Bird & wildlife Cruises
Expedition Cruises, often called ‘wildlife’ or ‘nature’ cruises, are voyages of discovery to the remotest regions of our world. Experiencing the wildlife and the journey itself is the purpose of these wonderful trips.
‘WildWings/WildOceans’ Bird and Wildlife Cruises include
* Comprehensive pre-voyage information.
* Services of our expert birder/naturalists plus the ship’s staff and guides throughout the voyage
* Additional included excursions (see itineraries).
* Daily seawatching sessions on deck and evening log call (at sea).
* Day by day bird and marine mammal checklist for your use.
* Group use of WildWings radios (to maximize sightings).
* Group transfers to/from ship.
* Pre-voyage hotel night on some departures (see itineraries).
* A team of expedition staff and experts who will give lectures at sea and lead excursions ashore and/or cruises by Zodiac inflatable boats.
* Access to ship’s bridge at sea.
* All meals, 24 hour tea & coffee onboard.
* Pre-trip travel information and post-voyage log.
Many also now offer free waterproofs and boot loan onboard.
Nothing can beat the wind in your face as your Zodiac cruises across the sea in a far away wild location, surrounded by stunning wildlife. The aim is to see and enjoy the last great wildernesses, with their overwhelming natural beauty and teeming wildlife. It is one of the most exciting ways to travel, often following in the footsteps of the great explorers. An added bonus is that many are conducted on very comfortable vessels with excellent food and with like-minded fellow travellers. All the vessels we use conduct themselves in an ‘environmentally friendly’ manner. Photographic opportunities on these trips are plentiful and you will probably need twice as much data storage as you thought! All vessels have plenty of powerpoints to recharge batteries. Travelling on a ship allows you to pace the trip to suit your needs, and are often equally enjoyed by ‘non-birding partners’. The Polar regions are visited in their summer months, the temperature rarely falls below zero and precipitation is generally scarce. These voyages generally operate in the best months in terms of sea conditions, calm waters considerably aid viewing wildlife when at sea, particularly cetaceans. Anyone in reasonable health can travel, walks are usually for limited distances only. Attire onboard is invariably casual throughout.
Comprehensive pre-trip information will be supplied, giving details of clothes and footwear etc to take. In practice you will not have to go out and buy a lot of new gear, the ‘layer’ principle is the key along with a pair of wellington boots (most ships now offer a free onboard loan service). We also now offer ‘tropical’ itineraries too, for which of course much lighter attire applies.
Our recommended voyages are led by some of the UK’s most experienced guides and represent the ultimate in bird and wildlife experiences. All are trips of a lifetime! Our leaders look forward to each voage as if it were their first. Unlike most ship’s expedition staff, our leaders will be out on deck all day long, ensuring you see and experience the maximum possible. The more time you spend outside on deck, the more you will see, it’s as simple as that!
WildWings are one of the few real specialists in this field, we have been operating to Antarctica since 1991, and have personal knowledge of most of these special ships and the places they visit. We have been a member of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) for many years and work with all the main operators to the 'white continent' including the air expeditions to the South Pole itself. This allows us to offer you impartial, honest advice and we are also able to offer the best prices too. Please pick up the phone and call us, we are very happy to spend time talking with you, using our first-hand knowledge to make sure you get the trip of a lifetime you want. 0117 9658 333
Our expert advice is free, with a number of our staff having personal experience of the ice. All our clients will be sent a copy of the ‘visitor’s guidelines ashore’ and will be fully briefed onboard in the safe way to travel by Zodiac, one of life’s great pleasures. Interest in the Arctic also continues to grow and we offer an unrivalled choice in the 'frozen north', from Spitsbergen to the North Pole itself. All our featured vessels are members of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and guidelines for your safe and responsible conduct ashore will also be provided. Kamchatka and the North Pacific have opened up in recent years, and we continue to pioneer new regions and itineraries to the UK market such as Birding the Pacific and our 2015 Mexico Pelagic. Keep a regular eye on our website for future new voyages or sign up for our e-newsletters to keep up to date!
