Worried about embarking on your first expedition cruise? We bust the common misconceptions which hold people back…

There was a time when the term ‘expedition’ would conjure up images of epic voyages undertaken by Columbus, Drake and Magellan – rather than something Dave from down the road can do.

However, creaking masts, turbulent seas and navigating with paper maps are a thing of the past and, with the boom of cruising in the 21st century, new life has been breathed into expedition cruising.

Now guests can follow in the footsteps of these legendary explorers with an expedition cruise of their own.

But, as with anything a little bit different, it can be easy to get confused about whether it is right fo you.

Fran Hayden, marketing executive at ROL Cruise, looks at five common misconceptions about expedition cruising and helps pick the right voyage for you…

Expedition cruising is only for the super-fit

One of the biggest misconceptions about expedition cruising is that passengers need to be super-fit to be able to make the most of their experience – and while a moderate level of fitness wouldn’t go amiss – it isn’t an absolute necessity.

Many cruise lines offer less-active excursions, such as Zodiac tours in groups and gentle guided walking tours, or slightly more active excursions, such as husky-dog sledging.

Excursions which require a higher level of fitness include kayaking, swimming with seals and hiking.

Whatever your fitness level, expedition cruises have experiences available which will suit your ability, so you can be sure that you won’t miss out on anything on offer. 

Expedition cruising is basic

Expedition ships are generally built to be functional and provide all the amenities needed to ensure a journey is a success.

This leads many potential guests to assume that functional equals basic – but that’s not the case at all.

As with any type of cruise, there are a rich variety of cruise experiences and styles to choose from: Hurtigruten offer passengers a diverse fleet of hybrid-powered expedition ships, Silversea Expeditions brings ultra-luxury cruising to some of the harshest climes on earth, and Aurora Expeditions introduces its new state-of-the-art ship this year offering the latest innovations.

Simply put, whatever style of cruising potential guests seek, expedition cruise lines can cater for them. 

Expedition cruising is expensive

Expedition cruising, like any other style of cruise, varies in price depending on cruise line, cabin grade and destination.

Ranging anywhere from £1,500pp to £20,000pp, expedition cruising caters for many different budgets and, when considering the inclusions available, guests will see that their holiday is more than worth the money.

Expedition cruising is limited to Antarctica

You’d be forgiven for thinking that expeditions only take place in Antarctica.

As one of the most popular destinations for expedition cruising, the Great White Continent is often the focus of many expedition voyages, however, if Antarctica isn’t on your bucket list, there are plenty of other destinations to see.

Cruise to the Arctic where you may witness polar bears, reindeer and the Arctic fox, cruise to South America and open your eyes to the mighty Amazon rainforest or journey to the Galápagos Islands and observe the wonderful process of evolution at close range. 

Expedition cruising is all about wildlife and landscapes 

Another common misconception about expedition cruising is that passengers will spend their whole holiday searching for elusive wildlife and admiring unforgettable landscapes, however, expedition cruising is so much more than that.

An expedition cruise will also endeavour to take guests ashore to off-the-beaten-track, remote and unique destinations where guests can immerse themselves in the local culture.

Experiences on offer range from visiting local Inuit communities, exploring indigenous museums and art galleries, indulging in local cuisine and spending time ashore in little-visited destinations, learning how life works in these remote areas of the world.

Discover a range of exciting expedition cruises with ROL Cruise, here