Small-ship expeditionary cruises are a great way to explore the earth’s nooks and crannies. Here’s how two—in very different parts of the world—stack up.
The lure: Roughly 600 miles off Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, this protected national park consists of 20 main islands and is considered one of the world’s best spots for wildlife viewing.
How to go: A small-ship cruise is the best way to visit several islands. You’ll walk, hike, snorkel and ride inflatable boats to explore the islands’ fascinating natural features and animal populations.
“Ahhh” moment: The animals in Galapagos are not afraid of humans, so snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters while sea lions dart around you playfully is a unique, unforgettable experience.
Can’t get enough? Add on a jaunt to legendary Machu Picchu in neighboring Peru.
The lure: With about 40% of the nation above the Arctic Circle, Norway features mountains, glaciers and a rugged coastline broken up by thousands of fjords and islands.
How to go: Norway’s splendid scenery is never in short supply. Cruises focus on the picturesque coastline, while land trips can include Flam Railway, considered one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys.
“Ahhh” moment: Sailing deep into a fjord—Norway has more than 1,000—is a lesson in nature’s majesty, as you’re surrounded by snow-capped mountains, quaint villages and waterfalls cascading into the water below.
Can’t get enough: Visit the Svalbard islands, famous for their resident polar bears.
Passion for travel: Enjoying the finer things