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Expedition Cruises

Discover ports and far flung destinations larger ships simply cannot access and enjoy exhilarating excursions in these incredible pockets the globe. Embark on an expedition cruise to the Polar regions, discover the beauty and bays along Australia's Kimberley coastline, island hop through the Galápagos, or cruise around Africa on one of 2,320 small ship expedition cruises.

Popular Expedition Cruises View all


27 Days Broome to Broome

Operator: APT

From 24,160
Save 4,230

13 or 16 Days Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires

Operator: Scenic

From 23,805
Save 5,743

11 Days Broome to Darwin

Operator: APT

From 10,399
Save 4,896

11 Days Broome to Darwin

Operator: Ponant

From 11,177
Save 552

Featured Expedition Cruise LinesFeatured Cruise Lines View all

A luxurious cruise means many things to many people but we feel that Silversea’s small ship cruises personify the true meaning of comfort. Our intimate,...more ultra-luxury ships can sail up narrow waterways into the heart of a city, or tie up right at the pier while others must anchor off shore. And for those who yearn to explore the new and unknown, Silversea’s expedition ships can transport you to the furthermost boundaries of the planet. Enjoy free-flowing premium wines and spirits, delicious gourmet cuisine, in-suite dining, full butler service for every suite and of course all gratuities. Whether you long to mingle in the Mediterranean, swim with the turtles of the Galapagos or embrace the glaciers of Alaska, there is something special about knowing that this cruising is all inclusive.
Cruises Cruises200
Known For:900+ Destinations
Fleet Size:11
Hurtigruten Group is the world’s leading adventure travel group, offering unique small-ship and land-based adventures from pole to pole – and anywhere...more in between. We take our guests to the most spectacular areas on the planet, offering a mix of pristine wilderness and visits to genuine local communities.
Cruises Cruises199
Known For:Norway Coastal Cruises
Fleet Size:15
Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers off the beaten track to discover the world's most amazing places for 30 years. Every trip is designed to truly...more experience local culture - to meet local people, try local food, take local transport and stay in local accommodation. Led by a local leader, our small group tours offer a sustainable way to travel off the beaten track, while giving back to the places and people that travellers visit.
Cruises Cruises478
Budget:Affordable & Premium

Discover Popular experiences and highlights on an Expedition Cruise

The Land of Fire and Ice

The Land of Fire and Ice

Discover the raw natural beauty of Iceland, from volcanic craters and sweeping glacial valleys to colossal thundering waterfalls.

<a href='/cruises/kimberley' class='brand-link-color'>Adventures Along the Kimberley Coast</a>

Adventures Along the Kimberley Coast

Board a Zodiac for a ride through Horizontal Falls as water thunders between the steep gorges that frame the turquoise cascade.

<a href='/tours/galapagos' class='brand-link-color'>Island Hop the Galápagos</a>

Island Hop the Galápagos

Discover an incredible ecosystem brimming with wildlife as you weave between the islands of this fascinating and scenically rich archipelago.

African Wildlife Safaris

African Wildlife Safaris

Dock in the heart of incredible destinations along the African coast and access some of the world’s most remarkable wildlife experiences, from spotting the Big Five in South Africa to the unique species of Madagascar's Nature Reserves.

<a href='/cruises/antarctica' class='brand-link-color'>Expeditions to Antarctica</a>

Expeditions to Antarctica

Immerse yourself in the icy wilderness on an expedition filled with bucket list experiences. Keep watch for wildlife on sea kayaking and Zodiac excursions, take an invigorating Polar plunge, and perhaps even camp out on the ice.

Recent Reviews What our clients are saying about their cruise expeditions around the world

Fantastic Kimberley     , QLD, Australia, Aug 2023
One of the best holidays we have ever done Expensive, yes but you get what you pay for in the end This was 6* cruising at its best. The daily and at times twice daily zodiac excursions were special and led by well informed guides all of whom had professional qualifications in a relevant field.

Food was of the highest standard an the open bar well ...read more stocked to meet all tastes. Don't worry too much about formal gear, a sports coat and a colourful dress are all that is required on the two gala nights. On the other nights, slacks and polo are fine.

