Top 10 Most Adventurous Cruises in the World

Move over luxury, we're going for adventures instead. Following the course of these top adventure cruises, Buzzle tells you how to have an amazing holiday that's a cut above the rest.
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Most adventurous cruise in the world - Norwegian Fjords
"The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use."

―Dom Degnon
Commercial cruise itineraries are meticulously planned, and as rigorously executed; and in case of adventure cruises, even more so. The amusing part about travel, though, is that it chalks up an itinerary of its own, and our best laid plans get tossed out of the window.

Travel involves a lot of glorious uncertainties, most of which lend more meaning to our journey. The cruise trips that follow offer you the best of adventures, uncertainties, and some rollicking good times. Here they are.

Galápagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

Located close to 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands are home to hundreds of endemic flora and fauna. Thankfully, these islands remain untouched by man, which is what makes them special.

The adventure of coming here lies in
When we mention 'endemic', we're referring to species which cannot be found elsewhere on the planet; we're talking about an ecosystem that is very unique and fragile. Giant tortoises (the largest in the world), marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and Charles Darwin's famous finches are the main attractions. But the real adventure lies in sailing past volcanic mountains and uninhabited, pristine beaches, with opportunities to enjoy a photo op with land critters, snorkel with sharks, sea turtles, penguins, and sea lions or watch the birds (again, endemic) being a part of the ongoing evolution in this wild spot.

The best time to come here is
All year round. But keep in mind that there's a cap on the number of visitors coming here, so your trip requires a little planning and a lot of resources. National Geographic Expeditions has a fabulous tour to the Galápagos Islands along with their team of experts.

Antarctica

Antarctica

A trip to the Great White Continent is an adventure in its own right. But with no permanent residents, I'd say that the greatest joy is in watching a spot on Earth which is relatively devoid of human presence.

The adventure of coming here lies in
Towering glaciers, humongous white and blue icebergs, and snow-capped mountains all around you―and the very fact that you are at the bottom of the planet should suffice many. Some cruise operators let you pitch a tent on the islands to stay for the night, away from the warm confines of your cabin. While you spend a chilling night under the sun, yes you'll be coming here in the polar summer, you may spot penguins and elephant seals up-close. The more fearsome orca and sperm whales are better viewed from the ship's deck.

The best time to come here is
November to February. Abercrombie & Kent is letting you save up to USD 6,000 per cabin on your 2014-15 Antarctica cruise.

Borneo, Malaysia/Indonesia

Borneo

A cruise to Borneo will only seem like an adventure to the serious wildlife enthusiasts. Having said that, it is also important for each of us to visit places like Borneo to understand the precarious state of our planet's ecosystem.

The adventure of coming here lies in
Borneo is the third-largest island on earth, home to a dense tropical rainforest which supports some magnificent zoological wonders. Plants, animals, birds, you'll find them all right here. and once you get offshore, the reefs are full of colorful coral and marine life. Your cruise will include a trip to Camp Leakey, in Kalimantan Tengah (Central Kalimantan), which has a rehabilitation center for orphaned orangutans. You'll get an opportunity to interact with the primates, and learn about forest habitats. Plus, you'll also get to view them in the wild, along with hornbills and proboscis monkeys.

The best time to come here is
September to January. Lindblad-National Geographic expedition takes you on an amazing, excitement-packed journey through the rainforests of Borneo.

Alaska

Alaska

Think Alaska, and what comes to mind is excesses―you see it in the form of the imposing glaciers that surround you. The massive expanse of wilderness, hidden under a cover of ice and trees is too mesmerizing for words.

The adventure of coming here lies in
Glad you asked. Alaska is called the Last Frontier for a reason, which tells you that the adventures it holds cannot be found anywhere else. These include trekking in the countryside, glacier hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling, with opportunities for encounters with bears, sea lions, and whales. Even while you're on board, you're supposed to keep your binoculars close for sporadic sightings of eagles and grizzlies.

The best time to come here is
May to September. Un-Cruise Adventure has some awesome itineraries chalked up for their Alaskan cruises this year.

South Pacific

Milford Sound

This is one journey that takes you from Australia to New Zealand, with stops in Fiji, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, and the specks of Papua New Guinea. The South Pacific region holds a veritable wealth of mysteries, which till date remain unexplored.

The adventure of coming here lies in
We all have our own versions of heaven, but chances are that each of us is sure to face it for real when we enter South Pacific. It could be the ethereal beauty of Milford Sound in New Zealand, or the vivid hues of Bora Bora's mountains clashing with the deep cerulean of the Pacific. The idea of getting a glimpse of heaven while still alive is an adventure in its own right, but for those who insist for more, there's diving with sharks, snorkeling among the most vividly-colored reefs, and gaping in awe at the primitive innocence of the natives who call this paradise their home.

