Expedition Cruises

An expedition cruise is a fantastic way to see some of the world’s most remote destinations. But with so many different cruise lines, ships, and routes, it can be hard to know where to go, who to travel with, and the best time to embark on your expedition adventure. That’s where we come in.

At Rich Vein Travel, we work with a range of luxury expedition cruise lines to ensure that each individual traveller has the perfect experience tailored around them. We take the time to understand your needs, and learn exactly what you’re hoping to see on your expedition cruise. From there, we make recommendations and help you turn your expedition cruise dream into a reality.

Choose an Antarctica holiday for the adventure of a lifetime at the bottom of the world. Each day represents an opportunity to discover the world’s most remote continent. Cruise by glaciers and icebergs, watch playful Adélie penguins, marvel at the seals frolicking in the ocean, and if you’re lucky you may even spot a whale!

For an expedition voyage slightly closer to home, why not consider Norway and the Norwegian Coast? Book an expedition cruise to Norway for a unique experience like no other. Set sail in search of the magnificent Northern Lights during a winter cruise along the Norwegian Coast and above the Arctic Circle. See Norway’s beautiful fjords with your own eyes. And uncover the beauty of Svalbard – full of spectacular wildlife and breathtaking landscapes.

Book an expedition cruise to the Arctic for a one of a kind travel experience. From abundant wildlife to dramatic landscapes, the Arctic is diverse and rugged. On an Arctic cruise, see the elusive polar bears roam freely, sail through the Northwest Passage and visit the charming Inuit villages of East Greenland.

These are just a few of the fantastic experiences that you could enjoy when booking a luxury expedition cruise with Rich Vein Travel. If your dream expedition cruise destination isn’t mentioned then contact one of our experienced travel experts directly!

Expedition Cruises to Norway and the Norwegian Coast

Embark on an expedition cruise to Norway to see Norway’s beautiful fjords. Norway’s vast coastline has an unimaginable number of fjords. The fjords were formed during ice ages; a fjord is formed when a glacier retreats, after carving its typical U-shaped valley by the ice. They are one of the world’s most captivating natural wonders, and as a result, the Norwegian fjords are on nearly everyone’s travel bucket list. Bergen – the largest city in the fjord region of Norway spanning Norway’s southern west coast is a key location for Norwegian expedition cruising. The Classic Hurtigruten Norwegian cruises set sail from Bergen to Kirkenes along the Norwegian coast, as travellers pass rugged coastlines, and stunning scenery.

However there are a range of other options with Hurtigruten. It is possible to explore the Norwegian Coast from a starting point further afield. Some Hurtigruten cruises to Norway and the Norwegian Coast depart from Amsterdam each year. Charming, artistic, and home to a variety of world-famous museums, Amsterdam is a perfect holiday destination. However it’s also a fantastic starting point for a luxury cruise. It adds a unique element to your luxury expedition holiday. Alternatively you can depart from Hamburg, in Germany. Before embarking on your ship, you may want to enjoy a tour on a harbour barge and explore some of Hamburg’s famous canals.

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Whether you’re in search of the magnificent Northern Lights during a winter expedition or the Midnight Sun during a midsummer expedition cruise, with Hurtigruten there are a range of options all year round. At Rich Vein Travel, we can advise you on the perfect expedition cruise for you!

On a Hurtigruten Norwegian expedition cruise, the Expedition team members are, of course, experts on the Norwegian coast, but they’re also your on-board and onshore hosts throughout your journey of a lifetime. The expedition team will give you optional lectures and presentations, take you on your excursions, and show you how to make the most of your experience without disturbing the fragile wildlife and nature. For young children, there is also the Hurtigruten Young Explorer programme. The complimentary programme runs all year on three Hurtigruten ships and is perfect for curious and active youth aged 7-13 years of age. The children will learn about other cultures, the importance of nature and wildlife, and have the chance to meet like-minded children to become friends with on board.