We helicoptered to Mitchell Falls which again was expensive but well worth it. Forget about the Horizontal Falls boat ride. Those that went were very dissatisfied as the most exciting of the two Falls is now closed due to a boating accident. I've seen more challenging wave sets in Moreton Bay. Overall 11/10 from us and very highly recommended
Broome to Darwin with APT and PONANT   , NSW, Australia, Jul 2023
It was expensive when we went but what a wow trip. Great ship. Excellent service and food and wine. Courteous and knowledgeable staff. Loved the zodiacs and special lectures. Dining with the expedition members was great. Loved going onto the Bridge. Also loved the yoga overlooking the sea. Lots of nice chats with other travellers. And the dancing with ...read more the tour director and guides!
An Arctic cruise that ticked all the boxes.     , VIC, Australia, Jul 2023
Firstly, thank you to Georgie, who again helped us with the planning of this holiday and was always quick to answer any queries. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and weren't disappointed. We got to sail 81 degrees north and see puffins, arctic terns, walrus and polar bears in their natural habitat. The ship was brand new and at first ...read more we thought it a bit too "glitzy" but we came to like its varied spaces, lighting, décor and the many dining options. The food and service was outstanding, and our deluxe veranda suite very comfortable.

Our only gripe was the flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen. We were divided into two groups, one group had a chartered direst flight to Longyearbyen and were served a meal. We were on a much longer, regular SAS flight which flew via Tromso, requiring us to go through security and immigration again. Any food or drink required payment, including water. We arrived at the ship much later in the afternoon than the other group.
Kimberley Top End with Grand Kimberley Coast   , CA, United States, Jun 2023
This was an amazing 28 day adventure that included 10 days on an exploration ship and 17 days on discovering the region on land. Our guides on the land were Kylie and Dean, and were fantastic! They had in depth knowledge of the area and taught us about the aboriginal people and the plants and animals. Dean was an expert driver over rough dirt roads, ...read more and Kylie was a gem for taking care of all the needs of the group. I would highly recommend the trip, especially with our guides.

Explore More Your guide to Expedition Cruising

Unveiling Icy Wonders: Polar Adventures with Viking Expedition Cruises in 2024-2025

09 October, 2023

Unveiling Icy Wonders: Polar Adventures with Viking Expedition Cruises in 2024-2025

Viking, renowned for its luxury river cruises, is breaking ice with its collection of expedition cruises in 2024 and 2025. With bucket-list polar voyages to the Arctic and Antarctic, Viking’s immersive itineraries allow guests an in-depth exploration of some of the most remote and captivating...

Bringing You Closer

10 December, 2021

Bringing You Closer

Experts on the Norwegian coast, many of whom live locally, will be by your side as part of your voyage with Hurtigruten, showing you their home and sharing their stories with you.  No guidebook, website, or mobile app can replace the human connection of having one of ...

Explore The Heart of Coastal Norway

27 September, 2021

Explore The Heart of Coastal Norway

Having established the Original Coastal Route along the coast of Norway 128 years ago, Hurtigruten is integral to, and ingrained in, the Norwegian culture and way of life. Their unmatched experience in sailing these waters, makes them the local experts, and no one knows the fjords, wildlife,...

 Discover Antarctica, the Arctic & the Great Lakes in Comfort and Style with Viking

09 March, 2020

Discover Antarctica, the Arctic & the Great Lakes in Comfort and Style with Viking

Following the recent launch of Viking expeditions, you can now look forward to exploring Antarctica, the Arctic and North America’s Great Lakes on board Viking’s two new purpose-built expedition ships. Maintaining its reputation as The Thinking Person’s Cruise, Viking has developed an...

Common Questions Common Questions About Expedition Cruises

What is an expedition cruise?
An expedition cruise focuses on exploring remote and exotic locations and getting up close to the stunning scenery and wildlife of destinations less travelled. Expedition cruises are led by an expedition team made up of experts in fields such as ecology, marine biology and the environment as well as photography....read more Once the choice of hardy adventurers, expedition cruising is now serviced by many luxury cruise operators meaning you can enjoy the adventure without forgoing beautiful cabins, fine dining and a little bit of luxury.  
What is the difference between a traditional cruise and an expedition cruise?
One difference between traditional and expedition cruising is the size of the ship. Traditional cruise ships vary in size from huge to small and intimate whereas expedition ships are always smaller. This not only enables them them to reach more remote areas, but also keeps passenger numbers low which is far more...read more sustainable for exploration in those areas. Traditional cruising involves sailing from port to port all the while enjoying  fantastic eateries, lavish entertainment and an abundance activities on board as well as day excursions at each stop. Expedition cruising is more focused on one destination rather than the cruising lifestyle. Entertainment tends to be educational and a great deal of time is spent off the ship exploring and enriching the passengers understanding of the region.