Not much can come close to that feeling of observing an animal in the wild, especially when you’re not expecting it – it’s simply awe-inspiring, breathtaking and wonderful – and a moment you will never forget.

Cruises to these destinations aren’t your everyday sailings – they’re once-in-a-lifetime getaways that will leave you with memories that’ll last forever. Watching animals feeding, playing and interacting with their natural surroundings is a great way to get back to nature and escape from all the computers and commuting of everyday life.

With so many opportunities to see wildlife in some amazing destinations, it can be difficult to decide where to go or what animals to try and see. So, we’ve put together our favourite wildlife destinations around the world – take your pick!

South Africa

A safari is one of the most varied of all wildlife experiences. Go for a classic jeep safari in one of South Africa’s famed wildlife reserves, where you’ll not only be treat to an astounding array of wildlife but majestic mountains and rivers, too.

Head to the port of Cape Town, the country’s capital and you’ll find the options are seemingly endless when it comes to exploring. There’s over 170 species of birds in the area, and you can even meet some of the native aquatic wildlife too – Durban’s Ushaka Marine World is the southern hemisphere’s biggest aquarium.

But of course, back in the wildlife reserve you’ll need to go in search for the ‘big five’ – lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinos tend to take centre stage here, but don’t forget that other creatures such as cheetahs, hippos, hyenas and zebra can be just as thrilling to see.

Head on a once-in-a-lifetime itinerary with P&O Cruises and you’ll be venturing this amazing part of the world in no time. Cameras at the ready!

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands are one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet – and a must for any wildlife enthusiast. The archipelago’s most famous visitor, Charles Darwin, began to form his theory of evolution here and it’s easy to see why.

With birds and animals that are found nowhere else on earth, and which are completely unafraid of humans, the Galapagos Islands are a wildlife experience like no other. This series of Pacific islands is governed by a special law that supports conservation and preservation of the environment, meaning only a limited amount of people are allowed here at one time – allowing the wildlife on the Galapagos Islands to have evolved with comparatively little human contact or major predators for hundreds of years.

And, a healthy fear of humans have never developed, meaning you can observe these beautiful creatures from surprisingly close range in their natural habitat. Simply. Amazing.

Orangutans in Borneo

Watching orangutans in the wild makes for one of the top spots on any traveller’s bucket-list.

Widespread deforestation making way for palm oil plantations has reduced this species’ habitat to a tiny fraction of what it once was, resulting in them now being listed as an endangered species. It’s therefore more important than ever to ensure that responsible tourism contributes towards their conservation – Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is a good place to start.

This place houses and then releases injured orangutans back into the wild. Sites like these offer daily feeding sessions, increasing chances of a sighting – although we do recommend making the effort to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat in one of the national parks. Princess Cruises do some fabulous excursions in Southeast Asia.

Penguins in Antarctica

The vast, frozen continent of Antarctica is one of the planet’s last true pieces of wilderness. Officially uninhabited and owned by no one, it’s like no other place on earth. But it’s not empty – several penguin species, seal colonies, whales and albatrosses are among the creatures that call this frozen desert home.

Small ship cruises incorporate onboard lecture programmes by biologists, geologists, conservationists and marine scientists, bringing the magical scenes to life. Quite simply, Antarctica is unlike any other destination in the world. Sail through the antarctic sound, around the northernmost part of the mainland, the peninsula, and prepare to see mesmerising scenes of white against a contrasting blue backdrop.

Head on a sailing here with Celebrity Cruises and you can expect to spot plenty of waddling penguins, as well as humpback whales and leopard seals, all in their natural habitat. It’s a nature lover’s dream.

Bears and Whales in British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Island is a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts because of its black bear population and whale-watching opportunities. It’s also one of the best places in the world to see orcas! Here you can walk along wild beaches and dense forests, where black bears are common.

Boat trips provide excellent opportunities to see impressive numbers of grey whales that spend the summer in the plankton-rich channels offshore. The area’s mountains, valleys and forests, extending up much of the coastline, offer sanctuary to large numbers of grizzlies – no other mainland location offers such intimate wildlife encounters amidst breathtaking natural splendour.

You can watch bears on foot or while drifting downriver – either way, you’ll feel exhilarated. Bears are one of the most endearing of large carnivores and undoubtedly one of the most photogenic – there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a bear in the wild.

Ready to discover your wild side?

Take a look at our latest deals by clicking here – you’re sure to find that sailing you’ve been dreaming of! Or simply call our friendly team of cruise experts on 0800 027 8302 if you have something more specific in mind – they’ll have you heading on your next spectacular cruise in no time!

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