Jane Jurgens looks at the best regions for animal spotting.

Antarctica

A voyage to the Frozen Continent is a bucket list item for many - and cruises here don't come cheap. The weather can be harsh , but you can count on the penguins - you'll see thousands of them. Whales are abundant at certain times of the year and cruises often have naturalists on board who can help you spot animals.

Amazon:

The world's second-longest river is home to an amazingly array of diverse animals and birds - with more than a third of the world's animal species living in the basin's rainforest. You might see the famous pink dolphins. While the river also cuts through Brazil and Colombia, Peru's PacayaSamiria National Reserve is the most popular segment for cruises, only accessible to small boats. You'll be introduced to tiny tamarin monkeys, scarlet macaws, giant otters, Amazonian manatees, jaguars, electric eels, piranhas and more.

Alaska

While you'll often hear about the spectacular landscapes and massive glaciers, there's plenty of wildlife to spot on an Alaskan cruise. Keep an eye out for bald eagles circling above, sea lions and otters swimming past. Or get the binoculars out and look for mountain goats and bears on the shore.

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Galapagos

This is the ultimate cruise for nature-lovers. Due to the lack of human interference around the Galapagis islands, the animals here are not afraid of two-legged visitors. Each island is uniquely diverse, with many species of birds to tick off your list, including flamingos, penguins and boobies. Swim with sea lions or get up close with a giant tortoise - this is a wildlife encounter like no other.

Three penguins fight on a rock in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Photo / Getty Images
Three penguins fight on a rock in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Photo / Getty Images