Working with Ralph "The Expeditionist" is going to be different from other advisors Each traveler has their own unique vision, and Ralphs Motto of "once size fits one" really makes a difference when he is curating your special expedition cruise. Many people travel for different reasons, he’s going to ask you two very important questions when planning an expedition cruise:
Why do you enjoy traveling?
What kind of a traveler are you?
You will enjoy his passion, perspective and personal hands-on knowledge and expertise from traveling aboard many expedition cruises over the years. Ralph will make this experience a lot of fun and very easy. You will have so much to look forward to. He will advise and help guide you to the perfect itinerary and expedition company. Here is why you should work with Ralph Iantosca, the Expeditionist:
Inspirations when I recommend a specific itinerary
I believe the SOUL of an expedition starts with who will be on board
Each part of the world offers a different experience. Veteran expedition leaders are the orchestrators of your experience. Many have advanced degrees and have conducted research or taught for years. They have achieved expedition leader status because they possess the skills, the experience, and the depth of knowledge necessary to continually craft the best expedition possible for guests.
With a team of naturalists aboard you’re ensured a healthy diversity of specialties- marine biology, evolutionary biology, ornithology, archeology, and more-and personalities. An incredible overlooked benefit that an expedition cruise will offer is the ability to spend time with whoever shares your interests.
Some favorite guides traveled with a few times. Celso from Galapagos expeditions, Federico from Argentina, he loves Antarctica. Brad, expedition director from Australia, loves Antarctica
Not all expedition cruises will have an undersea specialist on board. If you do travel aboard an expedition which offers an undersea specialist, They will prepare you for snorkeling outings and offer a voice over to the corals, fish and marine species you discover. Plus, they’ll don diving gear and capture footage of the deep to review in comfort during your recap.
Video chroniclers accompany every expedition and shoot vivid HD footage- (Ralph will suggest traveling with an expedition company who will not use recycled footage, ever) to provide you with a professionally edited and completely authentic memento of your expedition. Working during the day and editing into the night, they have your video ready for preview prior to and available t purchase at -disembarkation.
Many of these people have incredibly large personalities and will share their own personal stories which will enrich the entire experience. Going on an expedition cruise with those who love what they do every day makes a difference.
There are different clientele aboard different expedition companies. I find it’s important to match the client to the right expedition company.
Ralph has long standing relationships with many suppliers and can organize special experiences. For example, in Antarctica, would you enjoy personal photographic guidance in your own zodiac? Would you enjoy going with your own guide instead of sharing a Zodiac with others from the expedition ship?
Try new Activities
Each expedition we work with has incredible staff who are professionally trained in their areas of expertise. They will help guide you with new experiences. I’ve never been Kayaking or Snorkeling? No problem, a class will be taught about the experience and professionals will take you out to try this in a safe way should you want to learn and experience these things.
Photos: Antarctica Kayaking (2020 & 2021) and the Polar Plunge (2020)
Each expedition company will offer a briefing on the day you just experienced, and what will be happing on the next day so you can be prepared. They will advise if the itinerary must change due to weather conditions and always keep you in the know.
Very interesting speakers are often on board sharing their life stories of and experiences along with their life’s work.
A couple of Ralph’s favorite lectures on board expedition cruises
December 2021 aboard Silver Explorer in Antarctica
Robin Aiello, Marine Biologist, first woman to scuba dive in Antarctica in 1988. Article: https://discover.silversea.com/lifestyle/interview/robin-aiello-silversea-marine-biologist/
July 2019, Silver Discoverer, Indonesia
Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas – Orangutan Foundation She shared her life’s work studying, protecting and helping Orangutans. We traveled with her throughout Indonesia and visited her sanctuary Camp Leakey in Tanjung Putting National Park, East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Bio https://orangutan.org/about/dr-birute-mary-galdikas/
Having dinner with Dr. Galdikas was very special. She shared a lot about Dian Fosse and Jane Goodall when they were all students of Dr. Leakey.
I loved seeing this mother and her newborn Orangutan up close with Dr. Galikas at Camp Leakey when visiting remote Indonesian Borneo.
Expeditions vary in length. Customize your itinerary before or after the cruise expedition. Many companies in Ralph’s portfolio now cater to those clients who don’t want a longer cruise expedition itinerary. Perhaps we are working with school calendars, limited time away from work, or you want to see other places in the region? There are many options available that can be combined with the perfectly tailored land trip. How about a combination of a 3- or 4-night Glacier expedition in Patagonia with an luxury lodge for a few nights before or after? Mainland Ecuador is full of natural beauty and local culture. the Avenue of Volcanoes, Cuenca or the Cloud Forest can be combined with a shorter Galapagos cruise. A nice trip to Peru combining Galapagos is also quite popular. Antarctica now has a six-night expedition with a simple 2-hour flight from Patagonia, flying over the Drake passage. This allows for some wonderful combinations, a few days in Chile’s Atacama Desert, perhaps wine Country or Easter Island. Disembarking in Ushuaia and want to spend time in other regions of Argentina like Salta or Iguassu Falls? Maybe you just have limited time away? Whatever the reason, Ralph will help you choose the right expedition cruise.
