Adventure cruises for the intrepid.

If you’re not into luxury cruises, dressing for dinner and frivolous pampering, there are other options available on much smaller boats which allow you to get to know your fellow passengers and participate more in the life of the places you’re visiting. River cruising is growing fast, and operators are looking to offer something more adventurous than the tame Danube or the Nile. We’ve chosen two new cruises for intrepid explorers from a list by the BBC.

Starting this December, Variety Cruises’ (www.varietycruises.com) ‘Rivers of West Africa’ tour will be exploring the Saloun and Gambia rivers, sailing from Dakar in Senegal. The 49-passenger cruise ship Pegasus will take passengers 240 miles upriver, to national parks and reserves, as well as fishing villages and Gambia's capital. Prices for the eight-day cruise begin at $1,791 per person, per week, so book now!

Meanwhile, as of next year, Exploration cruise specialist Lindblad Expeditions is offering a new cruise in Papua New Guinea. The fascinating 16-day trip will take travellers to the home of more than 700 Papuan and Melanesian tribes. Sail on the 68-passenger Oceanic Discoverer which will travel through both the country's coral reefs and great rivers. Rates begin at $14,790 per person based on double occupancy.

So take your courage in your hands, look out your khakis and prepare to follow in the footsteps of the world’s famous explorers in unknown territory. It’ll give you plenty to tell your friends about!

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