Virtuoso Traveler - June/July 2017 - 16
True destination immersion.
The world's second-largest reef and plenty of intriguing wrecks make the Caribbean a
top spot to hit the water. Dive enthusiasts cruising the region are now able to brush up on
their scuba skills - and even become certiﬁed - right on board their Royal Caribbean International ship. The cruise line recently teamed up with the Professional Association of
Diving Instructors (PADI) to create fully equipped and professionally staffed dive centers
on ten vessels in its ﬂeet. Courses range from a half-hour overview to a full-on certiﬁcation program that includes four open-water dives in the deeps off Saint Croix, Cozumel,
CocoCay, and other popular ports of call. PADI courses from $29 to $599.
Ocean conservationist Jean-Michel
Cousteau turns his sights on the Mekong River when he hosts three environmentally focused cruises aboard
Aqua Expeditions' 40-passenger
Aqua Mekong. The famed explorer
also travels to the Peruvian Amazon
for two voyages on the 32-passenger
Aria Amazon. Eight-day Mekong
departures: September 15, 2017, and
February 23 and September 14, 2018;
from $8,995. Eight-day Amazon
departures: February 9 and October 5,
2018; from $8,505.
Fans of Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch can
join the captain and crew
of the heralded crabbing
boat Aleutian Ballad as
they ﬁsh the calm waters
off Ketchikan. The day's
catch is displayed in a live
tank before being released
back to the Bering Sea.
Oceania Cruises offers
the shore excursion on a
series of seven- to ten-day
Alaska sailings aboard the
Departures: Multiple dates,
June 10 through September
10, 2017; from $1,399. Excursion from $269.
Marine conservation scientist Dr. Alexander Tewﬁk shares his insights about
recovering coral reefs and communitybased conservation during a 12-day sailing to the Cook and Society
islands. Tewﬁk comes
aboard Paul Gauguin
Cruises' 332-passenger Gauguin as part
of a new wildlife
lecture series created in partnership
with the Wildlife
Departure: October 7,
2017; from $6,145.
Norwegian Cruise Line brings the escape room phenomenon to the high seas with Escape the Big
Top, an adventure experience in which guests, "locked" in an onboard venue after a carnival act goes awry, must
solve clues that will help them break free before time runs out.
1 6 V I R T U O S O T R AV E L E R
(KETCHIKAN) ANDREA IZZOTTI/GETTY IMAGES, (COUSTEAU) CARRIE VONDERHAAR/OCEAN FUTURES
SOCIETY, (CORAL REEF) GLOBAL_PICS/GETTY IMAGES, (ESCAPE ICON) DESBENOIT/THE NOUN PROJECT