Adventure cruising might sound like an oxymoron, but more and more cruise lines are jumping on the active lifestyle bandwagon as the demand grows. A younger clientele and athletic baby boomers have helped transform an industry best known for its all-you-can-eat buffets and cozy chaise lounge chairs to one where a weeklong itinerary might include sea kayaking, biking, hiking, scuba diving, ziplining, and rock climbing. Leading the way is Todd Smith and his small ship cruises at AdventureSmith Explorations. New next summer in Alaska is the Glacier Country Cruise, with a full slate of sea kayaking, hiking, and paddleboarding options. It’s the best of both worlds, because after a day of adventure, you’ll get to return to the 86-passenger yacht and relax in the hot tubs, get a massage, or down a glass of wine from their extensive wine list. Then there’s the Glacier Bay and Islands excursion that is run by members of the Tlingit Kaagwaantaan Clan and focuses on First Nations culture and indigenous flora and fauna. You’ll never think of cruising in the same way again.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.