Nature/Environment Themed Itineraries and Excursions Offered In Every Part of World from Antarctica to Tropics to Alaska
Fort Lauderdale, FL — September 11, 2008 — The world’s natural treasures – magnificent, untouched landscapes, rare ecosystems and extraordinary plants, birds and animals – tend to be in out-of-the-way places, often remote and inaccessible for all but the most intrepid adventurer. And cruise vacationers.
One of the greatest advantages to travel by ship – in addition to the ease and comfort, great dining, entertainment and educational programs – is the ability to sail to parts of the world that are otherwise difficult to access. The magnificent fjords of Chile, the mighty wilderness of Alaska, the remote islands of the tropics, and, of course, the incomparable splendor of Antarctica: these are just a few of the remoter regions of the world that serve as destinations for a wide variety of cruise itineraries on ships small or large. What’s more, even on cruises featuring popular beach, recreations and shopping destinations, a surprising encounter with nature – volcanoes and waterfalls, wildlife preserves, ziplining through tropical canopy forests, exotic birds and butterflies – is almost always on offer.
Here is a sampling of how many CLIA member cruise lines serve up the wonders and beauty of nature in Alaska, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Antarctica and other parts of the world:
AZAMARA CRUISES Twenty varieties of hummingbirds and 227 species of birds are the featured attractions on bird watching eco tours in the wetlands along the Copalita River in Huatulco, Mexico for Azamara guests on Panama Canal itineraries. Other nature thrills in the region include ziplining in the canopy forests of Costa Rica in search of tropical butterflies, exotic birds and other creatures of the rainforest.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES Among the nature-themed activities offered on Carnival's far-flung itineraries: whale watching and an eagle preserve adventure in Alaska; ecological snorkel tours in Cabo San Lucas; white water rafting near the jungles of Costa Rica, exploring the waterfalls and sulfur springs of Dominica in the Caribbean; and a nautical adventure in the Bay of Fundy, home of the legendary "reversing falls."
CELEBRITY CRUISES The 92-guest Celebrity Xpedition offers all-inclusive, environmentally-conscious cruises in the Galapagos Islands. A guided tour and onboard naturalists certified by the Galapagos National Park are features of every itinerary, as are hikes and walks to provide an in-depth exploration of the islands’ unique fauna and flora.
The spectacular Tijuipe Waterfall and splendid beaches compete for star billing with a visit to the “Sloth Project” dedicated to preserving the Brazilian habitat of this endangered animal on Costa’s “eco-excursion” in Ilheus. And, in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, at the southern end of South America, dolphins, sea lions and Antarctic gulls are some of the attractions on Costa’s coastal marine adventure.
CRYSTAL CRUISES Crystal offers several opportunities worldwide for guests to get to know the wildlife and environment of the exotic destinations they visit. Some examples include swimming with dolphins in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand; visiting Siberian sled dogs in Russia; riding elephants at the Bali Elephant Safari Park or spotting dragons at Komodo National Park in Indonesia; getting up close and personal with koalas, kangaroos and wombats at Caversham Wildlife Park and Zoo in Australia; and traveling to the exclusive Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary in Ketchikan, Alaska.
DISNEY CRUISE LINE One of Disney’s newest offerings on Castaway Cay, the line’s private island, is the opportunity to swim and interact with Southern Stingrays in a private lagoon. Aptly named Castaway Ray’s Stingray Adventure, the program features the history and biology of the animals; feeding, touching and interacting with them, and a chance to snorkel among the rays under the guidance of marine specialists.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE With more than 60 years experience offering cruises in Alaska, Holland America’s nature themes feature opportunities to experience such wildlife as orca and humpback whales, puffins, dolphins, Dahl’s porpoises, bears, seals, sea otters and the full extent of Alaskan marine and land birdlife. Shoreside activities can include everything from leisure walks through northern rainforests to kayaking with a pod of whales, dog sledding and a snorkeling adventure in the clear waters of Mountain Point in Southeast Alaska.
HURTIGRUTEN The mysterious wilderness of the “White Continent,” Antarctica, with its icebergs, whales and orcas feeding only feet away, and penguin populations in the thousands, is the featured attractions on adventures on the MS Fram, the world’s newest expedition cruise ship. Guests explore the rarely visited Marguerite Bay, with its ice-covered islands and surrounding towering icebergs, to discover the only known breeding colony of emperor penguins on the west side of the Antarctica peninsula.
MSC CRUISES Views of humpback whales as they arrive in the warm Caribbean to mate and raise their young is a favorite activity for MSC guests at the private Cayo Levantado in the Dominican Republic while across the Caribbean, in Cozumel, Mexico, passengers have numerous choices of nature-related activities, including sea kayaking, a beginning SCUBA experience, tropical jungle exploration by Jeep, swimming with bottlenose dolphins and XCaret natural Adventure Park, the largest of its kind in Latin America.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
In Acapulco, Mexico, local environmentalists teach NCL passengers about the endangered Golfina sea turtle. Guests are able to see the baby turtles in various stages of development, from egg to the holding tanks where the hatchlings become ready to return to the sea. After a short walk down to the shoreline, many guests name the turtles as they are released into the wild.
PRINCESS CRUISES Princess this year is offering a new Galapagos Discovery cruisetour on select Royal Princess South America and Panama Explorer itineraries in November. The program features a full day of touring in Quito, airfare to the Galapagos and three days on the M/V Galapagos Legend for exploring the unique islands and their wildlife, including sea lions, iguanas, the famous tortoises and the world largest colony of waved albatross.
REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES Regent offers a popular nature/ecology-themed program for young cruisers called Ambassadors of the Environment. Featured on Alaska itineraries on the Seven Seas Mariner, the program is run under the auspices of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. An ideal choice for families wanting share a unique experience, Ambassadors of the Environment features hands-on experiences and a wide range of learning adventures about Alaska, the sea and its wildlife.
SEABOURN CRUISE LINE On Seabourn Legend’s Central America cruises to Panama, Belize and Costa Rica, nature is served alongside luxurious pampering, with a wide variety of outdoor pursuits available, including tree climbing, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, river rafting and quad-bike tours. Kayaking, aerial tramways through the jungle canopy and excursions to such places as the Green Iguana Conservation Project are other options.
SEADREAM CRUISES Seadream guests on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, are treated to one of the most spectacular bioluminescent bays in the world. Tiny dinoflagellates sparkling with blue-green light as well as silvery fish flashing in the dark help create a magical and educational experience. Using a non-polluting electric boat, expert staff explain the delicate, rare ecosystem and many passengers even choose to mingle with the sparkles by slipping into the bay.
SILVERSEA CRUISES Antarctica, with its frosted white wilderness, natural ice sculptures like enormous works of avant-garde art and astounding animal encounters found nowhere else in the world, is the modern explorer’s final frontier. And it is the destination of Silversea’s small expedition ship, Prince Albert II, which travels there on several roundtrip voyages from Ushuaia, including an 11-day cruise departing December 11, 2008.
WINDSTAR CRUISES Famed for its untouched natural beauty, jungles and rich variety of flora and fauna, Costa Rica is a destination for Windstar voyages between November and March. Shore activities include the Curu Wildlife Refuge; snorkeling in Isla de Cano, a biological reserve; a tropical nature tour; an exploration of the rainforest by ATV; a rainforest and waterfall horseback riding adventure and a “Congo Canopy Trail” zipline adventure. For more information on taking a cruise to discover the world’s natural treasures and about CLIA member cruise lines, please visit CLIA’s Web site at www.cruising.org.