Fascinating, Imposing and Even Cuddly Wildlife Adds Wonder to World Travel
Beyond the towers of history and monuments to all kinds of important people is a world that is still untamed, ruled by the creatures who roam freely through the jungles, savannas, forests and oceans. In many places, these animals are thriving wildly while in others, their survival relies on the compassionate dedication of conservationists. In all cases, to observe such creatures in their natural habitats and become part of their world for even a day is a thrilling privilege for travelers.
We believe that encounters with the resident wildlife in a destination adds a layer of understanding of that place that cannot be communicated in human language. There’s a powerful connection that forms when staring into the eyes of a massive gorilla, observing an orphaned cheetah being nursed from a bottle, watching a great white shark gracefully navigate the deep just meters from your protective cage, or feeling the wake created by a breaching humpback whale on the port side of your tour vessel. These animals are unknowingly some of the greatest ambassadors for their respective homelands, and the reason many travelers seek experiences that connect them more deeply with nature.
Here are just a few of the wild encounters awaiting animal lovers of all kinds aboard Crystal voyages.
Koalas, Kangaroos and Wombats – Aussies are known for being friendly and welcoming, and the residents of the Featherdale Wildlife Park are true to this form. This is your chance to cuddle koalas and observe kangaroos at play as you learn from the caretakers about Australia’s most famous animals and their care. Also there to greet you will be wallabies, wombats and Australian reptiles – somewhat less cuddly but just as fascinating.
Sea Lions at Play – Australia’s Kangaroo Island is your starting point to Pennington Bay and Seal Bay Conservation Park, where a naturalist will guide you to a protected sanctuary for endangered Australian sea lions. In the protective waters, these playful pups live it up, sunning themselves on limestone cliffs and riding the surf better than any pros we know. Learn about the conservation efforts underway for this colony as you watch them in their natural habitat.
Belugas, Humpbacks and Bears, oh my!– It doesn’t get much more giant than these enormously majestic creatures. Whales cruising through Alaskan waters range from 18 to 59 feet in length and have the ability to cause man to stand in awestruck silence at the sight of them. Rightfully so. Venture from several Alaskan ports on quests to observe these larger-than-life creatures, often found jumping and playing in the icy waters. On terra firma, giants of the forest include black bears and the even larger Kodiak brown bears, commonly seen fishing at the height of the annual salmon run. Needless to say, there’s a strict look-but-don’t-touch policy should you have the incredible chance to spot one of these majestic creatures. But make sure your camera’s zoom is high functioning so you can capture the moment from a safe distance.
Wild Big Cats of the Savannah – The Emdoneni Lodge in South Africa is a cat lover’s dream, size extra large. Filled with the graceful felines of the African plains – cheetah, African lynx, servals and others – the lodge is owned and run by the Nel family, who will share with you the process of rehabilitating injured wildcats their young, all with the ultimate goal to release them back into the wild.
Dozens more wildlife adventures bring Crystal guests closer with indigenous animals and the surrounding natural landscapes of destinations throughout the world. Find your next wild experience and start packing.