Thanks to television programmes such as Blue Planet and Big Cats, our fascination with wildlife has never been greater. But did you know that a cruise can help you see many of the world’s most amazing creatures? From alligators in the Deep South to polar bears in the Arctic, animal magnetism can be a great way to sell a destination.
1. Head for Antarctica’s Snow Hill Island – accessible from November to March – to see the world’s largest colony of emperor penguins with Quark Expeditions.
2. Costa Rica, in Central America, is the perfect place to see sloths, with many lines offering trips to sloth sanctuaries, including MSC Cruises.
3. Svalbard, in the Arctic Circle, is home to the polar bear, the world’s largest land predator. See one between May and September with Hurtigruten.
4. America’s Deep South is famous for its alligators. Snap up a Mississippi river cruise with the American Queen Steamboat Company.
5. Follow in the path of Charles Darwin by studying the giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands. Silversea and Celebrity visit the archipelago.
6. Outside Port Elizabeth in South Africa, elephants can be found in the 1,600 sq km Addo National Park, alongside lions, leopards and rhinos. P&O runs cruises in the area.
7. Borneo has many rehabilitation centres where you can meet one of man’s closest relatives in the animal kingdom: the orangutan. Travel there with Princess Cruises.
8. The humpback whale can be found in the seas off Alaska in the summer, having migrated from the south in May. To migrate there yourself, book with Holland America.
9. Giant crabs can be caught, cooked and eaten in Honnigsvag and Kirkenes, the rugged fishing ports of north Norway. Visit with Viking Cruises.
10. Koalas are best spotted in Australia, obviously. Coral Expeditions offer itineraries to the Great Barrier Reef and the Kimberley, the country’s northernmost region.