The Silver Wind, part of the Silversea line, has one of the most interesting annual itineraries of any passenger boat that sails the world's oceans. Each year, it spends time in the nature-lover's haven of Madagascar before heading to Cape Town, South Africa (shown here), and up the little-cruised shores of southwestern Africa. The Silver Wind is a good choice for people who want a luxurious cruise experience, but also want a chance to explore natural areas. The type of expedition cruise ships that specialize in nature-themed excursions are often quite luxurious, but unable to offer a full menu of “big ship” amenities because of their smaller size. The Silver Wind is a large vessel with salons, spas, shops, casino and several eating options. Unlike many large ships, though, the Silver Wind's optional land-based excursions are often focused on wildlife, with trips to Phinda Game Reserve and Gorah Elephant Camp, both in South Africa. The Silver Wind also stops in exotic ports like Dakar and Maputo, coastal African metropolises rarely found on cruise ship itineraries.