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A Higher Purpose on the High Seas

By Land and By Sea
Seabourn Each vessel—the Pride, Spirit, and Legend—has one "Exclusively Seabourn" shore excursion, which is not only custom-tailored but also free. Passengers sailing from Cannes to Málaga ($3,749 per person, double; November 9—16) are escorted through Spain's 14th-century monastery of Pedralbes, on a specially arranged viewing of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, which includes works by Tintoretto, Rubens, and Canaletto. On the Norway & Northern Capitals of Europe voyage ($8,996 per person, double; July1—15), guests can travel by glass-roofed canal boat to the Amsterdam Historical Museum for a private, curator-led tour. 800/929-9391; www.seabourn.com

The Stops: Antarctica and the Falkland Islands The Ship: Abercrombie & Kent Explorer Sailings to the Antarctic are led by 20 expert guides—ranging from a polar bear tracker from the University of Oklahoma to an authority on global warming to a Ph.D. researching the whaling industry. Between hikes across age-old ice fields, cruisers can mingle with penguins and swim in the geothermal waters off Pendulum's Cove. From $9,250 per person, double. February 23—March 4; 800/323-7308 www.abercrombiekent.com

The Stop: Venezuela The Ship: Tauck World Discovery Le Levant The 90-passenger ship stops to visit villages settled on the banks of the Orinoco River delta, spot bats in the wee hours, and fish for piranha with locals. Shore trips are guided by Jean-Philippe Beau-Douëzy, the photojournalist and filmmaker behind People of the Manioc, a documentary on Amazon tribes. $4,190 per person, double. February 22—March 2, March 1—9, March 8—16, March 15—23; 800/214-5158; www.tauck.com

The Stop: Galápagos Islands The Ship: Lindblad Expeditions Polaris Earlier this year, guests aboard the 80-passenger Polaris spotted the island chain's first reported albino sea lion pup. With the help of biologist and naturalist Carlos Romero, the next group of passengers might be as lucky when they explore the islands for the bird and marine life that inspired Darwin to write his Origin of Species aboard H.M.S. Beagle. $3,180 per person, double. April 25—May 4, May 16—25 800/397-3348; www.expeditions.com

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