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12 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do While Cruising

Wild excursions, on-board activities, and remote destinations.

Just when you think you've seen it all on the rivers and high seas, a new ship or line (or a major vessel makeover) dangles an irresistible opportunity. Perhaps you dream of living like a rock star, diving deep into polar waters, discovering a new hobby, or making a wish – such as meeting Broadway stars – come true. We scanned the horizon to find out what’s next at sea. For veteran cruisers and newcomers alike, here are 13 things that have us excited to hit the gangway and set sail.

Heli-Hike in Antarctica

Heli-hiking, offered on Quark Expeditions’ new Ultramarine, gives adventurers two experiences in one. First, the flight provides spectacular coastal and mountain views. Next, you get to trek or snowshoe in remote areas with glaciers and pure snowfields.

Move Like Jagger

Crank the fun up to 11 in the 2,147- square-foot Massive Suite – the largest of the 24/7 butler-serviced RockStar Quarters – on Virgin Voyages’ new Scarlet Lady. Would-be celebs can sip bubbly from a bottomless bar in the terrace hot tub, dance atop the alfresco runway/dining table, jam with electric guitars in the music room, and party in Richard’s Rooftop private club (the guest list is exclusive to those in RockStar suites).

Polar Dive

On Aurora Expeditions’ 132-passenger Sylvia Earle, divers can slip into dry suits to explore Antarctic icebergs and search for polar marine life. Imagine spotting penguins doing acrobatics underwater with the backdrop of an iceberg.

Dinner and a Virtual Show

Head to Le Grand Bistro on Celebrity Cruises’ new 2,910-passenger Celebrity Apex for an animated take on dinner theater, in which 3D hologram characters sing, dance, cook, and spin tales on guests’ tables during four-course meals designed by a Michelin-starred chef.

Sip Champagne in a Sub

Raise a glass of bubbly to exploring the ocean’s depths from Seabourn’s six-passenger submarine during the 264-passenger Seabourn Venture’s inaugural season in Norway. Video cameras inside and out record the entire experience for viewing at home. What a way to see underwater beauty in style, without getting wet and salty!

Cast Away

SiriusXM’s On Broadway host Seth Rudetsky joins Audra McDonald and other Tony Award-winning stars, who will reprise hit performances and share insider stories, aboard Regent Seven Seas’ 750-passenger Seven Seas Splendor for an eight-day cruise from Barcelona to Venice.

Keep Them in Stitches

Guest experts lead hands-on sessions for quilters of all levels during American Queen Steamboat Company’s cruise from Saint Louis to Memphis on the 166-passenger American Duchess. Excursions on the nine-day voyage include a visit to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky.

Steam Room Ritual

Look for the hammam excursion in Málaga, Spain, on numerous Med sailings this spring aboard Oceania’s Riviera – it’s a historical sensory experience. Age-old Arab bathhouse traditions prevail, including candlelit soaks in thermal baths and an authentic massage.

Private-Balcony Blowout

Live life outdoors in one of the two Sky Suites on the new, 3,560-passenger Enchanted Princess. The five-person suite has the largest balcony in Princess Cruises’ fleet – more than 1,000 square feet, with a 270-degree view. Balcony perks include a daybed, bar, and fridge; a dining table; and seats overlooking the pool deck and its big screen for movies under the stars.

Spa without Borders

Silversea debuts its newest ship, the 596-passenger Silver Dawn, with a 15-day Atlantic crossing from Fort Lauderdale to Lisbon. Silver Dawn breaks the boundaries of shipboard pampering with Otium, a novel, Med-inspired spa concept. Guests can get treatments in the spa, in their suite, or in other ship venues. A couples massage set to live music, poolside canapés – the sky’s the limit.

Voyage between Poles

Sail from the Arctic to Antarctica on Hurtigruten Expeditions’ 254-passenger Fram. The 66-day voyage cruises from Canadas Baffin Bay to the Maritimes and Greenland, traverses the Panama Canal, then traces South America’s west coast en route to Antarctica. Excursions lean into adventure and eco-touring; passengers can unwind with yoga and meditation classes on deck.

Butterfly Binge

Nature lovers on Ponant’s 184-passenger Le Champlain will find themselves among 200 species of butterflies (and more than 10,000 plant and 300 bird species) on an excursion in Costa Rica’s Carara National Park. In collaboration with Smithsonian Journeys, Matthew Larsen, director emeritus of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, joins the eight-day cruise from Colón, Panama, to Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, for special presentations en route.

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