Active travel is our favorite travel, and because we just have to keep on moving, we try to ensure that we always have something to look forward to.
This means we keep our eyes open for new things to try. Next year, it will be all about the expeditions. We have traveled on dozens of cruises, and many of them came with elements of adventure or a strong expedition feel.
Within the next year, though, Colleen and I will be finally heading to two of the most remote regions of the world for a couple of true expeditions -- epic trips that have always ranked high on our wish lists.
In the next three years, more than 24 new expedition cruise ships will be launched, offering travelers more routes and opportunities to travel in style while exploring natural wonders all over the globe.
In this post, I will outline our two upcoming expeditions that will take us to Antarctica and the Galapagos, plus show you a batch of new ships and itineraries that you can look forward to in 2020.
Our First True Expeditions
We're heading to Antarctica with Abercrombie and Kent. This company has been a leader in combining luxury and adventure for five decades, and we'll be sailing and exploring in style on a Ponant expedition ship that carries just 200 passengers.
Abercrombie and Kent's classic expeditions to Antarctica start in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We'll spend a couple days in this vibrant city over the New Year's holiday before starting our cruise itinerary.
The voyage starts in Ushuaia -- the gateway to Antarctica at the end of the world -- and cruises through the Drake Passage before we reach the White Continent for time to spot unique ice formations, penguins, seals and other wildlife.
This type of trip requires more extensive preparation, mainly packing warm-weather clothes and having some sea sickness remedies in mind for the Drake Passage, which can be notoriously rough. We're quite excited though to undertake this adventure to such a remote and important region of the world.
In May, we'll be heading to another vital and fascinating destination: The Galapagos. We all know about the important wildlife diversity here, and we're going to explore this legendary archipelago with Silversea on its 100-passenger Silver Galapagos luxury ship.
The expedition will start with time in Quito, Ecuador, for a few days of hiking and other activities (we're organizing this stuff on our own). Then, we take a flight to Baltra, an island in the center of the Galapagos, to join Silver Galapagos and start our weeklong expedition. We'll sail to 15 different spots while swimming, snorkeling, going on nature walks and hiking to spy blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins and so much more.
The cruise ends in San Cristobal before we fly back to Guayaquil on the mainland to start our trip back home. This Galapagos adventure will be incredible for the photography opportunities and chances to interact with wildlife in their natural and unspoiled environment.
Ships to Look Forward To
Aside from the two trips we have in the works, there are a number of new experiences coming online. A slate of brand-new expedition ships will give active travelers a way to mix their adventures with a side of luxury.
The new Scenic Eclipse has just debuted as an ultra-luxury, all-inclusive expedition ship. Scenic calls the vessel a discovery yacht, and the innovative ship carries 228 passengers in 114 suites. The elegant decor complements the rugged voyages passengers can take to the polar regions and destinations all over the map on Scenic's first ocean ship.
Scenic Eclipse has 10 distinct dining options and features two helicopters, a six-person submarine, heated pool with retractable roof, fitness studios, spa, hot tubs and snorkeling and scuba equipment.
Another luxury expedition cruise option coming in 2020, Crystal Endeavor will sail with up to 200 passengers on itineraries all over the world. The vessel will have a polar class rating that allows it to break ice and reach locations other luxury expedition yachts can't reach.
The ship also is unique in the extras that you can enjoy during your adventure. Crystal Endeavor offers butler service, Michelin-style dining, a glass-enclosed Solarium with pool and hot tub, casino and spa and fitness center. It also carries two helicopters and a seven-person submersible vehicle.
Lindblad Expeditions' new National Geographic Endurance is coming in early 2020 and will carry up to 126 passengers on polar expeditions. The ship is named to honor famed explorer Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance ship on which he set sail in 1914 to the Antarctic.
National Geographic Endurance has more than 10,000 square feet of glass and a special bow design enabling unparalleled scenic viewing as you sail. It's built to be a home base while you visit the world's most remote regions. Expert guides will lead the way with a variety of tools for adventure, such as cross-country skis, kayaks, hydrophones, underwater video cameras, a remotely operated vehicle, a video microscope and a helicopter landing platform. The ship also features a spa, yoga studio, sauna, fitness center, infinity-style hot tubs and multiple dining options.
Silversea is bringing a bold new luxury ship to the Galapagos. Silver Origin will carry 100 passengers for all-inclusive exploration of the Galapagos. The ship will offer eight Zodiac skiffs, expert guides, floor-to-ceiling views, an Observation and Stargazing Platform and two restaurants featuring authentic Ecuadorian cuisine.
Among the new 2020 expedition experiences that have us excited are new itineraries added by UnCruise Adventures, one of our favorite small-ship lines. UnCruise is expanding its lineup of destinations with trips that now give travelers opportunities to explore Colombia, Guatemala and Belize -- in addition to existing expeditions in Alaska, Costa Rica, Panama, Coastal Washington, the Columbia and Snake Rivers, Sea of Cortez and Hawaii.
UnCruise's new voyages:
Colombia and Panama
The line's 66-passenger Safari Voyager sails three trips on a new weeklong Colombia and Panama "Coral, Jungles, Canal" itinerary between Cartagena and Panama City (or reverse) in October. On the trip, you will transit the Panama Canal, meet native Guna and Embera people and visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites -- the Darien Jungle and the colonial walled city of Cartagena.
Belize and Guatemala
Six departures on a new weeklong adventure cruise explores the beaches and jungles of Belize and Guatemala. Safari Voyager sails in this region October to December and offers the opportunity to snorkel Belize's Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, seek out marine life, venture up the Monkey River and explore Mayan historical sites.
We think this array of expedition experiences will appeal to all of you adventure-seekers out there. Which ones do you like?
Thanks for reading,