Am I Fit Enough for Expedition Travel?

Small-ship expedition cruises are active and adventurous trips, intended for people who have curious minds and are reasonably fit. Find out more about what to expect from this style of travel and whether it’s right for you.
Guests jumping hike Torngat Mountains reflection

© Dennis Minty

It’s one of the most common inquiries we get: I’d love to travel to somewhere like the Arctic, but I’m not sure if I’m fit enough for this trip. Let’s go through the ins and outs of this question so you can make an informed choice about what’s right for you.

Choose the Activity You Like Best

Guests of all ages are welcome to join an Adventure Canada expedition. We offer various excursions that cater to different activity levels so you can choose the activity you like best. Avid trekkers can opt for long, strenuous hikes, while moderate hikers can select more easy-going options. You could also choose a short, easy stroll or simply relax and take in the shoreline views. We also have complimentary walking sticks to borrow for excursions.

Every day, the Expedition Leader will brief you on the mobility level required for each excursion—including distance, terrain, and elevation—so you can decide which will best suit your interests and needs. When visiting communities, there is often no accessible land transportation available. More adventurous options like the polar plunge, kayaking, or mountain biking are always left up to your personal choice.

Hikers Skye Scotland walking poles

© Dennis Minty

Hiking on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Zodiac Travel

We use Zodiacs to access remote places with no pier or dock for the ship to pull alongside. This means that in order to disembark the ship, you must be able to navigate a flight of stairs down to the gangway. We will have extra sets of helping hands available for stepping into and out of a Zodiac. You must also be able to sit on the pontoons without any back support for the duration of your Zodiac ride.

Embarking from Zodiac Eclipse Channel Labrador

© Jen Derbach

Re-embarking the ship after a Zodiac cruise

Ship Accessibility Features

If you use a cane or walker and can navigate a flight of stairs, you should be able to manage just fine on board. The vast majority of passenger ships today are not wheelchair accessible, and this includes our expedition vessels. The only way to board our ships is by a set of gangway stairs.

There is a small elevator available between Decks 4 and 6 of the Ocean Endeavour. However, several areas, such as Decks 7 and 8, the sauna, hot tub, gym, spa, and the Aurora and Meridian Lounges are inaccessible without climbing stairs.

It’s important to note that cabin doorways and entryways are narrow. At various places around the ship, there are raised doorway lips ranging from two inches to half a foot. Washrooms and showers are not accessible but do have grab bars.

Ship stairway deck

© Lee Narraway

One of the outer stairways between Decks 6 and 7

Safety First

Everyone’s safety is our primary concern. You must be able to accept the assistance of our experienced Expedition Leaders and Zodiac drivers if they inform you of a high-risk situation.

If you feel that you'll require extra assistance, we ask that you travel with someone who can lend you a helping hand when necessary. When booking your expedition, a subsidy may be available for a support person to travel with you. If you have a disability that requires assistance, please ask one of our Adventure Specialists or your personal travel advisor any specific questions about how we can best accommodate you.

If you are still unsure whether expedition travel is a good fit for you, we would be happy to discuss your particular concerns and needs!