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Clients can expect three things from any Disney experience: Disney storytelling, attention to detail and excellent service.
These three pillars become even more important when traveling with the brand’s tour operator, Adventures by Disney (ABD), because ABD also promises memorable family vacations across the globe. And the brand’s latest offering — Adventures by Disney Expedition Cruises — takes those promises all the way to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands.
"We take families to dozens of destinations around the world, where they can experience new cultures, meet new people and discover many natural wonders,” said Heather Killingbeck, director of trip and program development for ABD. “When we thought about what was next in our vacation portfolio, we knew we wanted to continue to evolve the family travel experience and offer yet another exciting way to adventure together.”
When we thought about what was next in our vacation portfolio, we knew we wanted to continue to evolve the family travel experience and offer yet another exciting way to adventure together.
That evolution has resulted in the first-ever ABD expedition voyages to Antarctica in late 2021 (a 12-day voyage with luxury polar expedition cruise line Ponant) and to the Galapagos Islands in 2022 (a nine-day sailing onboard the boutique expedition ship Galapagos Legend). Both itineraries will enable passengers to discover spectacular landscapes and native wildlife in destinations that aren’t usually known for family travel — and with the addition of the Antarctica expedition cruise, ABD now offers family vacation experiences across all seven continents. (The Antarctica voyage begins at a rate of $12,459; the Galapagos begins at $7,029.)
“We saw a great opportunity to curate a family-friendly expedition cruise experience to allow grandparents, parents and young adventurers to discover the ecological wonders of these breathtaking destinations,” Killingbeck said. “I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to take a selfie with a colony of waddling penguins behind them?”
We saw a great opportunity to curate a family-friendly expedition cruise experience to allow grandparents, parents and young adventurers to discover the ecological wonders of these breathtaking destinations.
Onboard ActivitiesThe family-focused itineraries feature interactive and educational shipboard activities led by ABD Adventure Guides. These experiences are for passengers of all ages — designed to be “entertaining, immersive, authentic, and unique" — and include behind-the-scenes ship tours, wildlife viewings and even nautical map reading lessons with the ship’s Captain. On the first two Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition Cruises, special Disney guests will be on-hand to host workshops about wildlife, conservation and photography.
“On the inaugural voyage in December 2021, our [vice president] of Disney Animals, Science and Environment for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Dr. Mark Penning, will be sharing enlightening observations and stories about the fascinating wildlife of the region,” Killingbeck said. “On the second voyage in January 2022, guests will be able to refine their travel photography skills under the guidance of one of our Disney photographers, who has traveled the world capturing incredible images for Disney projects.”
Onshore ExcursionsThere's no question that travelers choose these destinations to see amazing landscapes and diverse wildlife. For that reason, Killingbeck notes, it was a priority to offer families authentic ways to experience the natural wonders around them. Also noteworthy — and something unique to ABD Expedition Cruises — is that all onshore excursions will be led by naturalists with the specific training and credentials required to facilitate tours in these remote destinations, ensuring guests visit responsibly and safely.
During daily boat excursions and hikes along the shorelines of Antarctica, clients will be able to catch glimpses of seabirds, penguins and seals in their natural habitat. Snorkeling, hiking and kayaking excursions in the Galapagos Islands reveal the archipelago's diverse animal life, with possible sightings of blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins. Clients will also experience the islands’ culture, with activities such as making fresh sugar cane juice at a family farm or discovering local crafts with artisans-in-training at a local bazaar.
Although every Adventure by Disney Expedition Cruise itinerary is designed for families, ABD knows that each family is unique. Therefore, Killingbeck encourages advisors to explore each itinerary to determine which activities are the best fit for clients and their kids, and to note minimum age requirements (children must be at least 10 years old for the Antarctica voyage, and 8 years old for the Galapagos Islands sailing).
“The two expedition cruise destinations offer two very different types of adventure,” Killingbeck said. “The Galapagos Islands are perfect for families who are more interested in traveling to warmer climates and spending lots of time in the water. While Antarctica is about bundling up, observing wildlife such as penguins and leopard seals in their natural habitats and then returning to the ship for some hot cocoa.”
ABD Expedition Cruises are guided by nature, so each day will bring new and exciting ways for families to explore these extraordinary destinations. Nevertheless, guests can still expect signature Disney storytelling, attention to detail and exceptional service — plus, of course, plenty of Disney magic.
“These new Adventures by Disney Expedition Cruises are truly one-of-a-kind trips,” Killingbeck said. “And we hope they will inspire guests to consider these exhilarating adventures for their next family vacation.”
Bookings will open Jan. 22, 2021.
The DetailsAdventures by Disneywww.adventuresbydisney.com