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The best destinations for wildlife lovers

Whether you want to trek in search of bears, swim with sea life or spot sloths, these are the best holiday destinations to encounter animals.

By Samantha de Haas

Animal lovers, this is for you: if you don’t consider it a complete holiday without an animal encounter, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up the best animal-themed Princess Cruise excursions around the world so you can make sure you head home with a few snaps – and maybe even a cuddle or two.

Alaska to track bears

Calling all adventurers: things don’t get more remote than this. Head to Alaska and you can take a trip on a floatplane to the heart of brown-bear territory. Your guide will take you on a tour that features everything you imagine Alaska to be: gently running streams, breath-taking estuaries and rugged coastal areas. Track the most majestic of animals foraging for berries and learn the life and habits of the brown bear. To book this excursion, click here.

Robert Harding

Barbados to swim with turtles

As far as experiences go, swimming with turtles is something you’ll forever remember and Barbados is the ideal place to do it. See what lies under the ocean’s surface off the coast of Barbados with a boat trip to one of the island’s most popular spots for encountering wild sea turtles. Once you drop anchor you’ll slip into the warm Caribbean waters and swim with the turtles. Back on deck, you’ll head to paradisiacal Carlisle Bay for a snorkel tour of an actual shipwreck where you’ll see a kaleidoscope of sea creatures. To book this excursion, click here.

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Madagascar to spot lemurs

If you want to see lemurs in the wild, then there’s really no better way than on Nosy Komba. Discover the wild charms of the Isle of Lemurs on a boat tour to the island 5,000 lemurs call home. After landing at the small fishing village of Ampanngoriana, you'll walk to the Black Lemur Sanctuary where a guide will teach you how to spot the difference between males and females as you watch them climb and lounge in the trees. To book this excursion, click here.

Robert Harding

South Africa to encounter zebras

The Tala Game Reserve, home to 6,000 hectares of wilderness, is dedicated to the conservation of African wildlife and an exceptional playground for over 380 bird species and the abundant big game (including hippo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and antelope) that roam freely. Together with experienced rangers in an open-air safari vehicle, you'll be on the lookout for these magnificent animals. To book this excursion, click here.

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The Falklands to visit a penguin colony

Ask people what’s on their bucket list and a high majority will say ‘see penguins’. Book a trip that passes the Falkland Islands and you can marvel at over 1,000 pairs of Gentoo penguins that nest there. Magellanic penguins also often nest in burrows close by and a growing King penguin colony has established itself too. Bluff Cove Lagoon is sometimes patrolled by sea lions from a nearby island and dolphins occasionally frolic in the surf. It’s an animal lover’s paradise. To book this excursion, click here.

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Coast Mountains, Alaska for dog sledding

In Alaska, you can fly high above glistening glaciers, the Coast Mountains and plunging waterfalls on a flightseeing adventure to the Norris Glacier and head for a ‘musher’s camp’ – the base for dog sledding. There you’ll meet the huskies and get a behind-the-scenes tour. Assist with harnessing your dog team and learn how to drive the sled, then hold on tight for a five-mile mush across the glacier. To book this excursion, click here.

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Costa Rica for seeing sloths

The Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica is the world’s first sloth-only facility and offers unmatched access to the slowest mammal on earth. Many sloths arrive at the sanctuary injured, orphaned or abandoned, but the knowledgeable staff tend to the animals until they are ready to be released onto the sanctuary grounds. To fully experience the sloths’ natural habitat, you’ll glide peacefully in a large canoe along the Estrella River under a heavy canopy of trees. A true once-in-a-lifetime-experience. To book this excursion, click here.

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About the Author

Samantha de Haas

Samantha de Haas

Samantha started her career at Red magazine and has been writing travel pieces for various UK titles for seven years. In addition to immersing herself in other cultures, experiencing everything from local food to art, she loves an adventure, whether it’s backpacking across Morocco or jungle-trekking in India.

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