Some new innovative itineraries and ships to Antarctica
Short on time but want to visit Antarctica?
Fly the Chinstrap Penguin, Antarctic Airways - a short 2-hour flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island with Silversea Expeditions “Fly Bridge” itinerary.
Want to sail from South America but nervous about the Drake Passage?
Purpose Built Expedition ships like the new National Geographic Resolution have been a game changer. Clients will love the incredible innovation and technology. The ship is faster and can cross rough waters offering a much more comfortable experience.
Cultural Expedition Cruises
There are many new itineraries in Asia, Europe, Oceania, and other places in the world which offer a different insight to the destination.
Indonesia expedition Bali to Singapore aboard Silver Discoverer July 2019 allowed us to visit incredible places like the 9th century Ruins of Borobudur, watch a traditional cow race, enjoy different dances, festivals, traditions, hike up volcanoes, in addition to seeing the Orangutans at Camp Leakey with Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas.
Traveling to remote destinations is always exciting however not all expedition companies own and operate their own ships and there are a lot of new companies who are entering the market with newly built ships with enticing offers however very little or no experience in the destinations they want to visit. Working alongside Ralph, he will share his personal experience, opinions and wisdom to help you make the right choice, avoiding disappointment and enjoying a successful trip.
Destinations you will find expedition cruises today
- Atlantic isles
- Australia and New Zealand
- Baja California
- Belize & Guatemala
- California Coast
- Costa Rica, Panama, and Columbia
- Europe & British Isles
- French Polynesia & Pacific islands
- Indonesia * Papua New Guinea
- Pacific Northwest
- South American East Coast
- US East Coast
- Vietnam & Cambodia
Relationships and Reputation
Ralph Iantosca is in the relationship business. Ralph has worked very hard over many years investing in these travel experiences for himself. He keeps up with education, certifications, both online and in the field. He prides himself on being “ in the know” with those who are producing and developing new ships, their itineraries and experiences before they are available to the public. Ralph has very close relationships and is well respected by the executives in the industry.
Here are a couple of examples: Traveling in Antarctica aboard Silver Explorer December 2021, Virtuoso week August 2022, September 2021 Ecuador & Galapagos educational update
Silversea CEO Roberto Martinoli Barbara Muckermann, Chief Experience officer (Photo on left) Mark Conroy Managing Director of the Americas (photo in center) Karl Kannstadter Director, Expedition Sales, Daniel Villafuerte, GM of Hotel Del Parque, in Guayaquil, Ecuador
Lindblad Expeditions, Lesa Bain, Vice President of Sales (photo on left), North America, Galapagos educational charter September 2021 aboard updated Endeavour II. Jacinta McEvoy, Vice President Global Sales aboard private tour of National Geographic Resolution August 2022.
Ralph personal advice on Expedition cruising
Expedition travel can be an exciting way to travel. I recommend this type of travel if you are someone who doesn’t want to write the ending of your trip. If you enjoy the anticipation of the unexpected, love to learn, love traveling to beautiful untouched vast remote regions in the world, incredible opportunity to get up close to wildlife, exploring new culture, are a true explorer at heart, enjoy traveling with fewer travelers and enjoy an intimate setting, you should think about an expedition cruise.
Expedition cruising will take you up close and personal to incredible destinations in a safe, comfortable way. Expedition cruising is exciting and perfect for Multigenerational families.
If you are new to this idea, I like to have you think about this type of travel as “soft adventure” You will sailing on smaller vessels normally with less than 200 guests. These purpose-built ships can travel into very remote places exploring along the way. Some favorites are places like Antarctica and the Galapagos islands, where big cruise ships would not be able to visit. Excursions are always easy with very few passengers in a zodiac with a naturalist. This allows for great photography, Q&A without having to raise your voice, and time with the naturalist you’d not have with a large group.
The onboard ambiance is very casual. Today’s expedition ships have stepped up their game with very luxurious accommodations, incredible dining venues, and many amenities like gyms, libraries, lounges and spas. Some have helicopters on board and submarines.
What Expedition cruising is not. Not a cruise ship. Do not look for big ship entertainment like casino’s, dancing and shows. Instead, you will enjoy time spent in each destination discovering what is there. On board the ship you will find lectures, photography workshops, photo labs, and enjoy traveling with like-minded passengers who have similar interests as yours. Expedition travel can be very busy.
Pricing: You’ll find the average trip price much higher than a mass market megaship that carries several thousand passengers. Fares normally include your excursions, meals, drinks and you are traveling with far fewer passengers to very remote places. Ralph believes expedition cruising are good value with all that is included in the fare. Most expedition cruising is from $1100++ per person per day (depending on what room type you choose). The itineraries are flexible in most cases allowing time for special experiences you might come upon like whale watching, birding, glaciers calving, festivals, and so much more.
Ralph will help guide you to the perfect experience. has sailed on many expeditions and has been to Antarctica, Alaska, Baja, Galapagos, Indonesia as well as other destinations many times on expedition ships.
Ralph’s favorite Photo while in Antarctica was taken from an old Whaling station on Deception Island.