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Backroads Reinvents Ocean Cruising for Active Adventure Travelers

Story by Backroads

Posted: October 23, 2017

Extremely Popular Active River Cruise Segment Continues to Grow with More Biking and Hiking Departures and Expanded Offering for Full Ship Sailings

Backroads today announced that it is launching a brand-new small ship ocean cruise segment and reinventing water travel for active travelers. The company is pioneering a new kind of adventure water travel with brand-new small ship ocean journeys in far-flung locations for travelers looking to combine flexible top-rated active vacations with the luxury of living aboard state-of-the-art expedition vessels. Backroads’ intimate ocean cruises offer thoroughly planned active trips with an unparalleled ship - and land-based support – in Alaska, Antarctica, Japan, New Zealand, the Baltic Sea, Galápagos, Iceland and more – totaling 51 departures on 14 itineraries.

This new small ship ocean cruise segment will augment the company’s ever-popular active river cruise offerings that continue to grow with multiple departures and itineraries along the Amazon, Danube, Douro, Mekong, Rhine and Seine Rivers. Backroads has been taking to the water with active river cruises since 2015 and has seen a steady rise in popularity and demand since launch.

With nearly 40 years as a leader in active travel, Backroads is once again blazing new trails in combining their one-of-a-kind outdoor adventures with the flexibility, ease and comfort of deluxe small ocean ships that include onboard yoga, stretching and an overall focus on wellness. Fully supported by best-in-class Trip Leaders on land and at sea, Backroads guests can hike, bike and actively explore at their own pace by day, returning to elegant floating hotels for exceptional dining, seafaring camaraderie and overnight passages to exciting new ports, all with the convenience of unpacking just once.

“Our guests love our active river cruises and have been asking for additional water adventures and destinations since we first launched that segment,” said Tom Hale, Founder, and President of Backroads. “We’ve heard everyone loud and clear and are now taking cruising to the next level, and then some, with our new small ship ocean cruises.  Water-based adventure trips are incredibly dynamic and allow us to create itineraries that wouldn’t be possible if traveling solely by land. We’re thrilled to bring our guests more chances to explore the world with some of the most beautiful and diverse experiences we’ve ever offered.”


Alaska Multi-Adventure

Antarctica Multi-Adventure

Baltic Sea Biking

Galápagos Multi-Adventure

Iceland Circumnavigation Multi-Adventure

Iceland Circumnavigation Walking & Hiking  

Japan Walking & Hiking

New Zealand Multi-Adventure

Costa Rica & Panama Multi-Adventure

Venice & Croatia Biking


Danube Biking | Walking & Hiking | Biking Full Ship Celebration—Prague to Budapest  

Rhine Biking—Basel to Amsterdam  

Seine Biking—Paris to Normandy  

Portugal’s Douro Valley Biking | Walking & Hiking—Salamanca to Porto and Lisbon

New—Portugal’s Douro Biking or Walking & Hiking Full Ship Celebration  


Galápagos, Andes & the Amazon Walking  

Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & the Mekong Biking  

Vietnam, Cambodia & Halong Bay Walking & Hiking  

Backroads Trip Designers have selected the ideal ships for each unique destination, joining up with the best purveyors of luxury water travel.  From classically trained chefs to open-air sun decks to stellar spas and amenities, the following ship operators share Backroads’ philosophy of quality in every detail from service to accommodations and meals:

AmaWaterways (River Cruises)

KleinTours (Ocean Cruises)

Lindblad Expeditions (Ocean Cruises)

Ponant (Ocean Cruises)

UnCruise Adventures (Ocean Cruises)

When the Backroads active river cruise segment first launched, trips sold out in record time. The company predicts that their new small ocean cruise segment will be similarly popular with guests and suggests booking early for best stateroom availability and destination choices. More information at and don't forget about the paradise cruise halong bay this season, book in today so you don't miss out 


Backroads was founded in 1979 by Tom Hale and has been in business for more than 38 years. The company hosts thousands of guests each year, 75% of whom are repeat guests or referrals from past guests, in hundreds of locations across the globe. Backroads is a founding member of the Adventure Collection. For more information, please visit or call 800-462-2848 daily, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific time.