For a more luxurious experience, why not consider Silversea? Be seduced by the sea, as you float along vast bodies of water in Silversea’s Silver Cloud luxury cruise ship. Silver Cloud is the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Spending so much time on board, often upwards of 9, 10, 20 days, this really matters. Boasting large suits, unparalleled service, and four dining options, Silver Cloud is an experience unlike any other. As 80% of the suites have a veranda on Silver Cloud, taking in the magnificence of the natural world around you, has never been so easy, or intimate. On a Silversea cruise you can expect a limited number of guests, and the highest crew to guest ratio in expedition cruising. This means that exceptional attentive service and an incredible quality are to be expected from beginning to end, in every sense.
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Aside from Silver Cloud, and Silversea’s impressive fleet of incredibly well appointed ships, Silversea’s expedition voyages are typically highly unique, with a range of unconventional routes. Try Silversea’s luxury expedition cruise from Norway (Tromsø) to Iceland and prepare yourself for an experience like no other. The picture perfect town of Tromsø is complete with ice-capped mountain ridges which can be seen all around. Approximately 400km above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is famous for sightings of the Northern Lights. Departing from Tromsø, this expedition cruise sails through Svalbard, and the volcanic island of Jan Mayen, renowned for the humpback and minke whales that can be spotted in the nearby waters. From here, the Silver Cloud will sail to Iceland, with stops in Akureyri, Vigur Island where there are large numbers of Atlantic Puffins, Arctic Terns and Black Guillemots can be spotted in the summer. Afterwards the Silver Cloud will venture to the iconic Dynjandi waterfall, located in the Westfjords region. Reykjavik is the final stop on this particular journey.

Expedition Cruises to Antarctica

Explore Earth’s frozen frontier. On an Antarctica expedition cruise sail past sculpted icebergs, calving glaciers and admire a world of ice as it rolls past your window. Be on the lookout for some of the region’s captivating wildlife: penguins, seals, whales and seabirds. Make your way through the legendary Drake Passage and get a chance to learn about the natural evolution and human history of this, most mysterious, of continents.

On an expedition cruise no two days are the same. And it’s very common to see your itinerary change day to day to account for conditions and the wildlife around you. However these changes are made with you in mind, to make sure you have the best experience possible under the guidance of some of the world’s most experienced Antarctica experts.

Nine species of penguin can be found nesting in colonies throughout Antarctica. The Adélie penguins are one of the most common species that travellers tend to see. They can be found all along the Antarctic coast.  However, the Chinstrap, and Gentoo are also quite common to see on an expedition cruise to Antarctica. Antarctica is also a bird-lover’s paradise and is home to seven species of seals, which live in the Peninsula and Peri-Antarctic islands. The likelihood of seeing a diverse range of seals whilst you’re there is high but be careful as they can bite!

When visiting one of the world’s biggest continent’s you may also find you have the opportunity to see the world’s biggest mammals. Watching a pod of whales from up close is perhaps one of the most exciting experiences you can have in Antarctica. The use of small Zodiac boats, means that you can go with a pod, sailing not far from a mother and calf and watching them dip and dive into the water.  An expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure.

Similarly, on an expedition cruise with Quark Expeditions, great daily outdoor activities such as Zodiac cruises, hiking and snowshoeing are facilitated by an expert expedition team. For adrenaline junkies looking for heart racing activities travellers can choose to take their expedition to the next level. There’s cross country skiing, mountaineering, sea kayaking and paddle-boarding to name a few! After all of this, you can choose to spend a night camping under the stars, as you swap your comfy mattress for snow and ice. Camping is available on most Antarctic voyages with Quark Expeditions, and you don’t have to worry about bringing your own tent as all equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark.

Most Antarctica cruises depart from South America, in particular from the port city of Ushuaia in Argentina. All three National Geographic expedition cruise voyages depart from Ushuaia. Journey to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands, or consider a 24 day expedition cruise as you uncover the beauty of all three! Whichever cruise you choose, on a voyage to Antarctica you will have an exclusive opportunity to experience the spectacular on the coldest and oldest continent on earth. On a National Geographic expedition cruise, you will also be able to benefit from the knowledge of an experienced team of scientists, naturalists, and undersea specialists travelling aboard each ship. However, the cherry on top, when cruising with National Geographic, is that a National Geographic photographer and a certified photo instructor accompany each voyage. This makes one of the most memorable experiences of your life even better, as there will be a professional photographer on hand to capture all the best bits, and teach you a thing or two too! Whether you’re exploring by kayak, Zodiac, or on foot, discover and encounter the whales, seals, and quirky penguins that call this place home, under the guidance of the experts you’ll be able to take fantastic photos worth sharing with everybody you know.

Although it’s a longer journey for travellers based in the UK, Australia and New Zealand also act as cruise gateways to visit the incredible sights of Antarctica. There are a range of options and cruises exploring East Antarctica. Hobart (Australia) and Invercargill in New Zealand both host Antarctic cruise vessels heading south for the summer. To find out more contact our luxury travel experts.

Read our blog post on everything you need to know about Antarctica holidays for more information, or contact our friendly expedition experts.

