Luxury Travel


Luxury Travel

five expedition cruises doing good

Expedition cruises offer guests privileged access to remote regions but some are also trying to lessen their impact on fragile places and aid scientific research...

Five Expedition Cruises Doing Good is a feature from Issue 8 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.

1. Viking Expeditions

A partnership with the University of Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute and he Cornell Lab of Ornithology (whose scientists and ornithologists are regularly onboard) means Viking furthers scientific research in the remote regions it visits. Collaborative science is an important aspect of the guest experience and fieldwork you can get involved in includes capturing photos of whales to help track individuals across the world’s oceans.

2. Aurora Expeditions

ELaunching soon, Aurora Expeditions’ new ship Sylvia Earle will operate with low energy consumption, high fuel-efficiency, a streamlined design for lower emissions and can hold  its position using GPS, steering technology, propellers, and thrusters, thereby protecting the sea floor from anchor damage. Guests can take part in citizen science programmes including seabird surveys in the Southern Ocean. Guided by ornithologists onboard, you’ll help spot birds at sea, count them ashore, and record data on species, ages, and more.

3. Hurtigruten

The Norwegian company’s pioneering vessels, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, offer a more sustainable way to explore polar regions and the ships’ Science Centres are core to the experience. Packed with state-of-the-art technology. they feature lecture spaces, a library, and areas for workshops on biology. Hurtigruten invites guests to participate in science activities including a sea leopard project in Antarctica and studying phytoplankton to understand how they respond to water temperature changes.

4. Lindblad Expeditions

A carbon neutral company, Lindblad has raised more than $19 million from travellers since 1997, using it to help protect the ocean, conserve wildlife, bolster local communities, and enable scientific research. Sail  with Lindblad and you can get involved BioBlitz surveys, where you are tasked with finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time, working with others to get snapshot of its biodiversity to inform scientists.

5. Ponant

The French cruise line’s new ship, Le Commandant-Charcot, is the first hybrid electric polar exploration vessel powered by liquified natural gas and its onboard laboratory will provide scientists with a platform for observation, research, and analysis of polar regions. Guests can also participate, helping to gather data on water, ice, and biodiversity, alongside kayaking, hiking, and ice fishing. Or you can just relax in the outdoor pool which is heated by the engine!