Grand Expedition Cruises Travel Guide

Embark on the ultimate global adventure and follow in the wake of the great explorers on one of our Grand Expedition Cruises.

5 mins read

Day5-9 Small boat Antarctica ©Marsel-van-Oosten Justert

Be a modern-day explorer on a Grand Expedition Cruise

Ignite your sense of adventure as you set sail on a truly phenomenal globe-spanning Grand Expedition Cruise like no other. Whether you’ve always dreamed of exploring the pristine fjords of Greenland, setting foot in the lost Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, or sailing through the tropical Panama Canal, you’ll be guided by your sense of adventure and appetite for discovery as you witness jaw-dropping scenery, cities buzzing with culture and some of the planet’s most amazing wildlife. Inspired by the Arctic and Antarctic explorers of yesteryear, our Pole-to-Pole Grand Expedition Cruises last several months at a time, while others focus on a particular region. Following a flexible itinerary, you’ll enjoy a truly unique experience in sustainable style aboard our comfortable and fully equipped expeditions ships. Exclusively developed by explorers like us for explorers like you, we’ve crafted a selection of planet-spanning journeys representing the zenith of 21st century expedition cruising.

Explore iconic global destinations

A Grand Expedition Cruise is an experience that’s truly deserving of the epithet ‘once in a lifetime’. Travelling to a kaleidoscope of countries, you’ll encounter a smorgasbord of cultures, wildlife and ecosystems, from penguins huddled on the frozen tundra to monkeys swinging from trees in steamy equatorial rainforests. Unleash your inner explorer, expect the unexpected, and go on a globe-trotting adventure the likes of which you've never experienced before.

The Viking trail - wild Iceland and Greenland

Circumnavigate Iceland and find out why it’s referred to as the land of fire and ice. From brooding volcanoes and towering waterfalls to coastal towns and wind-swept islands steeped in folklore, Iceland is a place of myth and beauty. Across the Denmark Strait lies Greenland, where you’ll discover the untouched wild as you sail into the heart of the world’s largest fjord system on the east coast and experience the cultural delights and ethereal beauty of its west coast.

Navigating the fabled Northwest Passage

Those with a passion for adventure will relish an expedition into the legendary Northwest Passage. Following in the wake of famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, we’ll attempt to navigate this icy northern waterway which connects the Atlantic to the Pacific. This feat can only be accomplished during a few summer weeks, so you’re in for an unparalleled experience. Guided by our ship’s state-of-the-art navigation equipment, and the highly skilled Captain, you’ll enjoy stunning scenery and varied wildlife, and visit remote Thule and Inuit settlements.

Big country cruising – Alaska and North America

From isolated villages in the Canadian Arctic, to thriving cities such as Montréal, Boston and Miami, you’ll get to know the heart and soul of North America. Alaska, with its mighty mountains and wildlife-rich forests will take your breath away, New England will delight with its laid-back coastal towns and picture-perfect villages, and Sable Island – populated by its iconic wild horses – is truly a special place for wildlife lovers. Take the Pacific coast route and you’ll get to experience the whole coast from vibrant Vancouver to sunny San Diego. On a Grand Expedition Cruise, you’ll see the very best of this beautiful and diverse continent.

Spectacular Central and South America

Central and South America are packed with fascinating history, lively architecture-rich cities and spectacular geography. We’ll land at little-visited tropical islands and swim in the gin-clear waters beside exotic shores. From the mysterious mummies and gigantic geoglyphs of Nazca to the Inca ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu in Peru, you’ll be awestruck by the sense of ancient mystery. Then, as we cut through the calm waters of the Chilean fjords, you’ll get jaw-dropping views of the Andes mountains, and be on the lookout for whales, Magellanic Penguins and the mighty Andean Condor.

The frozen continent

Explore the vast, pristine realm of Antarctica. Arriving in the late spring you’ll see colonies of nesting penguins against a stunning backdrop of snow-topped mountains, while glaciers calve delicately hued icebergs into the nearby waters. Later in the year you’ll be treated to sights of whale pods and fledgeling penguin chicks making their way to the sea. In true adventure style, on our return voyage across the Drake Passage we’ll attempt a landing at Cape Horn in Tierra del Fuego.

Your basecamp at sea

The countries, scenery and even the seasons will change along your extended cruise, but your comfortable and sustainability focused expedition ship will remain your home throughout. Wherever you are in the world, spend time relaxing in a sauna or an outdoor hot tub, or head to the gym and book a wellness therapy in the spa. With an informal atmosphere, top restaurants serving regionally inspired local dishes, and high-quality service always, you’ll develop a strong bond to your basecamp at sea. And after a day on expedition, your stylish cabin or suite is the perfect place to rest and unwind.

A journey of scientific discovery

There’s a science focus on every Grand Expedition Cruise, and each ship features a Science Center outfitted with cutting-edge observation equipment such as powerful microscopes and underwater drones. Every onboard Expedition Team includes research scientists who’ll be there to open your eyes to the natural wonders around you, and you can contribute to important global research with our Citizen Science projects and listen in on riveting informal lectures by our top experts.