There is nothing more amazing than spotting a rare creature - especially a creature from the depths! Cruising can be a great way to spot wildlife, and there are some destinations and lines in particular which will maximise the opportunities to see all kinds of animals in their natural habitats.
Here are a few suggestions for wildlife-loving cruisers, for holidays that will hopefully get those onboard up close and personal with some of the world's amazing critters.
Alaska with Princess Cruise tours
This stunning part of the world is top of many cruisers' bucket lists for a variety of reasons - wildlife is just one of them. The northernmost state of the USA offers amazing fjords, glaciers, charming towns and plenty of animals in the sea and on the land. Whales are a common sight, along with seals, orcas, and dolphins which can often be seen from on the ship in the Inside Passage. Onshore, the fun continues with the possibility of spotting bears, caribou, moose, salmon and a variety of birds including the famed bald eagles.
Princess Cruises is a great line for cruising Alaska. They have a strong presence in the region with many itineraries during the summer months, and also offer Cruise tours which are land and sea combo itineraries taking advantage of the line's exclusive "wilderness lodges". There are four of these in strategically scenic locations around the state, and they allow cruisers to venture inland to double their wildlife-sighting chances.
Galapagos Islands with Celebrity Xpedition
This unique archipelago off the coast of Ecuador is a national park, marine reserve and sanctuary for all kinds of wonderful creatures. In fact, the islands are known the world over for their huge number of endemic species, making them a wildlife watcher's paradise. Unique animals to spot during a visit here include the giant Galapagos tortoises, colourful marine iguanas, fur seals, large painted locusts, stunning Sally Lightfoot crabs, and a huge range of birds including flightless cormorants, waved albatrosses, finches and the comical blue-footed boobies. The waters are also filled with whales and dolphins of many different varieties.
The Celebrity Xpedition is a little different to the rest of the Celebrity Cruises fleet, a small and adventurous ship which operates in the Galapagos year-round. The vessel and her crew are experts in the area, making Celebrity a great choice for those who want to experience this amazing part of the world. Most of the staff are Ecuadorian, and cultural as well as natural experiences are integrated into the cruise.
What's more, a Celebrity Xpedition cruise is all-inclusive - that means all drinks are part of the cruise fare, along with transfers, gourmet meals, accommodation, shore tours and even snorkelling gear. Passengers also benefit from classic Celebrity service and elegant spaces both public and private - that makes for a very luxurious intrepid journey!
New Zealand with Royal Caribbean
"God's Own Country" is known for spectacular scenery, but those lovely landscapes are also filled with interesting animals - birds in particular, as the isolated islands had no predatory mammals until they were introduced by humans as late as 1250AD. This has meant that some bird species became flightless, inhabiting the open niches in the ecosystem.
So, birdwatchers should get themselves on a cruise to New Zealand, and thankfully there are plenty of these departing from Australian ports on a variety of lines. We have picked out Royal Caribbean due to their extensive programs of shore tours Down Under which aim to get passengers up close and personal with all destinations. You could swim with dolphins in Akaroa, visit penguin colonies in Dunedin, embark on a wildlife cruise in Otago Harbour, take farm tours from many different ports, or try a gannet safari out of Napier. Milford Sound offers amazing wildlife viewing opportunities right from the ship - whales, seals, dolphins and more. There are plenty of ways to see New Zealand's amazing biodiversity!
Of course, these three options are far from all that's available for keen wildlife-viewing cruisers. Regions like Africa, South America and Antarctica are great to see all kinds of animals, and for amazing marine life even a South Pacific cruise with some snorkelling trips is a great choice! Whatever your destination, you can find a cruise with Cruise Sale Finder.