Coral reefs that explode in vibrant technicolor; architectural treasures that reflect centuries of cultural influence; lush, remote islands teeming with flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth: Because places of such beauty and significance have become UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s no surprise that the term alone is enough to spur wanderlust.
Some of the most dazzling World Heritage Sites are those created by nature. And an unforgettable way to see these global wonders is aboard one of the luxury ships from Zegrahm Expeditions. Here are 10 World Heritage Sites that Zegrahm can transport you to in style.
Photo credit: Sacha Guggenheimer
1. Ningaloo Coast, Australia
It’s hard to fathom the underwater diversity in this part of Australia: some 500 species of fish, 300 species of coral, and 600 species of mollusks are in display for snorkelers and divers. But the highlight of your visit may well be the chance to swim with whale sharks, manta rays, and dolphins.
How to see it: Reserve a cabin aboard the 65-passenger Coral Discoverer for Zegrahm’s 15-day Underwater Wonders of Western Australia expedition, departing May 13, 2019.
2. Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
The birthplace of democracy in Iceland, its first national park, and the meeting place of two continents, Thingvellir is a surreal scene of rugged mountains set among a vast lava plain of green moss and wildflowers.
How to see it: Zegrahm’s Path of the Vikings is a 17-day expedition from Reykjavik to Quebec that departs August 27, 2019 aboard Le Champlain, a brand-new luxury small ship boasting a variety of eco-friendly features and amenities. Enjoy the unique underwater lounge, as well as elegant suites with ocean views and private balconies.
Photo credit: Tom Hiney
3. Henderson Island, South Pacific
Remote, uninhabited, and virtually untouched by humans: The coralline island of Henderson is truly evolution in progress, with birds and plants found nowhere else on earth. And the sight—sheer limestone cliffs plunging down into fish-rich waters—make for unforgettable hiking and snorkeling.
How to see it: Zegrahm’s Tahiti to Easter Island expedition is a 20-day journey that departs October 10, 2019 aboard the elegant Island Sky. This contemporary expedition vessel features beautiful public spaces and suites, all of which have ocean views and a sitting area.
Photo credit: Brent Stephenson 4. Easter Island, Chile
The mere mention of Easter Island, more than 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile, evokes mystery and awe. Wandering among the 400 iconic statues only deepens the wonder. You’ll also visit the giant caldera of Rano Kau volcano, as well as the ceremonial village of a fascinating cult.
How to see it: You’ll spend two full days here exploring when you take Zegrahm’s 20-day Tahiti to Easter Island journey, departing October 10, 2019 aboard the Island Sky.
Photo credit: G. Fasanelli 5. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Breathtaking mountains, lakes, fiords, and rainforests fill this dramatic park. Board small Zodiacs to explore the spectacular glacier-carved waterways, gazing up at towering cliffs, plunging waterfalls, and the unique flora and fauna native to the area.
How to see it: Reserve a cabin on Zegrahm’s Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand expedition, an 18-day journey departing January 16, 2020 aboard the all-suite, 100-passenger Caledonian Sky.
Photo credit: Mike Moore
6. Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles
Few travelers ever make it to the world’s second-largest coral atoll, home to crystal-clear turquoise water, unique limestone formations, and pristine coral reef. Witness the huge tortoises that roam the sand and the black-tipped sharks that prowl below the sea’s surface, as well as more than 400 endemic species.
How to see it: You’ll stop here on days 6 and 7 during Zegrahm’s Seychelles with Aldabra Atoll 16-day journey, departing February 14, 2020 aboard Le Bougainville.
7. Vallee de Mai, Seychelles
Walking through the primeval palm forest here is like stepping back to a time when jungles were untrammeled by humans. Marvel at the 4,000 ancient coco-de-mer palms—which can grow to more than 100 feet tall and produce a nut of up to 40 pounds—and look for unique creatures like the Seychelles flying fox.
How to see it: This is another magical stop on Zegrahm’s Seychelles with Aldabra Atoll 16-day journey, departing February 14, 2020 aboard Le Bougainville.
8. Rock Islands, Palau, Micronesia
You’ll board a local boat to cruise among these mushroom-shaped islands, covered in forest that clings to the bare limestone. You’ll look up to spot the unique birds that nest here, and look down as you snorkel among the stunningly vibrant coral reefs.
How to see it: Reserve your cabin aboard Zegrahm’s 100-passenger Caledonian Sky for the 17-day Philippines with Palau & Taiwan adventure, departing February 29, 2020. Enjoy a luxurious ocean-view suite, which includes a sitting room.
Photo credit: Rich Pagen
9. Tubbataha Reef Natural Park, Philippines
Some 600 fish species wend their way around the 300 varieties of pristine coral found here, making for a wonderland of underwater technicolor and some of the world’s most amazing snorkeling and diving.
How to see it: You’ll stop here on Zegrahm’s 17-day Philippines with Palau & Taiwan expedition, departing February 29, 2020 aboard the 100-passenger
Photo credit: Rich Pagen 10. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Around 50 million years ago, a volcanic eruption off the coast of what is now Northern Ireland has become in a stunning natural display: some 40,000 basalt columns in near-perfect hexagonal shape, stacked next to each other and sticking out of the water. It’s a sight that has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea.
How to see it: Book a trip aboard Zegrahm’s Wild & Ancient Britain with Ireland journey. This 16-day expedition departs May 11, 2020 aboard the brand-new Le Dumon d’Urville, which features an underwater lounge, a fleet of Zodiacs, and suites with ocean views and private balconies.