As you should be spending little time in your cabin, our general advice is to opt for the least expensive grade available. Bookings for single travellers can normally be accepted on a share basis, as we or the shipping lines will find you a cabin mate, to save you the expense of a supplement. Most ships offer outside cabins with porthole and/or windows and usually private facilities. Booking early is highly recommended, cabin space is now limited for the coming winter, especially after New Year. Contact us soon if you want to go South this coming winter.
Please note that because of the nature of the regions these ships visit, exact itineraries cannot be guaranteed. The captain and expedition leader will have back-up sites in case a planned visit is not possible due to local conditions, ice and/or weather at the time. In practice a large proportion, if not all the planned itinerary, is usually achieved.
‘It was a fantastic holiday – thanks for your advice and assistance’
“You seemed very knowledgeable!....Fritz (one of the guides) had superb bird knowledge…our best memories were the scenery, penguins, the whales – too many to mention!”
"Had a super time, Chris & Regina worked very well together”
“We are back from trip to Antarctica and it was absolutely amazing!!! We had the time of our lives. Everything was just excellent, excursions, wildlife….everything was way better than expected. I wanted to thank you for all your help through the booking process and all the information you gave us. We are already telling all our friends not to hesitate to contact you. Thank you again for everything!”
‘More than met my expectations’
‘This was the adventure of a lifetime…the memory will stay with me forever’
‘Holiday of a lifetime; awesome, Bruce, Dick and Denise were all brilliant’
‘Could not be bettered..an unbeatable team!’
“Hi John, E-mailing you is on my to do list, right before editing 8,000 more pictures. I wanted to thank you for answering all our questions and encouraging us to make the trip. It was an absolute trip of a lifetime for me. If anyone were to ask me, I don’t think you have seen the best of the Antarctic region if you haven’t been to South Georgia. The King Penguin colonies there were unbelievable. In addition to Denise and Dick and Bruce who you know are wonderful, all the ship’s staff was outstanding in their knowledge, enthusiasm and helpfulness. John, I must convey how pleasant it was to deal with you. It was a very personalized experience and I appreciate it.”
‘The voyage surpassed my expectations, and was extremely good. Simon Cook was very likable and all the guides very good’
‘A life-affirming experience’
‘We thoroughly enjoyed this trip. It was like being in a fairy-tale bubble, being so close to so much wildlife was a real privilege’
‘Absolutely brilliant holiday, very well organised, lovely people!!
‘The crew made a great trip even better…top notch’
‘This was everything and more, I enjoyed every moment…everyone was so attentive and made each one of us feel special’.
‘Great to have a trip like this to Indonesia – been looking for years…Loved it’
‘Out of the dozens of ships I have been on this was the one I liked best. A feast for all senses, the gentle rolling and litching, saltspray on my lips, delicious smells coming up from the galley, the sound of the wind and the waves, and tubenoses galore!’
‘The crew were fantastic in the way they looked after us. WildWings involvement throughout was exemplorary’.
‘Loved every day and every new experience. Congratulations on a well organised trip from the moment we first spoke to landing back in London’
“Rodney Russ is quite outstanding, very experienced, confident, competent and above all decisive. I never once doubted his judgement.”
“Chris was great – very hard working. He must be exhausted, he needs a holiday!”
‘As you can deduce from our comments, we loved the whole holiday’
‘A thoroughly brilliant trip’
“Lots of lovely WildWings co-adventurers”
“We thoroughly enjoyed this expedition and would recommend it to others”
“Excellent in all respects”
‘Outstanding – best holiday ever!!’
“Chris & Regina worked very well together and made a good team. We had a super time”
“Cruising in pristine rain forest, un-disturbed by man”
‘This was a very high quality trip that completely lived up to our expectations, it will give us lasting and wonderful memories. We saw everything we hoped to see.’
‘Chris Collins was very hard working, putting a lot of hours in to help us try and see as much of the wildlife a possible……10 out of 10’