Expedition Cruises to the Arctic

Venture to the top of the world on a luxury expedition cruise to the Arctic. Full of abundant wildlife and dramatic landscapes, the Arctic is diverse, rugged and remote. Expedition cruises to the Arctic typically depart during the Arctic Summer from June to September. Summer temperatures in the Arctic remain cool, hovering around zero in many places, but the brief summer thaw allows you to discover the magic of this wintry land as you create memories to last a lifetime.

Travelling to the Arctic is incredibly easy. By far, the most popular Arctic cruises, are those that sail to Norway and along the Norwegian coast. In the UK you can sail to the Arctic from Southampton, London Tilbury, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Dover, Edinburgh, Dundee, Greenock, and the Port of Tyne. This makes the region is very accessible from the UK. However, it’s also common to fly from the UK to Norway to start an Arctic cruise around the region from Bergen, Kirkenes, Tromsø, Oslo and Hamburg.

While not as popular as Norway cruises, certain lines, especially expedition cruise specialists like Hurtigruten, or Silversea, sail to Arctic Greenland and Canada on longer sailings. Many of these sailings cross the world-famous Northwest Passage. Most of these cruises sail from Dover, Longyearbyen, Tromsø, Manitoba, Nome, Juneau, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Edmonton.

Alaska cruises typically depart from the Seattle, or Vancouver. Sailing from these two departure points is the most popular way to take in Alaska’s splendours, and you take on the Inside Passage. However, some Arctic cruises around Alaska sail from San Francisco, Vancouver, and Alaska (Seward and Whittier).

On an Arctic cruise, you can see the elusive polar bears roam freely, explore Spietsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, and discover the serene beauty of Greenland, on one or more cruises. There are the ever popular cruise itineraries, venturing from Iceland to Spitsbergen, or Greenland to the mythical Northwest Passage. However, with Silversea you can also opt for expedition cruises along the unspoiled coastlines of the Russian Far East. Each of our expedition cruise partners has a range of ships and a variety of voyages to help you fulfil your Arctic expedition dreams.

One of the most common routes on an Arctic cruise involves a trip through the Northwest Passage. The Northwest Passage is a sea passage through the Arctic regions of North America that has been enticing explorers and fortune seekers for centuries. Connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the Northwest Passage is perfect for those seeking adventure. With Hurtigruten you can quite literally follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest explorers. Sail out of the fabled Northwest Passage. Explore Gjøahavn, where the Amundsen expedition spent two years and several members of the Franklin expedition team are buried. Discover the Illuissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For wildlife lovers there are countless species of sea birds that nest, fish and migrate throughout the area, as well as the polar bears, and seals, which make Arctic expedition cruises even more remarkable.

An alternative partner is Aurora Expeditions. From abundant wildlife and dramatic landscapes, to the Midnight Sun follow in the wake of the Vikings on an Artic expedition cruise to Greenland and Iceland. Explore Svalbard where the polar bear roams freely, hike and Zodiac amid icebergs, and if you’re likely you may even have the chance to see whales spout and breach before your eyes.

Looking for something different? You may have already revelled in the delights of the Northwest Passage, or Greenland, and may be looking for something off the beaten track. If so, the fabled Northeast Passage could be the perfect alternative. Russia controls one of the greatest seaways in the world. Within Russia it is known as the Northern Sea Route, however the rest of the world calls it the Northeast Passage. Long closed to Westerners, the Russian Far East is one of the planet’s least explored destinations. But with Silversea, you have the opportunity to explore this part of the world, in luxurious surrounds on a Russian Far East expedition cruise.

Take a Silversea cruise to the Russian Far East, where the winter ice isolates the volcanic Kuril Islands, and where wildlife roams freely with spectacular populations of seabirds and cetaceans. Discover the untouched beauty of Kuril Islands, especially the impressive Yankicha Island – a true gem. It is the southernmost of two islets forming Ushishir Island. Yankicha is distinct in having at its centre a caldera that is accessible by small boat only during high tide. See the world’s largest bear stroll through the Kamchatka Peninsula. Spot walrus, polar bears, Northern fur seals and Steller sea lions as you sail to Tyuleniy Island. And prepare to be captivated by the beauty of the Aleutian Islands – chain of small islands that separate the Bering Sea (north) from the main portion of the Pacific Ocean (south).

An expedition cruise has something for everybody. Whether you’re looking for an expedition cruise to Norway and the Norwegian coast, Antarctica, the Arctic, or Russia’s Far East, Rich Vein Travel can help you every step of the way. Our diverse range of luxury cruise partners and our expertise makes us perfectly equipped to help you make the right decision. So wherever you would like to go, irrespective of how far, our luxury travel experts are on hand to create your perfect tailor-made holiday.

​Browse our luxury holiday destinations for inspiration.

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