If you want a cruise that is more about exploration and research than simply sitting on a deck working on your tan, sipping mai tais, and competing in the sexiest legs contest, then you may dig the offerings of Lindblad Expeditions.
The small-ship outfit specializes in adventure/educational cruises that also tread lightly on the environment, striving to create an eco-friendly yet enjoyable vacation experience. The cruises are exploratory in nature, and you can expect to find out about destinations first-hand since you'll be accompanied ashore by small teams of naturalists and historians to speak about what your'e seeing.
Lindblad even has a ship called the National Geographic Endeavour that is fitted with advanced research equipment and has an advisory group from the Geographic Society, which aids in creating cruises that concentrate on research, conservation, and have interesting educational initiatives.
As you can expect, the average passengers aren't the party-all-nighters types, and you can expect to be sailing with physically active and intellectually curious folks, often in the 55+ age range. On the downside, prices tend to be hefty, but they are more inclusive than mainstream cruises, with shore excursions all included (and on some dates and itineraries airfare is also included).
Examples of cruise destinations you can visit:
- Galapagos Islands
- Scottish Highlands
- Mediterranean Sea
- Baja/Sea of Cortez