5 of the best summer expedition cruises to book now for 2023 - Cruise International

5 of the best summer expedition cruises to book now for 2023

By Sara Macefield | 30 Jun 2022

expedition-summer-cruises

Expedition Team Group. Credit: Swan Hellenic

Expedition cruises often conjure up images of Antarctica in the depths of our winter season, but there are plenty of adventures to enjoy come summer. Get off the beaten track on an expedition cruise with our pick of five of the best to book now for summer 2023.

Expedition cruising is all about sailing on small ships to exciting destinations that big ships can’t get to. Whichever you choose, these voyages are all about learning. Sara Macefield picks out five of the best summer expedition cruises.

5 of the best summer expedition cruises to book now for 2023

Iceland and Eastern Greenland with Swan Hellenic

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Scenic Eclipse in Greenland. Credit: Scenic

The British brand Swan Hellenic relaunched in July 2020 as an expedition cruise line with plans for three new purpose-built ships. The first, Minerva, debuted last December and is followed by Vega in July on an Arctic summer season of voyages.

A 13-day last-minute round-trip voyage from Iceland’s capital Reykjavik goes to the country’s rarely visited Westfjords region, before sailing to Greenland’s remote east coast.

Prices start at £4,559 per person (reduced from £10,669) for an August 18 2022 departure and include pre-cruise overnight hotel stay, all meals on board, beverages and selected alcoholic drinks, gratuities and a shore excursion or expedition activity in each port. Flights extra (swanhellenic.com).

Arctic in Depth with Scenic

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Zodiac excursion in Greenland. Credit: Scenic

With dual onboard helicopters and a nine-person submarine, Scenic’s expeditionary ship Scenic Eclipse promises the very best in ultra-luxury exploration. Its 200 guests enjoy suites with butler service, 10 dining experiences and a spa.

This sailing through the Svalbard archipelago starts with an overnight stay in Oslo before passengers join Scenic Eclipse in Longyearbyen for a 10-night voyage showcasing the Arctic’s icy beauty, with the chance to spot polar bears and marine life including walruses, seals and whales.

The 12-night package, which includes overnight stays in Oslo pre and post-voyage, departs on July 1, 2023. Prices start from £8,922 per person, including flights, gratuities, drinks and selected shore excursions (scenic.co.uk).

Quito & Galapagos with Celebrity Cruises

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Galapagos Islands. Credit: Celebrity Cruises/Daniel Romagosa

The Galapagos Islands are a bucket-list thrill thanks to wildlife that famously has no fear of humans. Visitors can swim with sea lions and penguins, walk among prehistoric-looking iguanas and watch as tiny birds hop around their feet.

The trip starts with a two-night stay in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, and a tour through the Old Town’s cobbled streets, before flying to the island of Baltra to join the 48-passenger Celebrity Xpedition.

The 10-night trip, which includes overnight stays in Quito pre and post-voyage and a seven-night round-trip Southern Loop sailing from Baltra, departs on June 15, 2023. It costs from £5,528 per person, including Wi-Fi, drinks and gratuities. Flights extra (celebritycruises.com).

Alaska with UnCruise Adventures

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Ridge hike in Glacier Bay above Lamplugh Glacier. Credit: UnCruise Adventures

American company UnCruise Adventures specialises in small ship exploration and this sailing on 86-passenger Wilderness Legacy promises a week of kayaking, hiking and biking trips, along with skiff tours to spot bears and moose or spy orcas and humpback whales.

Guests explore lesser-known areas of Glacier Bay National Park and Chichagof Island, which reputedly has the highest number of bears per square mile on the planet.

One-week round-trip voyages from Juneau depart every week next summer 2023, with prices from approximately £5,000. Flights are extra, though drinks, activities and shore visits are included (uncruise.com).

Mekong River with Viking

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Credit: Vicky T via Unsplash

Capture the spirit of Indochina on this sailing with Viking Cruises that combines the colourful floating markets, rustic monasteries and fishing villages of Vietnam and Cambodia. The trip starts with two nights in the Vietnamese city of Hanoi and a three-night stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia – gateway to the ruined ancient city of Angkor.

A one-week sailing on 80-passenger Viking Saigon departs Kampong Cham in Cambodia for the bustling Vietnamese metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, where guests disembark to spend the final two nights.

The 14-night package departs on August 14, 2023, with prices from £4,895 per person, including flights, drinks, gratuities and Wi-Fi (vikingrivercruises.co.uk).

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