By Kristine Hansen
October 30, 2019
Michelle Valberg

Move over waterslides, celebrity-chef restaurants and private islands, because Margaret Atwood just might be the hottest cruising amenity of 2020.

On the heels of “The Handmaid’s Tale” Hulu series and the release of her latest book (“The Testament,” a sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale”), she’s agreed to sail with passengers on board a cruise once again.

Michelle Valberg

That’s right, this 79-year-old author and poet is joining an Adventure Canada round-trip sail, departing St. John’s in Newfoundland, Canada from June 15 to 26 next summer — and anyone can join her. Although she won’t be your cabinmate, the fact that there are only 198 passengers on board means guests may literally bump into her at the breakfast buffet or while #gramming the killer sunset views. The Ocean Endeavor features a “1B ice class,” which means it can explore during an Artic summer, so maybe you'll even get a little adventure time with this famous Canadian.

Danny Catt

Turns out this is entirely intentional. Atwood — an avid birder and environmental activist — wants to share her love for her home country of Canada, particularly the Atlantic Canada region. Born in Ottawa, Atwood was raised in Northern Quebec and now lives in the province of Ontario. On the cruise — which is billed as an “expedition cruise,” so please bring hiking boots and wind-breaking apparel — she’ll be participating in shore excursions built around eating, hiking and cultural discovery, but also delivering a presentation that’s open to guests only.

Priced from $5,266 per person, based on double occupancy, some of the ship’s shore excursions include eating your way through the French territory of Saint-Pierre, wandering a fishing village (Chéticamp) on Cape Breton Island, and experiencing high tides at the Bay of Fundy. Included in the itinerary is a rare perk: landing on the 13-mile protected Sable Island, famous for its Sable Island horses and Ispwich sparrow. Included in the rate are all park passes, a complimentary expedition jacket, guided activities, interactive workshops, all on-board meals and evening entertainment.

Danny Catt

Despite all the outdoor-education leanings, a pool deck, hot tub, sauna, 24-hour gym, afternoon tea and 24-hour library with coffee/tea service — plus al-fresco yoga on the top deck — put this ship firmly in luxury status.

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