From whales in Alaska to boab trees in Australia, nature's finest sights are just a sail away, writes Kaye Holland.


Wildlife abounds in Alaska's untamed wilderness. Look out for the Big Five: bears, moose, dall sheep, caribou and wolves. Bald eagles soar overhead, whales breach in the sea and salmon make a dramatic journey upriver every summer to their spawning grounds.

The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos offer cruise passengers the chance to get up close to wildlife, from penguins, giant tortoises, sea lions and marine iguanas to birds including mockingbirds, blue-footed boobies and Galapagos hawks.

Breaching humpback whale in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Photo / Getty Images
Breaching humpback whale in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Photo / Getty Images

● A 10-night Quito and Galapagos Northern Loop on the 100-passenger Celebrity Xpedition costs from $11,269pp, departing June 27.

The Amazon
The mighty 6992km Amazon shelters 1800 types of fish, 1300 bird species, 311 mammals and 165 kinds of amphibian, affording plenty of incredible sights. Cruises are available on the Peruvian, Brazilian and w branches of the river.

● Three, four and seven-night cruises are available on the Aria, a 32-passenger ship, sailing from Iquitos, Peru. A seven-night cruise departing June 28 starts from $13,805pp.

The Kimberley
Australia's rugged Kimberley Coast is a nature lover's dream: from thundering waterfalls to spectacular gorges, saltwater crocodiles, coral atolls and boab trees, you won't regret for a second the lengthy trip to get to this remote paradise . . . unless you forget your camera.

Silversea offers a 10-night cruise between Broome and Darwin on the 120-passenger Silver Discoverer, departing May 5. From $10,890pp, including gratuities, meals and drinks and most excursions.

Keel-billed Toucan in Costa Rica. Photo / Getty Images
Keel-billed Toucan in Costa Rica. Photo / Getty Images

Costa Rica

This Central American nation has emerged as one of the best places for wildlife-watching on the planet — for good reason. Toucans, iguanas, mischievous monkeys, crocodiles and nearly 900 species of tropical birds are all present and correct.

● An eight-night Unveiled Wonders — Costa Rica and Panama Canal itinerary on UnCruise's Safari Voyager costs from $7005pp, departing April 12.