In celebration of three decades crafting innovative and industry-leading itineraries, Zegrahm Expeditions – the transformational and educational travel company – has released its latest catalogue, the 2021 Small Ship Voyages Collection. Each departure in this new collection shares the same integrity, sense of wonder and passion Zegrahm has come to be lauded for, now with exciting new stops including Bissagos Islands on the West Coast of Africa, and the company’s return to the rugged remote west coast of Ireland.
Regardless of where guests choose to sail, they can expect to be accompanied by a stellar team of expedition staff comprised of marine biologists, ornithologists, anthropologists, naturalists and historians, most with decades of experience under their belts. As well, 99% of Zegrahm’s voyages have a one to one staff to guest ratio.
“We at Zegrahm are always looking for ways to explore destinations in a new way – beyond the obvious. We’ve had the privilege of exploring the planet and sharing some of the most unique and remote corners of the globe for three decades,” said Jon Nicholson, Director of Planning and Product. “And still today we sit with the atlas open, studying, and learning more about the destinations that keep bringing us back, constantly adapting and exploring new opportunities. Our new 2021 Expeditions collection embodies our explorer’s heart, our sustainable mind and our thirst to share our beautiful planet with others in unique, memorable ways.”
Every voyage is a mix of the best experiences each location has to offer, from seeking wondrous wildlife to cultural embraces, fascinating natural history and inspiring landscapes combined with premium accommodation, service and dining. All voyages are led by experienced expedition teams including company founders and top experts in fields ranging from anthropology to ornithology. All vessels selected come from the best fleets in the world, and have a maximum passenger count of 160. Underwater lounges, private-balcony suites, alfresco dining and Zodiac fleets are among amenities travelers adore.
Zegrahm’s Next Generation of Small Ship Voyages, 2021:
Sail with Zegrahm cofounder Mike Messick to discover West Africa’s unique blend of nature and culture on the all-suite, newly refurbished Caledonian Sky. The Tracing the West Coast of Africa voyage makes landfall at nine distinct countries: Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Ghana, Côte D’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia and Senegal. Bird-lovers will rejoice during visits to Príncipe’s Northern Tip, home to several species of endemic birds including the Príncipe kingfisher, sunbird and endangered speirops; São Tomé, where the eponymous green pigeon resides; and Gambia’s Abuko Nature Reserve, home to more than 290 species of birds including African paradise flycatchers, palm nut vultures and little greenbuls. In Ghana’s Kakum National Park, walk above the rainforest canopy on one of the world’s highest and longest suspended rope walkways. Let the expert team of conservation biologists, ornithologists and archeologists guide you through the Bissagos Archipelago off the coast of Guinea-Bissau to find rare, saltwater-adapted hippos, African manatees, crocodiles and five species of marine turtles, and learn about the unique matriarchal traditions of the Bijagos people.
17 days, February 8 – 24, 2021
Vessel: 100-guest Caledonian Sky
Relax aboard the elegant, newly built Le Champlain, featuring innovative and environmentally friendly equipment, an underwater lounge area, ocean views and private balconies in every suite. Visit a total of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites through this five-country exploration of the Mediterranean’s lesser explored coasts, such as Tunisia’s El-Jem and Carthage. This historically rich itinerary takes you to opulent Byzantine churches and outstanding Islamic mosques and three of Algeria’s most impressive Roman sites; Tipasa on the seacoast near Algiers, Djémila, its forums, archways and temples comprising some of North Africa’s finest Roman ruins, and stately Hippo Regius at Annaba, a center of early Christianity.
15 days, April 19 – May 3, 2021
Vessel: 160-guest Le Champlain
Raise a pint in one of the many tiny traditional villages along the western coast of Ireland during this exploration from Dublin to Belfast. Join Brent Stephenson, an ornithologist and wildlife photographer (his photo was on the cover of the January issue of National Geographic!) to photograph some of Wild Ireland’s most striking scenery including the Cliffs of Moher, a UNESCO Global Geopark. This expedition showcases The Emerald Isle’s more famous sites like the Giant’s Causeway – where some 40,000 hexagonal columns descend into the sea – and lesser-known but equally captivating monuments like Ballinskelligs Priory, Dún Aengus Fort, and the heritage village at Glencolmcille.
