Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey, Lindblad Expeditions
Planned in partnership with National Geographic, Lindblad’s Pacific Northwest foray will have you living like an (extremely coddled) Lewis & Clark. A sample day’s adventure: kayaking below Palouse Falls before returning to the 62-person expedition ship for Astoria-smoked salmon and a local Deschutes Brewery beer. 7-day cruise from $4,750 per person, from Portland to Clarkston, WA.
Morocco & The Canary Islands, Windstar Cruises
Columbus himself stopped at Casa de Colon—and now you will, too. Among the storied sights of your journey: the Crayola-bright souks of Casablanca and camel-back tours of lava beds at National Park of Timanfaya in Lanzarote, Spain. 8-day cruise from $2,199 per person, Lisbon to Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Vancouver to Vancouver, Regent Seven Seas
Dog-sledding over Mendenhall Glacier via helicopter, panning for gold in Juneau’s Gold Creek, and a whale-watching photo safari are all just a part of one day’s thrill options aboard this cruise. 7 nights from $4,999.
Galapagos Islands Expedition Cruise, Silversea
These isles are a Mecca for adventurers and environmentalists, who come to see blue-footed boobies and tortoises that are older than their grandparents. Silversea makes spotting even the rarest short-eared owl easy, and swaddles you with comfort on board (think truffles and filet mignon for dinner, and afternoon tea at the Piano Bar). 7 days from $8,450, from Baltra to Baltra.
Discoverers’ Glacier Country, UnCruise Adventures
For anyone who says “I’d never take a cruise,” behold the UnCruise in Alaska: you’ll kayak between icebergs in Glacier Bay National Park, hike around the waterfalls on Baranof Island, and spot humpback whales breaching near Stephens Passage. 7 nights from $2,995 per person, roundtrip from Juneau.
San Pedro to Avalon, Catalina Express
It’s not every hour-long cruise that will ferry you to a rugged island of adventures—like zip-lining, rock climbing overlooking Descanso Bay, and holding hawks at Catalina Falconry—all just off the coast of a major city. Don’t miss it. 60 minutes, from $36 each way.
Antarctic Explorer, Adventure Smith Explorations
Spotting leopard seals, penguin rookeries, and minke whales near and on the seventh continent are all but guaranteed aboard this small-ship line, but we’re in it for the hair-raising activities, from mountaineering and cross-country skiing to diving into the frigid waters in a Polar Plunge. 11-day cruise from $5,995 per person, roundtrip from Ushuaia, Argentina.