Take Inspiration from Blue Planet Live
The upcoming BBC series Blue Planet Live (beginning on 24 March on BBC One) will take a tour of the world’s oceans, introducing viewers to the magnificent aquatic life under the waves. The four-part series will focus on various species in hotspots around the world, including whales in Baja California, turtles on the Great Barrier Reef and sharks in the Bahamas, and will feature the conservation efforts in place to protect them.
Take inspiration from the series to explore the world’s wildlife by boat on an expert-led, natural world cruise with Naturetrek. Travelling by sea enables wildlife enthusiasts to visit some of the most inaccessible regions of the planet, enjoying freedom from crowds and unparalleled sightings.
All of Naturetrek’s wildlife cruises take place on exclusively chartered vessels, filled with like-minded birding and wildlife enthusiasts. Naturetrek’s special team of expert naturalists, ornithologists and expedition leaders guarantees a wildlife experience like no other, delivering a wealth of species and sightings unmatched by any other cruise operator.
Paul Stanbury, Operations Manager at Naturetrek, says: “Wildlife cruises offer the means of visiting places that don’t have the usual tourist infrastructure. These areas have some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on the planet, and travelling on a small, expedition-style cruise, you frequently enjoy the whole place to yourself.”
Discover some of the destinations featuring in Blue Planet Live or choose from spectacular wildlife hot spots around the world such as the remote Raja Ampat islands in Indonesia, the fjords of coastal British Columbia or the High Arctic, in 2019 and beyond. All Naturetrek trips are inclusive of return flights from the UK.
Turtles and stingrays on the Great Barrier Reef
Discover the world’s largest expanse of coral reef – home to 15,000 species of fish, 400 types of hard and soft coral, 400 mollusc species and six kinds of turtle – on this tour of tropical Queensland. Don a snorkel and fins in the National Park of Green Island to witness Parrot Fish and Blue-Spotted Stingrays, go on a full-day catamaran tour of Michaelmas Cay to see the large numbers of breeding and resting seabirds, explore the Daintree Rainforest & River by boat, and more. Departing 25 August 2019, this 16-day trip costs from £6,395 pp.
Cetaceans of Baja California and the Sea of Cortez
Known as the Mexican Galapagos, Baja California is considered one of the world’s best whale-watching destinations, and will be explored on this 12-night cruise – starting with a night’s stay in vibrant San Diego. Witness a wide array of whale and dolphin species, from huge Blue Whales to the diminutive Harbour Porpoise. Other highlights include ‘eye-to-eye’ encounters with Grey Whales and thousands of dolphins in the Sea of Cortez. Departing 20 February and 23 March 2020, this 14-day trip costs from £6,295 pp.
Spitsbergen – the High Arctic realm of the Polar Bear
An exhilarating wildlife cruise around the spectacular High Arctic island of Spitsbergen; this dramatic land of jagged mountains, awe-inspiring glaciers and deep fjords lies just 600 miles south of the North Pole and is home to an exciting range of polar wildlife. Pack-ice lingers offshore throughout the summer; it is the hunting ground for the magnificent Polar Bear and home to Walrus, Harp Seal, Beluga Whale and the rare Bowhead Whale. Departing 25 June 2019 and 26 June 2020, this 11-day trip costs from £6,895 pp, including a nine-night cruise and one night’s B&B in Oslo.
Galápagos Islands by small ship
Take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to this natural history paradise on a cruise of the central and eastern islands of this volcanic archipelago, led by expert naturalist guides born and based in the Galápagos. Avoiding the large motor vessels and their noisy crowds, Naturetrek exclusively charters its own elegant first-class motor sailor, the ‘Cachalote Explorer’, for the flexibility it gives to explore the islands to the full. Witness Giant Tortoise, Blue-footed Boobies, and Galápagos Snakes, snorkel in crystal-clear, fish-filled waters, and spot seabirds and cetaceans while cruising between islands. Departing 1 July 2019 and 4 May 2020, this 13-day trip costs from £5,895 pp, including a seven-night cruise, and two nights’ B&B in Quito.
Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest
Search for Humpbacks, Orcas, Grey Whales, Bald Eagles, Spirit Bears, and congregations of Grizzly Bears fishing for salmon in the Canadian wilderness. The best way to explore this remote region of towering moss-draped forests and dramatic fjords is by water, and Naturetrek charters a 16-berth sailing ketch for a week-long cruise timed to coincide with the annual migration of millions of Pacific Salmon. Departing 10 September 2019, this 10-day trip costs from £5,595 pp, including a seven-night cruise and one night’s B&B in Vancouver.
A winter Arctic cruise in Norway: Orcas, Humpbacks & Northern Lights
In the winter months, the precipitous fjords of northern Norway are stage to the magnificent wildlife spectacle of pods of Orcas (Killer Whales), Humpback Whales and, overhead, White-tailed Eagles shadowing the vast shoals of Herring congregating in the area. Witness the display to the full on this expedition cruise on an historic 33-berth sailing schooner in search of Killer Whales, Humpback Whales and the Northern Lights. Departing 3 January 2020, this nine-day trip costs from £2,995 pp, including seven nights on board s/v Rembrandt, and one night’s B&B in Oslo.
Indonesia’s remote Raja Ampat islands
Lying off the western tip of Papua, Raja Ampat is a stunning archipelago of 1,500 very steeply-sloped, jungle-clad islands dotted with powdery white-sand beaches and secret lagoons. Explore them on a charter cruise, spotting whales (including the possibility of rarer species such as Bryde’s and Omura’s Whales), dolphins, flying fish and seabirds, as well snorkelling in the luminous turquoise, coral-rich waters that are home to more than 3,500 species of fish.
Departing 4 March 2020, this 14-day trip costs from £6,995 pp, including a nine-night cruise, one night on board the vessel in the harbour, and one night’s B&B in Sorong.
All prices are per person, based on two sharing, and include return flights (London), transfers and internal flights as per itinerary, full-board accommodation on board the cruise, B&B hotel or lodge-style accommodation as per itinerary, meals and excursions as per itinerary, and expert naturalist guiding.
To speak to the experts for more information on any of Naturetrek’s wildlife itineraries, or to request a copy of the 2019 brochure, call 01962 733051 or visit the new website at www.naturetrek.co.uk.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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