By virtue of its definition, Expedition Cruises evokes that sort of Scott of the Antarctic feeling, ice pick in hand, or Dr Livingstone thrashing through the jungles of the “Dark Continent”. There’s a deep-rooted feeling of danger and fear lurking out there somewhere that you will conquer through grit and determination.
In reality, today’s Expedition Cruises are a more modest affair, far less taxing on the constitution though still requiring a degree of fitness and stamina. Gone are the over-zealous cruise directors barking out canned jokes and orders. Replacing them are serious-minded “Expedition Teams” that are headed by “Expedition Leaders”, experts in their fields of geography, history, ornothology, zoology, biology and a lot of other “ologies”.
The work-horse of Expedition cruising is the trusty Zodiac (rubber inflatable boat or RIB) without which many an ice floe, tributary, mangrove, or jungle spot would remain unexplored. But the rewards of access are immeasurable, delivering passengers to parts of the planet that most of us would only ever read about in National Geographic. These vessels, shallow in draught, are perfect for “wet landings”. Note, some agility is required to board and disembark in wild areas.
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