Expedition cruises are expected to take the world by storm in 2022 and beyond. With destinations that span every point of the compass, this is a great way to really get into the crevices of some of the globe’s most desirable locations.

Once you start researching expedition cruises, you’ll soon realise these ships are far from ordinary. Forget mini golf and climbing walls, this is an adventure that will put you closer to nature than you could ever imagined.

Here are just some of the most mind-blowing features you’ll find on board expedition cruise ships.

Seabourn’s submarines

Ever wondered what lurks beneath the surface of the sea? Wonder no more. Seabourn has its own custom-built, battery-powered submarines ready to be deployed from Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit. Each one seats six guests and can reach depths of 300 metres, putting everything from marine life to coral reefs within easy reach.

Of course, this isn’t just any submarine experience. With a six-star, luxury expedition cruise like this one, you can expect a few extras thrown in. How does custom-embroidered leather upholstery, Bluetooth stereo system and chilled champagne sound? The whole thing will be filmed using a 4K underwater video camera system, so prepare to wow everyone back home with your holiday memories.

Seabourn submarine

Hurtigruten Expeditions Science Center

If, like most people, some your fondest school memories involved carrying out experiments in the science lab, then Hurtigruten Expeditions has just the thing for you. Each expedition ship is kitted out with its own Science Center, where you’ll find microscopes, interactive maps and plenty of intellectual types willing to strike up a conversation.

But a Hurtigruten Expeditions Science Center isn’t just for show. Oh, no. This is where some pretty important work takes place. Members of the Expedition Team will use the space to learn more about their craft, analysing samples and doing whatever it is that sciencey types do in these places. Exciting stuff, indeed.

Scenic Cruises helicopters

Cruising is just about seeing destinations on land and sea, right? Wrong! Scenic Cruises offers its guests the chance to take to the skies of their destinations in one of its two high-tech Airbus EC-130-T2 helicopters.

They’re available when Scenic Eclipse docks at certain locations, so if it’s on your to-do list, you’ll need to pick your expedition cruise itinerary carefully. Past guests have been treated to displays of humpback whales bubble feeding in Antarctica, a bird’s-eye view of the San Blas Islands coral reefs and the glittering glaciers of Prins Christiansund. If the FOMO is starting to kick in – and who could blame you – then Scenic Eclipse could be worth a closer look.

Scenic Eclipse helicopter

The Hangar – Viking’s onboard marina

Not one to be left behind, Viking also recently announced its first forays into the world of expedition cruising. Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris are soon joining the fleet and, you guessed it, they’ve got some exciting onboard features to help passengers make the most of their voyages.

Among them is The Hangar, which lays claim to being an industry first. It’s a marina housed within the ship – yes, you read that right. An 85-foot slipway is carefully concealed in the hull of the vessel, where guests can climb about their excursion craft with ease. Forget sprawling limbs as your boat bobs about on the ocean waves, The Hangar allows disembarkation with dignity. And that’s something we’re all glad of.

The Hangar on Viking expedition ship

Silversea’s Zodiacs

No sooner as you’ve booked an expedition cruise will you have a whole new dictionary of lingo to learn. One term you’ll come across time and time again is Zodiac – and it’s integral to your entire adventure. These inflatable vessels allow you to explore your surroundings and get into those hard-to-reach places – and few do them as well as Silversea.

Silver Cloud boasts 20 brand-new Zodiacs, which will bring the penguins closer, glaciers within touching distance and give you at least half a chance of discovering the undiscoverable. Silver Origin is destined for warmer climes, offering the highest number of Zodiacs per guest in the Galapagos.

Ready to see them for yourself? Take a look at our range of expedition cruises by clicking here.