When cruising, images of giant luxury liners often come to mind. However, luxury small-ship cruises are gaining popularity recently, offering a more intimate way of exploring the vast oceans. With small ship cruises, you can expect more personal service from the staff. Unlike bigger ships, small ships can get into more exotic ports of call, such as the islands of the Galapagos. If you want to try this cruising trend, here are the perfect destinations for luxury small-ship cruises.
Littered with beautiful islands, Greece is the perfect destination for luxury small-ship cruises. Cruising allows you to explore everything these islands have to offer. There are over 6,000 islands in Greece, with only about 200 inhabited. They each have a distinct characteristic. Others are littered with rocky coves, while some have pristine beaches and Caribbean-like turquoise waters.
If you look at the map of Greece, you’ll find that the islands look like they have been thrown carelessly across the sea. There are long distances between them. Some islands are close to Turkey, while others are in the Ionian Sea. You will even find islands as far away as Croatia and Albania. Given the vast expanse of the Greek archipelago, a great way to experience the best of the country is on a cruise. In fact, why not take a gulet cruise? This involves travelling on a gulet, a traditional wooden sailing vessel. Gulets are common throughout the Mediterranean and are a popular way to explore the region’s gorgeous coasts and islands.
Cruising on a luxury small ship is the most convenient way to explore the Greek islands since you only have to unpack once. Most cruises sail at night, giving you full days to explore some of the most beautiful islands in Greece. Depending on the cruise, you’ll head to the sophisticated islands of Santorini, Mykonos, or historic Rhodes.
If you love going out into the wild and discovering incredible wildlife, consider a luxury small-ship cruise of the Galapagos. There are many advantages to booking a small vessel for your Galapagos expedition. Since you’ll be travelling in a small group, you can expect a more intimate and friendly atmosphere, unlike on a large cruise ship.
One of the best things about a small cruise ship is that you can expect more personalised service. The crew-to-passenger ratio on Galapagos small ship cruises is smaller than on bigger ships. So, whenever you need help, there will always be someone available to lend a hand.
Another great thing about doing a small ship cruise on the Galapagos Islands is that you can get access to remote islands that bigger ships won’t be able to get to. In addition, most islands in the Galapagos are well-protected, which means visitors cannot spend the night there. Thus, cruising is the best way to explore the archipelago and discover its fascinating wildlife.
Most Galapagos sailings begin on Baltra Island or San Cristobal, where you’ll most likely land after flying in from mainland Ecuador. The Galapagos has about a hundred small islets and 19 larger islands, but only four are inhabited. Most cruise lines will group the islands into north, south, east, and west. Some cruise lines also offer inner and central loops.
Taking a luxury small ship cruise is the best way to admire the staggering beauty of the Norwegian fjords. The stunning glacier-shaped terrain features sharp cliffs and majestic waterfalls flowing into the sea. The tranquil experience of gliding through crystal-clear waters is nothing short of exciting.
Home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, the best way to explore Norway is on a small ship cruise, which also takes you to the narrower fjords. Your cruise ship will sail into Sognefjord, Aurlandsfjord, and Geirangerfjord while passing through the country’s most scenic waterways.
Cruising in Norway on a luxury small ship is a more relaxing experience. Big ocean liners that travel to the Mediterranean can be exhausting. In Norway, the ports are smaller and will not overwhelm you with attraction options. Thus, you will have more time to relax and enjoy onboard amenities.
A luxury small ship is one of the most popular ways to explore Croatia and soak up the stunning Adriatic coast. Unlike larger cruise ships, a small ship cruise offers a more intimate and personalised experience, with limited passengers of 20 to 40, creating a relaxed and cosy atmosphere.
In addition, small ship cruises can visit smaller ports in Croatia, which larger vessels cannot access. Croatia has several picturesque islands, charming historic towns, and stunning national parks. Small ship cruises can dock in these places, allowing you to explore and make the most of your cruise.
Depending on the itinerary, your luxury small cruise in Croatia will take you to islands like Korcula, the birthplace of Marco Polo, or the sophisticated island of Hvar, known for its glitzy nightlife. After a day of sightseeing and fun adventures, you will come home to your cabin with ensuite bathrooms, comfortable loungers, and other amenities similar to a luxury hotel room.
Antarctica is becoming one of the world’s most popular destinations for cruising, especially for those looking for a unique and adventurous experience. But if you want a more intimate way of discovering the remotest continent on Earth, consider a luxury small cruise to Antarctica.
With a small cruise, the maximum number of passengers is 40 to 70, guaranteeing a more personalised experience. You’ll be cruising the Antarctic Peninsula with a small group to discover its wildlife, glaciers, and unspoiled natural scenery.
Since you’ll be in a small boat, you can travel to the furthest reaches of the continent. As your ship sails through Antarctica’s icy waters, witness the breathtaking beauty of the continent, from giant icebergs to towering glaciers. Best of all, you can observe fascinating wildlife up close, including a colony of penguins.