenade deck for leisurely walks, a Culinary Arts Center, The Destinations Cafe with computer stations (need better and faster connections), library and game rooms, clothing and jewelry shops, casinos, entertainment venues, the ever busy Greenhouse Spa with its myriad body and face treatments (I indulged in the hot stone massage).  

JD Lasica's insight:

Alaska is a must see cruise destination. This article covers Juneau, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Glacier Point Wilderness Safari in Haines during the writer's sailing on Holland America's Noordam. 

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