Cruise Reviews by Cruise Critic
G Adventures was founded in 1990 by Bruce Poon Tip, a young man with a couple of credit cards and a vision of sustainable tourism. Based in Toronto, Canada, the company was originally named GAP Adventures, standing for "great adventure people." It was rebranded as G Adventures in 2009. Today, it's the world's largest independent adventure travel company, offering trips both on land and at sea. The highlight of the Marine division is the company's only ship, Expedition, which replaced the first ship, Explorer, acquired in 2004 and operated until 2007. Expedition currently cruises year-round. It offers nine- to 20-night trips to Antarctica from November to March. Arctic cruises are 7 to 14 nights, June through September. These might include Spitsbergen, Greenland, Iceland and/or Norway. In April and May, the ship cruises the west coast of Africa, 29 nights between Cape Town and Marrakech. G Adventures places a high priority on minimising tourism's impact on the planet. In 2003, Bruce Poon Tip created the nonprofit Planeterra Foundation, designed to help reach that goal.
G Adventures owns and operates the 134-passenger Expedition, built in Scandinavia in 1972 as a passenger and car ferry. In 2009, it was totally refurbished and converted into an expedition ship, complete with a dedicated mudroom, at a cost of $13 million. The ship carries a fleet of Zodiacs, measures 6,334 tons and is 345 feet in length. It sails Antarctica, South America's coast and the Arctic. For travels on the Peruvian Amazon, the company charters the 30-passenger Amatista riverboat, formerly used by International Expeditions. In the Galapagos, G Adventures charters a variety of small ships. These include the 16-passenger Queen of the Galapagos, 16-passenger Yolita, 20-passenger Monserrat, 16-passenger Xavier III and 16-passenger Estrella del Mar. In 2016, G Adventures added river cruises on the Ganges in India, the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia, and Burgundy in France. The company is chartering several small ships for these trips: 24-passenger barge Daniele in France and 28-passenger Toum Tiou II (both from CroisiEurope) and 24-passenger Varuna (owned by ABN/Assam Bengal Navigation). The company also offers sailing voyages on a number of ships in Thailand, Turkey, Greece, Croatia, Cuba, the Maldives and the British Virgin Islands.
G Adventures Fleet
A typical day aboard G Adventures' sole company-owned ship, Expedition, includes shore excursions by Zodiac and lectures by the onboard expedition team (one team member for every 10 passengers). Schedules in the Antarctic, Arctic and West Africa are extremely flexible, and the day's plans can be altered on the spot if there's suddenly a wildlife sighting or if weather conditions change. Most excursions from the ship are included in the fares, with the exception of kayaking in polar regions and an optional night of camping on the ice in Antarctica. Chefs prepare meals with fresh ingredients purchased in port whenever possible. The dress is casual. Cabins range from quads and triples for singles or family groups to standard twins and suites with queen beds and separate sitting areas. All have private bathrooms and porthole or windows. There's no need to pack bulky rubber boots and parkas for polar exploration. You're loaned a pair of boots to use during your cruise. The cruise line also provides a parka that's yours to wear and take back home after the sailing.
G Adventures attracts a diverse group of adventure-seeking, nature-loving passengers of all ages from around the world. They may be couples booking twin cabins or groups of friends and families drawn by Expedition's affordable triple and quad cabins. Solo travellers are matched with other like-minded individuals and pay no single supplement. The average age tends to be somewhat lower than on higher-priced expedition lines - 50 years old for expedition cruising and 46 in the Galapagos and Amazon.
Certainly one of life's rare opportunities to experience -- the ship, Expedition, embarks on one of the most spectacular and original trips in the industry. Formerly a ferry that plyed through the Baltic, the luxury is in the activities and the surrounding scenery that only a small number of passengers are fortunate to witness. The daily excursions are also some of the most unique trips you will ever take. Getting involved in a days kayaking and camping on the shore, there's just time to return to the ship to sit and listen to Antarctic lectures. Not to mention the onboard announcements of live wildlife sightings.