8 days, May 29 – June 7, 2021
Vessel: 130-guest Greg Mortimer
Brent Stephenson also heads up this seabird-rich expedition to Wild Scotland’s far flung islands including the Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetlands. Don your rainslicker and binoculars to travel by Zodiac in search of puffins, gannets, guillemots and kittiwakes, many of which will be tending to downy chicks at this time of year. Back on dry land, explore a handful of Scotland’s ancient architectural wonders like Mousa’s Iron Age broch and 12th-century Iona Abbey and St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. Nearby, visit the enigmatic Standing Stones of Stenness, Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae, all important Neolithic monuments.
9 days, June 4 – 12, 2021
Vessel: 130-guest Greg Mortimer
Operated by Zegrahm’s sister-company Quark Expeditions aboard the 120-guest ice-strengthened Ocean Adventurer, Svalbard: A Polar Bear Quest is a deep dive into this Arctic wildlife haven. Search for the Svalbard archipelago’s legendary wildlife: seals, walrus, whales, Arctic foxes, reindeer and the ultimate goal: polar bears. The dramatic landscapes of chiseled fiords, sparkling and immense glaciers, and thick, rolling tundra painted with purple saxifrage and moss campion at this time of year will inspire photographic gems, as will the long summer days of nearly continuous daylight.
13 days, June 23 – July 5, 2021
Vessel: 120-guest Ocean Adventurer
Zegrahm was one of the first to operate expedition cruises to this immensely fascinating region which is making regular appearances in where to travel next lists owing to the rich history, architecture, mountain ranges and pronounced culture. The Circumnavigation of the Black Sea voyage provides ample time to explore the diversity of Turkey, from the World Heritage Site of Safranbolu to Amasya, former capital of the kingdom of Pontus during the third century BC. In Trabzon catch your breath as you view the 13th and 14th-century Byzantine Sumela Monastery, perched dramatically on a cliff face. In Batumi, Georgia toast to good fortune while sampling Georgian wine – only now enjoying global recognition despite wine being invented here – and fantastical folk performances of traditional music and dance. You’ll see Stalin’s dacha in Sochi, Russia and in Odessa, Ukraine ascend the Potemkin Steps to explore cobblestone streets lined with shady plane trees. While cruising the Danube River Delta the on-board team of ornithologists and marine biologists will guide you through the wetland habitat, looking for the more than 200 bird species including pygmy cormorants, purple herons, white-tailed eagles and Dalmatian pelicans.
15 days, July 18 – 31, 2021
Vessel: 160-guest Le Bougainville
Follow in the wake of the last millennia of cultures who traded, conquered and settled in these fabled lands. As a guest on the Crossroads of Empires voyage, see first-hand the art, architecture and archaeological wonders of the eastern Mediterranean, legacies of the world’s most celebrated empires. On this voyage, travelers will discover seven UNESCO heritage sites, each representing peaks of ancient civilizations. Wander through the ruins of Cyprus’ Kourion, set on high bluff overlooking the azure blue of the Mediterranean. In Israel, step foot through arguably the world’s most important historic sites including the Sea of Galilee, Tel Aviv, Old Jaffa, Acre and Jerusalem. En route to Egypt, the Caledonian Sky will transit through the 101-mile-long Suez Canal, which severs the African and Asian continents. During your overnight excursion to Luxor, the site of the ancient city of Thebes, visit the Temple of Karnak and the Avenue of the Sphinx. Where the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Gulf of Suez, don your mask for a day of snorkeling above the bright coral reefs near the coastal town of Sharm el Sheikh. The expedition ends in Jordan where you can channel your inner T.E. Lawrence and venture through Wadi Rum, the intensely dramatic valley featured in Lawrence of Arabia.
14 days, October 22 – November 4, 2021
Vessel: 100-guest Caledonian Sky