Classic big ship cruising is all very well but most people find there is only so much of it they can take. On board the crowds and activity can be overpowering. When you dock and go ashore the locals put up the prices (and fair play to them) for the mobs of tourists that turn up in fleets of coaches. We may not be alone in thinking that large cruise ships could be the ruin of many beautiful places.
But there is an alternative – small cruise ships or so called ‘Mega Yachts’. These are luxurious and elegant craft with 25 or so cabins that keep the passenger numbers small yet maintain a high crew-passenger ratio for top class service. You might not get the choice of restaurants but the exceptional menus mean you’ll be happy with the same table every evening. You might not get a swimming pool but who needs one when your vessel is small enough to drop anchor in a deserted cove and lower the aft swimming platform.
Best of all small ship cruising lets you visit all those pretty islands and picturesque waterfronts the big ships can no longer get to – and that means Greek Island cruises where the tavernas offer you the local lunch menu not the tourist one. It can also mean river cruises deep into Africa or Thailand along famous and historical waterways like the Gambia River or the River Kwai, where the river banks teem with wildlife and ancient ruins.
If you’re looking or planning for a unique cruise experience, trying small ships can be a fantastic option. Small ship cruises offer a more intimate and personalized journey compared to the larger, more crowded cruise liners. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider a small ship cruise:
- Intimate Atmosphere: Small ships typically accommodate fewer passengers, creating a more intimate and relaxed ambiance on board. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know fellow travelers and the crew more easily.
- Access to Smaller Ports: Small ships can access ports that larger vessels cannot reach. This allows for unique itineraries that include hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations.
- Personalized Service: With fewer passengers on board, the crew can provide more personalized service. You’re more likely to receive individual attention and have your needs and preferences catered to.
- Unique Activities: Small ship cruises often offer specialized activities such as wildlife watching, kayaking, snorkeling, and cultural interactions that might not be available on larger ships.
- Scenic Cruising: Small ships can navigate through narrow waterways, fjords, and scenic coastlines with ease, providing passengers with breathtaking views and photo opportunities.
- Culinary Delights: Many small ship cruises focus on locally sourced and gourmet cuisine, offering a chance to savor authentic flavors from the regions you visit.
- Educational Experiences: Smaller vessels often have onboard naturalists, historians, or experts who provide educational talks and insights about the destinations you visit.
- Less Crowded: You won’t have to contend with large crowds at dining venues, entertainment, or onshore excursions, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.
- Community Feel: Traveling on a small ship can foster a sense of community among passengers, making it easier to make friends and share experiences.
- Unique Themes: Small ships cater to a wide range of interests, including adventure, cultural exploration, wildlife, and history. You can choose a cruise that aligns with your specific interests.
While small ship cruises offer numerous advantages, it’s important to consider factors such as cabin size and amenities, the level of luxury, and the specific itinerary to ensure it meets your preferences and budget. Whether you’re interested in exploring remote islands, experiencing local cultures, or simply enjoying a more tranquil cruise experience, small ship cruises can provide a memorable and unique adventure.
If small ship cruising sounds like your sort of cocktail you will be pleased to know that one website offers a complete range of small ship cruising opportunities from Greek Island cruises, western Mediterranean cruises, Gulet cruises and fascinating river cruises into the bargain. There are even smaller cruises in the ports of the Danube if you fancy central Europe, or through Scandinavia if you want a bit of a cooler weather.