The Expedition ships take in more ports of call mostly in the more remote outer islands. Very few of them call into Port Vila, usually for provisioning and/or a cultural show. Expedition ship tour operators segment the Pacific market by cultural heritage into Polynesian, Melanesian and Micronesian. Expedition ships travel out from European ports and are not based in Australia. Many passengers use the options of fly in/cruise and cruise /fly out.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) have recently stated that ‘Expedition cruising has surged in popularity in recent years as travelers demand more immersive experiences’. In response to this the keynote speaker at their upcoming Annual Conference in August 2019 will discuss the topic of ‘Reimagining Shorex – the increasing demand for authentic and engaging experiences’.
Characteristics of expeditions vessels:
- Transoceanic travel in ships with passenger carrying capacity of between 50 to 600.
- Itineraries include remote and isolated places that do not necessarily require berthing
- Market is seeking more adventure and a different natural, scientific, educational
and authentic cultural experience away from mass tourism characteristics.