Have you ever traveled to a place and then come home again feeling like you just scratched the surface of what was really going on? Why did that woman frown at you when you waved your chopsticks over your food? Why did that man kneel when opening that sliding door? Customs, history, and ordering dinner can all be mysteries when you’re traveling in a complex culture. For some, a small ship expedition or a river cruise through certain regions can serve as a conduit to a much deeper understanding of places very different from our own.
In my view, Japan is an outstanding destination to explore via ship. This ancient culture has extremely complex customs and almost every aspect of life is ritualized. When you travel overland staying at hotels, your guide will point out historical sites and answer questions, yet when you travel via ship, cultural experts offer lectures, sit with you at meals, and serve as interpreters of everything you are seeing, offering you much greater insight than you would receive on a land tour. Our Wonders of Japan Cruise: Cherry Blossom Season traveling with world class experts on the lovely expedition vessel, Le Soleal, will offer this kind of in-depth cultural experience.
India is another country where many visitors would benefit greatly from traveling by river ship. If the food, hygiene customs, poverty levels, and other cultural elements are very different from your own, traveling by ship will offer you a comfortable, safe environment to return to every day after you’ve been off the ship exploring. At Wild Nectar, we love itineraries that take you off-the-beaten-path to meet locals and see how people live. Our Secrets of the Ganges program on the stunning river ship, the Ganges Explorer, introduces you to tiny villages along the Ganges, hidden and remote places you just couldn’t visit on an overland trip.
China and the Yangtze River are calling out to you to travel by river cruiser too. This program, China and the Yangtze on the intimate and luxurious Sanctuary Yangtze Explorer includes a land portion so you’ll get to see the famed Terra Cotta Warriors, Xian, the Great Wall, Beijing and so many other brilliant places, yet the ship portion connects you with Tujia boatmen so you can ride in their “peapod” boats, the tiny town of Fuling's local market, among so many other remote peoples and places you couldn’t possibly reach traveling the tourist circuit. And see it all in stylish comfort and with rich interpretation from your onboard experts.
Asia isn’t the only continent that is enhanced by a ship visit. The Dalmatian Coast, Scotland’s tiny lochside villages, Egypt’s ancient farming communities, Alaska’s extremely remote Tlingit culture, and so many other destinations and peoples can be offered up to you in greater depth and detail when you travel by ship. I hope you’ll consider taking advantage of the benefits of cultural ship expeditions. When you’re thinking of your next bucket list adventure, contact us and we’ll help you locate a ship program that will offer you a wonderfully comfortable, yet also richly meaningful experience you may not find traveling by land.