Expedition Cruise Lines Operating Right Now

EXCERPT / COURTESY Cruise Industry News, July 11, 2021: Expedition cruising is no longer a distant dream, with a handful of cruise lines already operating voyages in the Galapagos, Alaska, Iceland, France, the Mediterranean and Australia. More will be joining in later in 2021.


First sailing: In service

Ships: National Geographic Endeavour II, National Geographic Venture, National Geographic Quest, National Geographic Sea Lion, National Geographic Sea Bird, National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Endurance

Regions: Galapagos, Alaska and Iceland

Lindblad Expeditions resumed service on June 4, with three vessels entering service in the same week. Now, the company is offering cruises to the Galapagos and Alaska – where its entire fleet of U.S.-flagged small ships will spend the summer.

In July, Lindblad also resumed sailings to Iceland with the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer. The newbuild National Geographic Endurance is also entering service in the region soon, with cruises planned to start on July 21.


First sailing: In service

Ships: Le Bougainville, Le Lyrial, Le Dumont-D’Urville, Le Champlain and Le Bellot

Regions: Europe – Mediterranean, Iceland and France

After resuming service on June 16, PONANT is planning to offer more than 50 departures to Iceland, the Mediterranean and France this summer.

Highlights include over 30 sailings in the Mediterranean, in addition to new itineraries and ports of call. Sailing from Northern France, PONANT is also offering a unique stop at the brand’s namesake islands, Ponant Islands.

Silversea Expeditions

First sailing: In service

Ship: Silver Origin

Region: South America – The Galapagos

On its maiden voyage, the Silver Origin marked the service resumption of Silversea Expeditions. Since June 19, the newbuild is in service in the Galapagos, offering year-round expedition voyages in the Ecuadorian archipelago.

Three other Silversea Expedition vessels are set to resume service in November, ahead of the 2021-2022 season in Antarctica.


First sailing: July 17, 2021

Ship: Crystal Endeavor

Region: Europe – Iceland and Norway

Recently named in Germany, the Crystal Endeavor is set to enter service on July 17.

As Crystal’s first expedition vessel, it will offer a series of ten-night immersive voyages circumnavigating Iceland. In September, the vessel will add an expedition to the Norwegian Fjords to its schedule.

Atlas Ocean Voyages

First sailing: August 4, 2021

Ship: World Navigator

Region: Egypt and Greek Islands

Launching service this year, Atlas Ocean announced new summer 2021 itineraries for its first, newly constructed expedition ship, the World Navigator.

The updated inaugural season includes alternating departures from Piraeus, Greece, and Alexandria, Egypt, starting August 4.

Quark Expeditions

First sailing: October 31, 2021

Ships: Ultramarine, Ocean Adventurer, World Explorer and Ocean Diamond

Region: Antarctica

Quark Expeditions is planning a service resumption in Antarctica, featuring its first newbuild, the 199-guest Ultramarine. According to its website, the new vessel is set to enter service on Oct. 31, offering expeditions from Argentina.

Three additional ships – the Ocean Adventurer, the World Explorer and the Ocean Diamond – are also poised to resume sailings in Antarctica, starting in November.

Cover photo: National Geographic Resolution, courtesy Lindblad & Natl Geo

See these Expeditions lines and ships (E) here, along with much more!

CruiseCompete travel advisors can assist with details and sailings. CruiseCompete also offers shore excursions and cruisetours!

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