There’s something about an intimate cruise ship that conjures up images of the world’s very first explorers. From the never-ending colonies of penguins in Antarctica to the picture-perfect turquoise waters of Central America, take to the seas to reach the far-off destinations you’ve always dreamed of that can only be reached by boat. Luxury expedition ships get you off the beaten path like never before, with small group sizes meaning you get up close and personal with the people and destinations you’ve only ever read of.

There’s a big blue world out there waiting to be explored and these luxury cruises give you access to remote areas where regular tourists are generally unable to go while enjoying all the luxuries of a 5-star hotel. Let’s be honest, isn’t it time you pampered yourself a little? 

Amazon River Luxury Cruise

The Amazon River

One of the wildest, most remote corners of Earth; for those drawn to the natural beauty of our planet it’s the ultimate adventure. While the dense jungles of the Amazon rainforest might not be the first place you think of when you hear “luxury”, new ship options are changing that up. The Zafiro makes it possible for you to enjoy all the comforts of a 5* hotel while floating lazily past playful monkeys, pink dolphins, giant butterflies, and a myriad of other rare creatures. Head out on daily excursions like piranha fishing, moonlight safaris, and Amazonian village visits then pamper yourself in the evenings with spa treatments and an outdoor jacuzzi (perfect for an evening glass of champagne). This is as once-in-a-lifetime as it gets.

Getting you there: Amazon Rainforest Cruise

Galapagos Islands Cruise

Galapagos Islands

Find yourself just inches away from giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, iguanas and many other animals, and you’ll gain an appreciation for how remarkable life on Earth can be. The famed waters of the Galapagos Islands are a natural wonder best explored on a luxury expedition ship, giving you the freedom to get away from the crowds and up close with the wildlife that so inspired Darwin. Plus, have we mentioned the ship? Just because you’re off the beaten path doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on luxury. Grab a drink from the bar and lounge on the sundeck as pods of dolphins play in the boat’s wake or throw on your bathing suit and take a dip in the outdoor hot tub – the ideal spot for relaxing in after a long day of nature walks.

Getting you there: Galapagos Island Voyage

Costa Rica to Panama Luxury Cruise

Panama & Costa Rica

Aside from the comfort and feeling of true relaxation that a luxury expedition cruise can give you, small ships also offer insider access to remote regions and hard-to-reach destinations – far beyond the reach of the average traveler. Costa Rica and Panama are both home to some of the most biodiverse regions on the planet but getting there can be a little tricky. Lucky for you, your chartered yacht will get you to even the most remote national parks. From Panama’s Darien Province, which is practically inaccessible other than by air or ship, to the stunning Pearl Islands, you’ll be wowed by the outstanding wildlife, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Slip beneath the waves and explore protected waters and coral reefs, lounge on white sand beaches surrounded by untouched forest, sit out on the deck and watch the impressive sea of stars pass by overhead, treat yourself to a massage in the spa, or grab a book from the library and soak up the sun.