Travel Tips

These Cruise Lines Offer Serious Adventure Itineraries on Ultra Luxury Ships

When it comes to cruise vacations, people tend to fall into one of two drastically opposing categories: fervent advocates or overzealous naysayers. For critics, cruising is a divisive concept that typically elicits visions of massive, outdated ships, less-than-desirable travel companions, and cookie cutter itineraries that feel more like lackluster field trips than authentic, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Cue the caricature of an obnoxious tourist looming over the cruise ship buffet in his loudest Hawaiian print button-down.

Although that unsavory depiction undoubtedly exists in some form or another, it’s certainly no longer the norm — at least not when it comes to luxury ships. For the uninitiated, the cruise industry’s luxury segment is booming. Now more than ever before, leaders in the space are attracting well-heeled holidaymakers and transporting them to some of the most stunning destinations on earth.

What’s more, the vessels currently sailing the high seas are so impressive, you could easily mistake their swoon-worthy suites for some lavish European hotel — and nobody would blame you. Just ask anyone dining at The Grill by Thomas Keller aboard Seabourn Ovation or beckoning their personal butler on Silversea’s Silver Muse. Truth be told, it’s a far cry from the long-standing stigma that has traditionally plagued the industry, and nothing like that spring break booze cruise you may (or may not) remember.

But the latest trend in luxury cruising looks beyond simply combining stellar service with world-class accommodations and a database of exclusive destinations. These days, an increasing amount of passengers are insisting that options for unforgettable adventures and out-of-the-box excursions are folded into the mix. Luckily for them, the cruise lines that are willing to listen are eager to oblige.

The demand for expedition-themed offerings has become so prevalent that many of the key players in the industry are already preparing for the rising trend. In order to usher in this swelling wave of adventure chasing cruise enthusiasts, more than 50 expedition ships are slated to be constructed over the next five years alone. The move indicates a fundamental shift in how “cruise people” are choosing to travel.

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