Nature-lovers might be surprised to know that they can seek out birds, animals, and outdoor activities on a cruise holiday. From small expedition ships staffed with naturalists and expedition leaders to bigger ships with wilderness or wildlife-themed shore excursions, passengers have a wealth of options to embrace the outdoors.

Nature cruises can range from small expedition ships staffed with small teams of naturalists and guides to bigger ships with shore excursions and wildlife-theme expedition. Passengers have a myriad of ways to experience nature itself along with many destinations to choose from.

From penguins in Antarctica to bears found in Alaska, this is the real choose-your-own-adventure! Admiring nature cruises, travelers can get acquainted closer with the climate of Antarctica or visit exotic African land.  You can fetch your binoculars, bird watching guides, the pair of boots and enjoy the most incredible wildlife destinations available on our Planet.


Grizzly bears! Prairie Wolves! Soaring eagles! It would be easier to list the things that you couldn’t find in Alaska than to name all of those present in it. Get up close and personal with a glacier, closing up to its face in a kayak or hiking across crevasses. For those wanting to see marine wildlife, the waters of Alaska accommodate seals and sea lions along with its most popular leviathans: the humpback and killer whales.

Mexico's Sea of Cortez

The tidal currents are present here to bring in a varied selection of marine life from all over the Pacific Ocean. As such, there is an extremely long food chain, ranging all the way from plankton to sperm whales.

Cruise goers will be treated to the sights of gigantic manta rays, whale sharks and proper whales. Once the winter season descends, California’s gray whales happen upon the Sea of Cortez to calve – give birth – and you’ll have a first row see to witness it from a panga or zodiac boat. Snorkel in islands, reefs, and even in the company of sea lions is also an encouraging option.

Costa Rica

Tiny Costa Rica may cover less than .03 percent of the earth's surface, but nearly 6 percent of the planet's plant and animal species call the Central American country home. A cruise here can take you to reserves like Tortuguero National Park and Manuel Antonio National Park, where you might spot monkeys, crocodiles, sloths, egrets and many other types of birds.

Landscapes range from mangrove swamps and volcanoes to waterfalls and cloud forests (like Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, home to trees that are more than 300 years old). And, when your camera's memory card is full, you'll have plenty of opportunities to chill out during beach landings.


It was in this island that a man by the name of Charles Darwin devised his very own theory of evolution by observing the immensely diverse specimens of birds featured on them and changed the course of biology and history as we know it. So, the Galapagos Island is easily the essential, must-go destination for nature cruises. Iguanas and giant tortoises crawl on the ground in the island; sharks, turtles, and manta rays swim its water.

Amazon River

Amazon River is the trail across the jungle. Here you can stroll local villages and put on your binoculars to look for monkeys, toucans, sloths, and pink dolphins. Fishing piranhas is also an ever-popular activity with the locals. You can also observe the "Meeting of the Waters", a unique site where you can see tan waters and black waters of two different affluences of the Amazon River.

Rife with abundantly different species of birds, seals, and whales, the waters of Antarctica offer the opportunity of rich study of life among its quite cold. Hiking sports are present in Fortuna Bay, Deception Island and Neko Bay. But the most impressive scenes are those that bear the sight of the enormous icebergs floating majestically in its waters.

The Arctic

The attractiveness of such remote regions lies in its unique features, such as a sun that is still visible after midnight, and the opportunity it affords for watching walruses, polar bears, whales, migratory birds and reindeers in their natural habitat. Dogsledding, hiking and kayaking are sports that are commonly practiced within the Arctic’s areas.


As depicted in many movies, including, of course, Disney’s animated classic The Lion King, Africa is a paradise for the abundance of diverse wildlife. Both South Africa and Kenia are the two main areas within continental Africa where cruise tours and cruise-based safaris are performed. Elephants, lions, buffalo, leopards, zebras, giraffes and rhinos, they are all here. Madagascar Island also is a favorite spot for naturalists thanks to its secluded habitat that has fostered many unique species.

Australia and New Zealand

The most diverse wildlife assortment lies within Australia and New Zealand, be it land or sea-based. The Great Barrier Reef, being the largest coral reef on the planet, is home to more than 1,500 species of fish which snorkelers can interact with up and close. Stingrays, whale, dolphins, giant clams, and sea turtles are also waiting for you there at Queensland.

By being 40% composed of national parks, you can bet assured that the Tasmania island is home to its own unique reserve of wildlife, which includes, of course, the Tasmanian Devils themselves within its ranks.

Voyages from New Zealand consist  of round trips out of Australian ports, usually comprised of sea days to explore Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, and Milford Sound.