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40 Trips To Change Your World
G.A.P Adventures takes up to 106 passengers on its low-impact M/S Explorer from Edinburgh to the Norwegian coast—stopping at the Orkneys, Shetland Islands, Bear Island, and Svalbard. Spot enough puffins, minke whales, kittiwakes, reindeer, and walruses—and, if you're lucky, an elusive polar bear—to fill your camera's memory card. You'll also benefit from the knowledge of the ship's team of naturalists during shore excursions. G.A.P asks that travelers donate to the trip-long Dollar-A-Day Program to assist communities visited during the cruise; it will also match funds generated from on-board auctions (items include vintage watercolor sea charts) to support polar bear preservation research.
Trip Tip: Take a dive off the main deck before a sauna. It's as invigorating as it is cold.
Luxury Level: The Explorer's modest cabins include some triples and large suites, each with a private bathroom and windows overlooking ice floes and glaciers.
G.A.P Adventures; 800/708-7761; gapadventures.com; $3,195 per person; June 11-25, 2008.