Small ship cruising offers an intimate and personalised experience – no huge crowds and queues to contend with, no congested Caribbean ports/duty free shopping malls or 1000 seat dining rooms, rather you can expect a wide ranging group of ships that includes yachts, rugged expedition ships and classic sailing schooners.
Of course we need to define ‘small’ so expect passenger numbers to top out at around 250, rather than 2000, a different intimate experience on-board and ashore reaching unusual, more remote destinations not accessible to the larger vessels.
It’s not all about luxury, caviar and private cabanas either although chic small cruise ships such as Seabourn can feel like private clubs with incredible service. There is a huge choice of vessels available to suit every budget from expedition cruising taking in the Galapagos, South Pacific, Indian Ocean, Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic Circle to tall-ship Star Clippers sailing under a starry sky and powered by ocean breezes and winds. Consider discovering delightful Croatia sailing the Adriatic Coast - stretching for over 1000 miles - starting in Split, Dubrovnik and Opatija each departure is guaranteed to take you to some of the most stunning locations of this beautiful country.
The Adriatic islands number around 1185 so perhaps not quite possible to see them all in a week, however, you can see a great deal more by motor sail boat. Closer to home the inlets and islands of Scotland’s West Coast are where you’ll normally find luxury small ship Hebridean Princess, its 50 guests exploring the castles, culture and wilderness of this beautiful region. Consider also Europe’s rivers Rhine, Danube, Mosel where many of the guided port stops are included the fares. Whether you seek off-the-beaten-track destinations with hidden cultural gems and you want to book one cabin or charter the whole vessel for a special occasion - small ship cruising is a growing niche that you simply have to explore.