If you haven’t seen the latest installment in BBC’s Blue Planet II, then stop what you’re doing, grab some snacks and get caught up! For those of you who have been as captivated as we have, we have just the thing for you. Here’s exactly where to cruise to if you want to see the wonderful wildlife of the ocean up close and personal yourself – David Attenborough will have nothing on you!
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world – it’s larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space! This World-Heritage listed site boasts one of the most fascinating and diverse ecosystems on the planet. It’s a real tick-off the old bucket list!
A closer encounter with the Great Barrier Reef’s impressive coral gardens reveals many astounding underwater attractions – from the world’s largest collection of coral (more than 400 different kinds), to coral sponges, molluscs, rays, dolphins, over 1500 species of tropical fish, more than 200 types of birds, and around 20 types of reptile including sea turtles and giant clams over 120 years old. A visit to this part of the world is certainly enchanting – and educational!
Located over 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the middle of the Pacific Ocean lays the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are a bucket-list destination for good reason – thanks to a lack of natural predators, friendly wildlife such as playful sea lions and gigantic sea tortoises let visitors get up close and personal.
Much of Blue Planet II was filmed around the Galopagos islands – located in the confluence of three ocean currents, these islands are a ‘melting pot’ of marine species. The popularity of this diverse destination has led some of our favourite cruise companies to journey here – Celebrity Cruises®’ Celebrity Xpedition® is a ship especially tailored for sailings around these mesmerising islands!
Alaska is one the world’s major hotbeds for whale watching. It has to be said that cruising among some of the world’s largest mammals and observing their behavior is an experience like no other. Like all mammals, whales breathe air into their lungs, making it easy to spot them on the surface of the water as they come up for air in a behavior called spouting.
In addition to spouting, you may see more dynamic behaviors such as breaching or lunging. Breaching occurs when a whale leaps more than half-way out of the water. Lunging is similar to breaching, and occurs when less than half of the whale clears the surface of the water. During the summer months, more than 2,000 humpbacks are known to feed in the waters off Alaska. Killer whales are equally abundant – a cruise to Alaska serves up the chance to see various other types of wildlife too, like the Denali Big Five.
Antarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole, is a virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass. Most cruises to the continent visit the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches toward South America. It’s known for the Lemaire Channel and Paradise Harbor, striking, iceberg-flanked passageways, and Port Lockroy, a former British research station turned museum.
The peninsula’s isolated terrain also shelters rich wildlife, including many penguins! There are just 17 species of penguin worldwide, with four of these living and nesting on and around the Antarctic continent, with a further three inhabiting in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands – giving seven species in total that are considered ‘Antarctic penguins’. If you’re a big fan of the film ‘Happy Feet’ then you just HAVE to experience this for yourself!
One of Costa Rica’s most beloved seaside visitors is the sea turtle. And you could say that sea turtles love Costa Rica right back. Year after year, they return to the same Costa Rica beaches to lay their eggs. One of the most spectacular displays of this is the arribada – the annual arrival of hundreds of sea turtles to lay their eggs under the new moon. If you’re one for wildlife, you shouldn’t miss this natural spectacle!
Wonderful wildlife aside, Costa Rica has so much to offer – from tropical beaches to caves awaiting your descent, there’s so much culture to dive head first into! Visit volcanoes, stroll through national parks and bask on some of the most divine sands in the world – it’s sure to be spectacular.
Time to take a walk on the wildside?
These magical experiences are just a sailing away! Take a look at our latest deals – you’re sure to find that cruise you’ve been dreaming of! Or simply call our friendly team of experts on 0800 027 8302 – they’ll have you heading off on a relaxing escape in no time!