Top Picks For You

6 Cruise Lines Perfect for Nature Lovers


Environmentalists have long overlooked the prospect of a cruise vacation—little surprise, given that the industry hasn't been especially known for its eco-sensibility. But happily, thanks to a slate of new cruise line partnerships with some of the biggest names in nature and conservation, the concept of green-minded cruising needn't necessarily be an oxymoron. Here, we round out six new cruise line partnerships that are sure to bring a refreshing ecotourism slant to your next cruise vacation. Each incorporates nature conservation, education, and/or appreciation via special programs of activities, including shore excursions in some of the world's most wondrous wildlife- and nature-rich locales.— Elissa Garay

Brent Stephenson
1 of 6


Look for new (as of February 2016) tri-branded initiative between three leading sister expedition cruise lines—International Expeditions, Quark Expeditions, and Zegrahm Expeditions—and The Nature Conservancy. The 3-year collaboration strives to raise guests' awareness on “preserving and restoring the natural world,” as they sail on expeditions to some of the planet's most remote and naturally fragile locations, from Melanesia to Antarctica to the Peruvian Amazon. Look out for a slate of special programming, including pre-trip educational material, onboard video content, and onboard conservation education on the destinations visited, provided by the Conservancy’s scientists and researchers. In addition, a portion of each guest's fare who book directly with the line is now contributed to the efforts of The Nature Conservancy; guests, in return, are able to sign up for a complimentary 1-year membership with the organization.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Cruises Travel Guide

Paul Gauguin Cruises
2 of 6

Paul Gauguin Cruises

New for 2017, guests aboard select Paul Gauguin Cruises sailings in the South Pacific will benefit from the line's new partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society. The “edutainment” approach will include a “Wildlife Discovery Series,” with scientists, oceanographers, and conservationists presenting lectures on marine wildlife and their habitats. The other program, “Stewards of Nature” (offered during the summer and holidays), is geared toward kids (ages 7 to 17) and their families with hands-on educational programming led by naturalists.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Paul Gauguin Cruises Guide

3 of 6


If small-ship cruising is more your speed, don't miss out on the 2-year-old BBC Earth partnership with Tauck. On board their specially branded “Earth Journeys” itineraries, guests can expect added insight and perspective into the natural world via Tauck-exclusive nature documentaries produced by BBC Earth filmmakers, – inspired by the wildlife and environment of the scheduled journey. In addition, guests get to play around with BBC Earth filmmakers' field equipment like underwater and infrared cameras during the course of their sailing. Current scheduled sailings explore locales like Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and the Panama Canal and Costa Rica.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Cruises Travel Guide

Holland America Line
4 of 6

Holland America

Launched in late 2015, Holland America's fun and fact-fueled partnership with BBC Earth has rolled out on several ships and will be implemented throughout the entire fleet by March 2017. A highlight of the nature-focused partnership is a live concert based on BBC Earth's Frozen Planet program, presenting a journey into the polar regions. Other onboard activities include a game show themed on the natural world; BBC Earth theater screenings; and children's events like BBC Earth–inspired workshops and special shows on animals and dinosaurs. Select BBC Earth–branded cruises will bring the producers and creative team behind BBC Earth programming on board for special lectures, classes, and film workshops.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Holland America Line Guide

G Adventures, Inc.
5 of 6

G Adventures

G Adventures, with its adventure-minded roster of sea and river cruises around the globe, has launched an interesting new partnership. Debuted in late 2016, a 5-year alliance with the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada brings 20 Jane Goodall Collection–branded trips to the operator's portfolio, including three different cruises by yacht, riverboat, and polar expedition ship. Each has been endorsed by famed British anthropologist and primatologist Jane Goodall and is noted for its unique wildlife experiences and its strict adherence to G Adventures' Animal Welfare Policy; look out for scheduled adventures to the Galápagos Islands, the Amazon, the Arctic, and more.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Cruises Travel Guide

Royal Caribbean
6 of 6

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.—parent company to sister brands Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises—initiated, in early 2016, a 5-year partnership with the World Wildlife Fund that's now represented across the trio of cruise lines. The goal of the alliance is to support ocean conservation – via a set of sustainability targets (including emissions reductions) meant to decrease the environmental footprint of the cruise lines and – educate guests about ocean conservation and on how they – can act to help protect the world's oceans.

Guests can expect to see this initiative reflected in more green-minded shore excursions and onboard menus highlighting sustainably sourced seafood. Cruisers can discover more about the program via special in-cabin magazines outlining the work of the WWF and also tune into a channel on the organization on the stateroom TVs. Individual brands may offer unique applications of the partnership, too. For instance, Azamara will host an onboard World Wildlife Fund guest speaker series featuring expert lecturers discussing all facets of the natural world. The company will donate $5 million to the WWF to assist them with their ocean conservation efforts around the globe.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises Guides