Small Ship Cruise Holidays

From the icy waters of the Arctic to the sun-kissed South Pacific, our collection of small ship expedition cruises spans five continents. Encounter penguins in Antarctica or humpback whales in Alaska’s Inside Passage; discover distant tribes in Papua New Guinea or visit traditional villages in the heart of Panama’s rainforest.

Small ship cruising is all about immersing yourself in your surroundings: a true exploration of remote areas, uncovering local cultures and encountering wildlife, learning as you go, and sharing the adventure with like-minded travellers in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Your ship is your base, providing tasty meals and a comfortable night’s sleep, but the main reason for choosing an expedition cruise is that exploration by boat is the best way to reach these wild places. The aim is to get off the ship as often as possible; whether that means pulling up at a deserted cove to hike through pristine tropical jungle, visiting isolated indigenous communities, or jumping into Zodiacs for closer encounters with whales and other marine wildlife.

Along the way you’ll have the chance to learn about the region’s natural and historic contexts, gaining a greater understanding and appreciation of some of the most special and fragile corners of our planet.

Speak to a specialist
Personally, in my humble opinion, anyone who goes to Antarctica is mad if they don't go to South Georgia... it must be one of the most stunning places on the planet.
David Sevage, Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia

Popular Worldwide Cruises

Popular Polar Voyages

Our expedition voyages are all about unforgettable experiences. We use our firsthand expertise to help realise the dreams of ocean explorers. As leading specialists in small-ship cruises, we are constantly expanding our programme of expedition voyages to the Arctic, Antarctica, Alaska, Central America, Australia, Papua New Guinea, the South Pacific and beyond.

We can advise you on where to go – whether it’s charting a course for the Great Barrier Reef or Greenland’s mighty fjords, island-hopping in Indonesia, polar bear spotting in Svalbard or setting sail for Antarctica.

Timing is everything. Our Travel Specialists can help you pick the best months for anything from penguin chicks to whale watching. They’ll also go the extra nautical mile to make it a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, perhaps by including a sea kayaking excursion or recommending a voyage that delves into Inuit or Polynesian culture.

They will take the time and care to help you navigate every detail – from your choice of ship, cabin and itinerary to international flights and pre- and post-cruise stopovers. It’s always important to book early to secure your place on the expedition voyage of your choice, as many fill fast and have limited availability.

Read our Blog

Meet the Expert: Jo Cooper, Senior Polar Specialist

Our very own Ice Queen, Jo has one of the coolest jobs around. Having worked at Discover the World for 19 years, her knowledge of the polar regions is unrivalled. Read on for some of Jo’s standout experiences and top travel tips for an Arctic exploration.
  • Destination Insiders

Thursday, 21st March 2019

Jo Cooper

Discovering The Marquesas: Ua Pou

Back from an unforgettable cruise in the Marquesas Islands, Worldwide Travel Specialist, Jo, talks about her time spent on the island of Ua Pou...
  • Travel Stories

Friday, 19th May 2017

Jo Cooper

16 Inspiring Photos of Antarctica

No photograph can really do justice to the Great White Continent – but here are 16 of our favourite images of Antarctica.
  • Inspire Me

Monday, 29th April 2019

Jo Cooper

In Search of Polar Bears in Spitsbergen

Polar specialist, Gary, sailed around Spitsbergen aboard the M/V Plancius in search of polar bears.
  • Travel Stories
  • Wildlife

Tuesday, 24th October 2017

Destination Specialist