Close your eyes and imagine you’re on a cruise with Sir David Attenborough.
But not just any cruise, the kind that sails you into a place that redefines the meaning of natural beauty, a dimension that feels distinct to the world you’ve always known. As you float by awe-inspiring natural wonders in the company of soaring seabirds, Sir David is by your side, pointing out creatures and plants you never even knew existed, telling you what they are, and why they matter, broadening your intellectual horizon.
We’re not here to tell you that you can actually holiday with Sir David Attenborough. But we have found you a travel experience that delivers the same next level factor of pure unadulterated wow.
You can now satisfy your inner explorer by travelling just like a National Geographic explorer does; in the spirit of adventure and education and also, of course, in style. National Geographic’s Ocean Cruise Expeditions, in partnership with luxury cruise provider, PONANT, are giving travellers the opportunity to uncover some of the most beautiful and remote destinations across all seven continents.
We don’t know about you, but the thought of journeying to places where no (or very few) have journeyed before, makes us feel pretty special, and incredibly excited.
We also like the part about style because, you know, who wouldn’t?
In honour of National Geographic’s belief in the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling, each all-immersive ocean expedition features a unique travel itinerary, designed to allow us to see the world through a completely different lens. To make sure travellers make the most of the experience, explorers are also accompanied by world-renowned National Geographic experts and photographers, skilled travel companions who remain on board to provide guided tours and seminars both at sea and at ports.
To satisfy your thirst for knowledge, naturalist guides are on hand to educate passengers on the wildlife, history, geopolitics, great explorers, climate and environmental protection measures at each destination.
But it gets even better. Award-winning National Geographic photographers are also on board to capture the entire experience, and to teach photography techniques along the way.
Basically, by the time the cruise is over your Instagram feed will look so good you’ll probably want to print it and put it on the fridge. Just sayin’.
While en route, daily itineraries are filled with off-ship adventures enabling you to embark on expert-guided sailing, hiking and diving ventures, as well as on-shore visits to get up close to the flora, fauna and traditional cultures of each destination.
This is the part where you get to channel your own inner Attenborough. We’re not sure if self-commentary is allowed, but it’s likely you’ll be tempted to reenact an episode of ‘Planet Earth’ at some point.
Because variety is the spice of life, expeditions span all over the globe, allowing travellers to explore everything from the unspoiled regions of Australia’s Kimberley, to the extremities of uninhabited Antarctica and the exotic coral reefs of the Caribbean. Obviously you take each adventure separately, or packing for your trip would be an actual nightmare.
While touring you’ll also be supporting a great cause
National Geographic returns a portion of all proceeds from bookings to the non-for-profit National Geographic Society, supporting researchers and explorers who work to preserve, protect, and advance understanding of the planet and its people. This is more than just a cruise, it’s also an opportunity to make a real contribution to the conservation of our planet, a chance to do some good.
Your luxury cruise liner awaits
All National Geographic expeditions set sail on luxury PONANT ships that feature the new ice-rated and environmentally sensitive Le Lapérouse, the lead ship of the Explorers-class of cruise ships operated by the French cruise ship operator. Bonus fact: each member of the class has been allocated the name of a famous French explorer, and Le Lapérouse is named after naval officer Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse.
With 92 elegantly furnished staterooms and suites and a world-first multi-sensory underwater lounge, Blue Eye, for viewing and listening to surrounding marine life, Le Lapérouse is far more than just a ship, it’s practically a floatable castle.
Want to know more about where National Geographic can take you? Top trips departing in 2019 and 2020 include the following:
The Antarctic Odyssey
21 days from 19 November – 9 December 2019
The Antarctic Odyssey is the most comprehensive of National Geographic’s polar expeditions. Cruise to the southernmost city of the world and discover Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, seals and seabirds, against a grandiose backdrop of icebergs, ice floe, and ages-old glaciers.
Expert: Annie Fitzsimmons
Annie Fitzsimmons is the Editor-at-large of National Geographic Traveler and pioneer of National Geographic’s The Urban Insider community, a curated guide of things to see and do in cosmopolitan cities.
Photographer: Dan Westergren
Former director of Photography at National Geographic Traveler, Dan Westergren has three-
decades of experience as an award-winning photographer for the National Geographic Society and has served as a photographic expert for numerous Antarctic expeditions.
Ancient Cultures of Northern Australia and Papua
11 Days from 6 – 16 December 2019
This tropical expedition provides the opportunity to discover and interact with the traditional
cultures of Northern Australia and Papua. Encounter local peoples and their cultural performances, ceremonies and unique art.
Expert: David Harrison
Anthropologist and linguist, David Harrison, has been a National Geographic Fellow and co-
director of the National Geographic Society’s Enduring Voices Project, documenting endangered languages and cultures around the world.
Photographer: Jay Dickman
Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist, Jay Dickman, has been involved in National Geographic expeditions for over a decade and has travelled extensively within all seven continents.
Exploring the Kimberley
14 Days from 26 August – 8 September 2020
Le Lapérouse will take you along one of the most spectacular coasts in the entire region. With their falls, abrupt gorges, savannah, desolate mountain chains and incredibly rich seabed, the wild lands of Kimberley are the promise of an exceptional adventure.
Photographer: Jason Edwards
Jason has been at the forefront of natural history photography for more than two decades and has been recognised globally for his contributions to Science, the Environment and the Arts with accolades including the Eureka Prize for Science Photography.