There’s no doubt that expedition cruising is a booming sector of the industry, which is why cruise lines are thinking outside the box for new ships, destinations and offerings to beat out the competition.
Over the past few weeks there have been several new developments in the sector, including major refurbishments aboard two popular expedition vessels and commercial cruising’s first trek into the Northwest Passage.
If you’re struggling to keep up, here’s a list of what’s new in expedition cruising:
Ecoventura has commenced construction on a 20-passenger yacht, which the line says will be the most comfortable and environmentally friendly vessel to cruise the Galapagos.
The company’s founder Santiago Dunn said he hopes that when MV Origin
launches on 3 January 2016 she will cruise on 1,000 gallons per week.
That’s 45 percent less than the 1,800 gallons currently required on other yachts.
Additionally, Mr Dunn said she will bring new levels of comfort to the Galapagos Island with ten deluxe staterooms with panoramic windows and other luxurious features.
Quark Expeditions is also looking to expand its polar business, with plans for a third Antarctic expedition ship.
Although details of the new ship are yet to be confirmed, TTG Digital reported that it will be used during the 2015/16-season.
The ship is also expected to carry less than 200 passengers like the line’s other Antarctic vessels and is likely to be equipped with Zodiacs for shore excursions.
Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Orion will undergo changes in September this year, to streamline the vessel with the Lindblad fleet.
Changes will be made to two public spaces – the Lounge and the Observation Lounge.
The library in the Lounge will be removed to make way for a ‘circle of truth’ in the centre of the room. The circle will be used as a focal area for presentations and discussions by the ship’s team and experts.
The Observation Lounge will receive a complete new layout featuring an intimate library, a nautical chart and a self-serve beverage station.