What is Expedition Cruising?
This is the name we give to cruising vacations which visit the Polar regions of Antarctica and the Arctic. Your small vessel will usually carry around 100 - 130 passengers, accompanied by a crew and Expedition Team consisting of experts in the local landscapes, wildlife and history of the islands you will be visiting.
How does it work?
Your trip will consist of a combination of cruising and land based discovery. Days at sea will be spent admiring the view, photographing the sea birds and marine wildlife that you may encounter, cruising past stunning icebergs and attending the talks that your Expedition Team will be conducting.
Shore landings will be scheduled to take place weather permitting throughout your trip. Please be aware that due to adverse weather conditions all scheduled shore visits may not be possible, but traveling in the summer months increases our chances of favourable weather.
You will travel ashore in rigid inflatable boats (RIBS) known as zodiacs; a degree of physical mobility will be required for passengers to climb in and out.
What ship will I be traveling on?
Traveling with us to explore the Polar regions, you will be on one of two ships, more details about your particular vessel can be given by our travel consultants when you enquire about your particular date.
Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your vacation package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.
Responsible tourism: Arctic Spitsbergen cruise, 11 day expedition
The Arctic is a precious environment full of pristine glaciers, mountain peaks and fantastic glacial structures. Polar bears, whales, reindeers and walruses rely on this natural landscape as their home and our tours are designed to give our travelers the experience of a lifetime, while still protecting this most unique of environments.
Our partners on this trip are Expedition Cruising specialists with over 20 years’ experience operating polar cruises. All trips to this region adhere to the guidelines set out by the Maritime Pollution Prevention (MARPOL), which governs how we dispose of waste from the ships and therefore minimise pollution. We do not dispose of sewage within 12 nautical miles of land, always carry out plastics and the ships are built to prevent, wherever possible, accidental discharges.
All our ships burn Marine Gas Oil (MGO) a clean burning fuel with a low emission factor, serve sustainable seafood and use only eco-friendly laundry chemicals and room amenities.
Every cruise will be accompanied by an Expedition Team which will contain experts in polar history, marine biology and glaciology whose task it will be to ensure that travelers are fully aware of the potential environmental impact of their visit and how to limit it. By traveling in smaller numbers, passengers have greater access to on-board experts, which increases the opportunity for educating people on the Arctic environment, so they understand how they can travel responsibly and the need for protecting its fragility.
The team will conduct briefings and presentations, and talk to customers about Arctic conservation, which is also contained in the AECO (Association of Expedition Cruise Operators) guidelines. Customers will be told not to litter, to leave everything as they find it and to respect the environment and wildlife of the Arctic.
This includes making passengers aware that polar bears are dangerous animals and should not be approached. This also applies to any wildlife in the Arctic, and advice is given on not approaching or photographing animals in any way that could cause them to alter their behaviour. Likewise you will notice that at sea our vessels never follow or ‘chase’ any marine mammals we encounter.
Traveling in a small vessel carrying no more than 199 travelers, we limit the number of people on shore at any given time.
As a company we are very aware of the negative effect carbon emissions have on our environment and as such operate a carbon neutral policy; offsetting the ground emissions of all our passengers on all our trips. We also offer all our travelers the opportunity to offset the cost of their international travel with us.
The very ethos of our style of travel is responsible; small groups on fully escorted tours, experiencing the very best of a region, a culture and a landscape, with a friendly local hand guiding the way. Our itineraries are designed to give our travelers real life experiences without compromising the part of the world we are exploring; to travel responsibly is at the heart of our commitment as a global tour operator.