From a delightful houseboat ride along South India’s backwaters to immersive experiences in the Amazonian rainforests, our experts have rounded up five of our most outstanding cruises.
Author: Jemima Forbes
There’s something therapeutic about gliding across a limitless ocean or an expansive river. Not only is it an opportunity to slow down, but it also provides you with a different perspective on your chosen destination. Setting sail on a luxury cruise is a fantastic way to really immerse yourself in your surroundings. Whether you’re soaking up views of the Pacific Ocean or meandering your way down the Mekong, you can rest assured that our cruise partners are meticulously chosen to ensure your journeys are safe, eco-conscious and tailored to match your needs.
Want to discover the joys of slow travel? Here are some unique cruises that can be included in your personalized itinerary:
1Admire Amazonian rainforests on an exciting cruise
With its glorious mix of white sand beaches, vibrant cities and verdant forests, it’s easy to see why Brazil is a major bucket list destination.
There’s such a vast amount to cover too, including the country’s iconic Amazonas region. Our Amazon Jungle and Brazil Beaches tour lets you delve into the very heart of this mammoth rainforest and uncover its incredible biodiversity. The four-day journey begins on the Rio Negro where you’ll have the chance to enjoy multiple exciting excursions, from rainforest treks to visiting villages that appear trapped in time. During the latter half of the cruise, you’ll catch a glimpse of the dramatic meeting point of the Rio Negro and the Amazon River.
As well as being surrounded by lush flora and fauna throughout your Amazon cruise in Brazil, you’ll likely spot many endemic animal species. If you’re lucky, you might even see the ruins of one of the Amazon’s ancient lost cities rising from the rainforest floor!
2Discover rare wildlife on the Galápagos Islands
Have you always wanted to see giant tortoises or scaly marine iguanas in their natural habitats? We recommend a visit to the far-flung Galápagos Islands in Ecuador. Exploring this protected archipelago is best done by boat thanks to the region’s remote location.
The UNESCO-listed islands form one of the most eco-diverse places on the planet and are home to dozens of endemic species. Follow in Charles Darwin’s footsteps and visit this unique cruise destination as part of our Galápagos and Panama tour. You’ll fly into Baltra Island, just off Santa Cruz, before spending four nights gliding across the Pacific Ocean aboard the Archipell. The small yet luxurious catamaran accommodates just 16 people and provides guests with an intimate experience of these stunning isles.
Slowly work your way around a trio of islands while receiving expert tips from the ship’s resident bilingual naturalist. Discover tales of piracy and early exploration on Floreana and prepare to spot sea lions and lava lizards skittering across the rocky landscapes of ancient Española. The latter is also home to several bird colonies. Book your trip between April and December to witness thousands of breeding waved albatrosses.
San Cristobal is where Darwin first set foot on the islands. It’s the natural habitat of hundreds of giant tortoises (which you can see at the La Galápaguera de Cerro Colorado reserve), as well as the location of the smaller Lobos Island — a seasonal snorkeling destination where it’s possible to spot sea lions, fur seals, frigate birds, and Galápagos sharks.
3Sail to the remote Polar Regions
Cruise around glistening glaciers and some of the world’s most astonishing creatures in the phenomenal Polar regions. The remote North and South poles were once only accessible to researchers and explorers. Thanks to a selection of sustainably-minded cruise options, it’s now possible to put these epic locales at the top of your vacation list.
Whether you want to venture to the Arctic to spot polar bears hunting on the ice or you’d prefer to head south to spy migrating blue whales off Antarctica’s coast, we offer several tailor-made cruises. First-timers to the South Pole will enjoy a wonderful array of excursions and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters on our Antarctic Explorer expedition. Alternatively, frozen landscapes, historic shipwrecks, and trips to far-flung Franz Josef Land all feature on our Ultimate Arctic Adventure itinerary.
Both options come courtesy of our partner, Quark Expeditions — experts in luxury Polar cruises. The tours on offer are personalized, with most ships accommodating less than 50 people. Each one is exceptionally well-equipped, with Zodiac boats for daily shore excursions and resident polar experts with in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit.
Going somewhere remote doesn’t mean compromising on luxury, either. Comfortable cabins, delicious dining, and numerous onboard amenities (including heated swimming pools) are standard features of our unique cruises to the North and South poles.
4Glide along Kerala’s backwaters on a houseboat
India is home to exquisite landscapes, regal palaces, ancient temples and bustling cities. Kerala in South India is famed for its blissful backwaters, a meandering network of rivers, lagoons, and canals dotted with traditional villages and excellent accommodation options. One of the best ways to experience the region is to go on a luxury houseboat cruise. You can add this enchanting, water-based adventure onto several of our India itineraries, including our Kerala’s Tropical Treasures Uncovered tour.
After soaking up the stunning monuments of historic Kochi and trekking into the glorious grasslands of Thekkady, you’ll embark on an overnight boat trip around Alleppey. The scenic area was once dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’ due to its winding waterways and vast mirror-like lakes. As the sun sets, you’ll tuck into delicious local cuisine before retiring to your sumptuous suite for a peaceful night’s sleep.
5Explore the majestic Mekong River
Lush jungle scenery and quaint floating villages are just some of many highlights of a cruise along the Mekong River. This majestic waterway — the 12th longest on the planet — cuts through two of Asia’s most intriguing nations: Vietnam and Cambodia.
A trip down the Mekong is the main allure of our Vietnam and Cambodia tour. In addition to experiencing the culinary and cultural delights of Vietnam’s capital and touring the regal relics of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat, you’ll spend seven nights onboard a luxury river cruiser.
The week-long journey takes you from historic Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in southern Vietnam to Siem Reap in northwest Cambodia. En route, you’ll pass through the labyrinthine floating markets of colorful Cai Be, stop in bustling Phnom Penh, and visit tranquil temples.
You will sail on a beautifully appointed ship, with spacious staterooms and a dining cabin where delicious South East Asian feasts are served. The onboard entertainment ranges from sunset Tai Chi sessions and lively evening dance performances to talks on the region’s fascinating history hosted by local experts.
Inspired by the idea of discovering some of the world’s most breathtaking destinations by boat? Speak to our travel experts today about adding a cruise to your next itinerary!
discover unique water worlds
Brazil: Amazon Cruise, Beaches & Waterfalls
$ 6,890 / person
Discover idyllic beach paradises, bustling metropolises, cruise down the legendary Amazon and witness the wondrous roaring rapids of Iguazu with this private tour of Brazil.
Luxury Thailand Cruise on The Moorings
$ 14,685 / person
Explore Thailand’s beautiful bays, emerald seas, towering limestone karsts and untouched islands on a luxury cruise aboard The Moorings. Also included in your itinerary are unique tours and activities in bustling Bangkok and the cultural mecca of Chiang Mai where you have the chance to meet Thailand’s beloved pachys in their natural habitat as well.
Seventh Continent Cruise with Cape Horn and Diego Ramirez
$ 14,290 / person
On this voyage to the South Pole, experience the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula, the historic landmark of Cape Horn, and the albatross nesting grounds on Diego Ramirez Islands. For centuries, Antarctica has inspired explorers and discoverers around the globe – now it’s your turn!