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13 Best Cruise Ship Suites
13 Best Cruise Ship Suites
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Best Nautical Beach Bags and Totes for a Cruise to the Beach (Photo: haveseen/Shutterstock)

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Best Nautical Beach Bags and Totes for a Cruise to the Beach (Photo: haveseen/Shutterstock)
Fran Golden
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Encounters with human-sized penguins and elephant seals are part of the scene and you'll likely spot orca and sperm whales -- with glaciers, white and blue-tinged icebergs and snow-capped mountains as the magnificent backdrop. And off expedition cruise ships, you can bundle up in a parka, board a soft-sided Zodiac inflatable boat and get closer to nature than you ever might have thought possible.

For intrepid travelers, the appeal of Antarctica is legendary and that hasn't changed. What has changed is that never before have travelers had so many choices when it comes to the cruise experience, both onboard and off. More and more operators are upgrading their ships – new-builds, once considered quite rare in expedition fleets, are the fastest-growing sector in the cruise industry. These more contemporary vessels offer spacious accommodations and more options for dining and entertainment.

And yet, importantly, the lines are also investing heavily into creating distinctive off-the-ship adventures. You can certainly choose a sedentary experience (just being on a vessel, surrounded by Antarctica's natural wonderland, is amazing). But there are many active ways to experience the White Continent. In most cases, an expedition cruise here involves much more derring-do. You can visit nature reserves, hike a glacier, kayak into pristine coves and volcanic calderas, and even explore the camp ruins of a Swedish Antarctic exploration team, whose ship had run aground and who lived there for a year.

Encounters with human-sized penguins and elephant seals are part of the scene and you'll likely spot orca and sperm whales -- with glaciers, white and blue-tinged icebergs and snow-capped mountains as the magnificent backdrop. And off expedition cruise ships, you can bundle up in a parka, board a soft-sided Zodiac inflatable boat and get closer to nature than you ever might have thought possible. For intrepid travelers, the

appeal of Antarctica

is legendary and that hasn't changed. What has changed is that never before have travelers had so many choices when it comes to the cruise experience, both onboard and off. More and more operators are upgrading their ships – new-builds, once considered quite rare in expedition fleets, are the fastest-growing sector in the cruise industry. These more contemporary vessels offer spacious accommodations and more options for dining and entertainment. And yet, importantly, the lines are also investing heavily into creating distinctive off-the-ship adventures. You can certainly choose a sedentary experience (just being on a vessel, surrounded by Antarctica's natural wonderland, is amazing). But there are many active ways to experience the White Continent. In most cases, an expedition cruise here involves much more derring-do. You can visit nature reserves, hike a glacier, kayak into pristine coves and volcanic calderas, and even explore the camp ruins of a Swedish Antarctic exploration team, whose ship had run aground and who lived there for a year.

Updated January 08, 2020

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