The best time to come here is
Anytime. And what's more, Lindblad-National Geographic expedition also journeys along these parts, so you know whom to contact if you wish to get here.

Beijing to Rome

Egypt

This grand dame of a cruise traces the origin of human civilization, taking you halfway across the world in just under two months. It begins with Chinese dynasties and culminates with the Roman emperors, covering two ancient lands, India and Egypt, in between.

The adventure of coming here lies in
Strictly meant for history buffs, this cruise may seem like a drag for those looking to seek conventional means of getting an adrenalin rush. No kayaking or snorkeling involved here (although there are chances of visiting the Lost City of Alexandria beneath the Mediterranean). Your cruise takes you to gawk at the enormous Tian Tan Buddha statue overlooking Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong, along with the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok. You move on to Mumbai's Elephanta Caves to view the 7th century sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses. Egyptian wonders await at the Valley of the Kings near Luxor. And finally, dock at the shores of the Eternal City, learning about the mighty Roman Empire on the seven hills of the Eternal City.

The best time to come here is
This Oceania Cruise's Mysteries of Civilization cruise sets sail from Beijing in late March.

Amazon

Amazon rainforest

The Amazon River cruise is not really meant for the typical adventure seeker, as it is for a nature lover. But what it lacks in activities, it more than makes up in the thrills department. Heard of piranhas and anacondas, anyone? Well, you're gonna be in their backyard.

The adventure of coming here lies in
If you're looking for actual activities here, you'll be disappointed. The unique environment of the Amazon rainforest holds a staggering diversity of wildlife and is one of the world's last shelters for jaguars, harpy eagles and pink dolphins, along with God knows how many unknown species yet to be discovered. This voyage offers the opportunity to see something you've never seen before, and that's where the adventure lies.

The best time to come here is
All year round. G Adventures has some great Amazon cruise trips planned, do check them out.

Scandinavia

Scandinavia

A cruise vacation to Scandinavia in the heart of winter may seem like a one-way ticket to freezing hell, but this is what the adventure is all about. If you think you aren't up to it, the Scandinavian summer is just as, if not more beautiful. All said and done, a cruise to Scandinavia is a must, irrespective of the season.

The adventure of coming here lies in
If you're coming in the summer, you're in for a visual treat of epic proportions. These stunning waterways meander through 1,000-foot cliffs, snow-capped mountains, and gorgeous waterfalls. The spectacular views never cease to be visible, as you're cruising in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Winter cruises are special too, as this is the time to view the magnificent northern lights in the late evenings. Your days are spent skiing, dog sledding, and going on an icy safari riding a snowmobile.

The best time to come here is
All year round. The Norwegian Fjords offer a spectacular scenery, along with a lot of scope for adventure, the Lindblad-NatGeo expedition is a cool option to pick.

Patagonia

Patagonia

Trips to Patagonia are marketed as 'Journeys to the Ends of the Earth', but rest assured, they're not just a gimmick. The natural beauty of the South American continent is a wonder to behold, and you do it best by taking a cruise in the Patagonia region of Chile.

The adventure of coming here lies in
You'll get to visit the nesting grounds of the Magellanic penguins near Punta Arenas. You'll also go kayaking along the rivers and lakes lined by lush forests untouched by the modern world. This is the best way to explore the stunning beauty of Patagonia. Your cruise will take you through Glacier Alley, where you'll view the 1,400-foot-high sheer rock face of Cape Horn.

The best time to come here is
September to April. Lindblad-NatGeo expedition will also take you to Patagonia, so you need not look for adventure elsewhere.

Hawaii

Hawaii

Coming to Hawaii for any reason is fabulous, but it gets better when you're spending most of your time at sea. Taking a cruise is the best way to explore these islands; and no matter how many times you've been here before, there's always something new to discover.

The adventure of coming here lies in
Why are you even asking? Hawaii's volcanic islands, and shark-infested waters are sure to give an Indiana Jones-twist to your trip. Day time activities on a Hawaiian cruise include trekking, rock climbing, and a visit to the cowboy isle of Molokai. Volcano visits on the Big Island are also on the agenda, including the active Kīlauea volcano. You can even spot humpback whales off the waters of Maui. But what steals the show here is the nighttime dive with the stunning manta rays. It's an absolute delight!

The best time to come here is
November to April. Un-Cruise Adventures offers an exciting 7-day voyage across Hawaii, which is quite fun-filled and engaging.

Sailing is an interesting mode of travel, as it offers you the best of both, land and sea. So, take some time off and sail away to the destination of your choice, spinning an adventure of your own.
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Published: February 25, 2014
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