THE ARCTIC, “Cradle of the Human Race”
Down through the ages, adventurers and explorers have considered a voyage to “the top of the world” to be the greatest adventure of all. Many lost their lives in their quest to reach the North Pole. Times have changed. You, too, can set out on your own thrilling adventure on the Russian nuclear icebreaker, 50 Let Pobedy (“50 Years of Victory’) for a 13-day, 12-night roundtrip voyage to the geographic North Pole. Depart from Murmansk, Russia, and explore the rarely visited Russian Arctic Archipelago of Franz Josef Land as you smash through the frozen Arctic in quest of your goal to stand on top of the world. A Russian crew of 140 cater to 128 guests who will enjoy educational lectures, fine dining, and comfortable staterooms, unlike early polar expeditions that set out to discover the Northwest Passage, never to return. www.polarcruises.com.
AUSTRALIA’S KIMBERLEY COAST
The sparsely populated Kimberley Coast is one of the world’s great expeditions and adventure cruising destinations. Its breathtaking scenery and stunning coastline waters reveal a pristine wilderness and wildlife. Discover the King George Falls, King Cascades, Horizontal Falls, and Montgomery Reef – the swooping Wedge-Tailed Eagles, fearsome crocodiles, and the large lizard, the Giant Monitor. Kimberley Cruises offer a portfolio of luxury, first-class cruise adventures where small groups of guests can experience the wilderness “up close” with daily scenic walks, picnics, helicopter flights, and an array of opportunities to explore—and even fish! Sailings are only possible during the dry season, between late March and early October. www.kimberleycruises.com
THE PERUVIAN AMAZON RIVER
Explore the legendary Amazon River and experience its full of majesty and wonders, such as pink dolphins, giant waterlilies, the three-toed sloth, toucans, macaws, and Taricaya turtles. Fish for piranhas, if you dare, in the black waters of the Pacaya River. Cruise along the Ucayali and Maranon Rivers, which are considered the birthplaces of the second largest river of the world at 4,000 miles long and is surpassed only by the Nile by only 132 miles. Expert naturalist guides will share their knowledge of the birds of the Pacaya-Samiria Natural Reserve, and for eight days and seven nights, you will enjoy the height of luxury river cruising aboard the Aqua Nera, an award-winning Noor Design craft with 20 spacious, luxuriously designed suites. Enjoy five-star cuisine prepared by Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, one of Peru’s finest chefs, who is celebrated for creating fine cuisine from native Amazonian produce. A crew of 40 cater to a limit of 40 guests. www.aquaexpeditions.com
Experience this fascinating river and the culture it sustains when you depart Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City on an 8-day, 7-night cruise to Siem Reap, Cambodia aboard the elegant Mekong Pandaw, considered the most luxurious ship of its kind in that part of the world. The Mekong River is the 12th largest in the world, and winds from southwest China through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia before it reaches the vast delta of Vietnam. Your journey will take you along remote waterways to remote villages, where you will meet local artisans and experience the native culture. You will see the great monuments of Angkor, a Unesco World Heritage Site. A crew of 24 cater to only 48 guests. The ship features spacious staterooms, a large sundeck, and a magnificent dining room where buffet breakfasts and lunches and table service dinner featuring regional cuisine are served. Fresh fruit and flowers, kimonos, slippers, and spa-branded amenities await your arrival at your stateroom. This adventure is for those desiring peace and serenity that can only be found in such a magical, faraway place. www.pandaw.com