Dream Design
The Reading Room

The soul of the sea

A cruise allows us to navigate the wild and wonderous journey of water, from expansive oceans to tiny tributaries. Along the way this varied voyage leaves its mark, helping us realign our values to the people, the places and the magnificent creatures we see along the way.

Explora cruise passing through fjords
Stories for... The Heart

The still quiet of gliding along the Gulf of Mexico in a catamaran is a different kind of silence. Breath is held. Eyes dart from side to side scanning the water. The apprehension of missing bottlenose dolphins diving out of these shimmering waters is tantalising. A rush of bubbles to the surface is all that’s needed to pique excitement. Spotting the sparkle of a water-drenched fin flicking to the surface or a large silver arc of body dipping over the glassy surface is a kind of euphoria.

A voyage with Explora Journeys  navigates beyond boundaries to reveal moments like this that seem otherworldly. In one voyage, multiple destinations are traversed and nature is magnified to a far grander scale than if you were travelling by land. One moment might be spent eating warm mouthfuls of homemade bread washed down with traditionally brewed tea along the headwaters of Parc Nature de Pointe-aux-Outardes; the next being taught the erudite art of falconry on Prince Edward Island.

A cruise delves deeper into sensations as well as destinations. Wildlife experts, explorers and skippers are on-hand to share their specialist knowledge and challenge preconceived ideas. The delight in watching those dolphins frolic in the water, for example, is made all the more memorable when the practised crew expertly, and responsibly, navigate the dappled waves to just 50 yards from their aquatic playground.

Ship passing through fjords

A bear climbing a tree

It’s not just by sea either. Washing up on remote shores with a leading  expeditioner opens up opportunities to connect natural wonders with cultural heritage further inland. On Quebec’s shores, a local naturalist can navigate the boreal forest – the world’s largest land biome – while watching for black bears. Treasured stories of these revered creatures are whispered through the trees from the mouths of First Nations peoples who have lived alongside them for centuries.

In the sky, spectacular heights are reached via helicopter, towards the clouds and above Norway’s fjords. Ensconced by towering mountain peaks, one of the most beautiful and untouched is Trollfjord, named after a mysterious and scary troll from Norse mythology. Dreams and reality collide with almighty views of the cliff face that reaches over 1,000 metres.

Turning these soul-stirring memories into lifelong stories is best done back onboard the Explora. Evening meals with guides continue to add  knowledgeable chapters to personal experiences. The final flourish is added by
visionary chefs, sommeliers and mixologists, who tell their own gastronomic tales with rare ingredients sourced from sustainable farms and boutique vineyards.

Life at sea can start to influence our perspective of the world, and our role within it. There’s time to focus on family with a 24-hour butler service to help pack and unpack or to set up surprise in-suite dinners. A new-found energy can be spent on bettering the self and broadening the mind; the onboard art gallery, culinary school and mindfulness practices allow for personal development when the moment arises. Or sometimes all that’s needed is time out in complete seclusion; a private cabana or a sun-kissed ocean-front terrace with personal plunge pool provides a slice of solace.

Both onboard and off, energy from the ocean can have a profound effect. Water laps against the hull creating soothing sounds, sea mammals echo through the ocean, and cocktail glasses clink in harmony as the sun goes down behind the waves. These intimate moments at sea enlighten us, so that when we’re back on land, things look a little brighter.