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Boat trips

Boat trips travel guide

Boat trips and travel by boat are great ways to meet the locals, spot wildlife and relax as you cruise

Hoist the main sail! Haul anchor! It’s time to set off on a watery adventure!

Travel by boat is a romantic proposition, harking back to a time when great explorers discovered new worlds in elegant tallships. There may not be many oceans left totally uncharted, but travel by boat can still open up an enticing array of destinations.

Many places you can only see by boat. Take Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands – cruising is the only way to reach remote bays clustered with curious sea lions, marine iguanas and giant tortoises. And to access the pristine expanses of Antarctica you’ll need a tough vessel to cope with icebergs and allow you to land on shores dotted with thousands of waddling penguins.

Boats are great ways to meet the locals too. Board a ferry down Mali’s River Niger, across Lake Malawi, along Alaska’s Aleutian chain or between the Caribbean islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, and you’ll meet chatty people carting curious cargos, all with a story to tell.

Water-bound travel can also be relaxing. Watch Egyptian life scroll by as you glide down the Nile, G&T in hand – riverbank life here, complete with ancient temples, ox carts and swaying palms, hasn’t much changed for millennia. And Europe’s great arteries – the Danube, the Rhine, the Rhone – which lead you through cities such as Geneva, Vienna and Budapest, are great highways through history.

You can see a lot of wildlife from the top deck, too. Paddle a canoe through the Okavango Delta, Botswana, for close-ups with hippos. Or zip along tributaries of the Amazon in Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador to spot birds and monkeys in the jungle. That’s not to mention the marine life – sail off the coast of the Azores, Iceland, New Zealand and Baja California (Mexico) for some of the planet’s best whale watching.

You don’t even need to worry unduly about seasickness – there are plenty of precautions you can take to avoid it. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to sail away!

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