Small Ship Cruising Facts
While the cruising world welcomes ever-larger ships filled with deck after deck of attractions, the niche industry of small ship cruising continues to thrive. With its own characteristics and benefits, small ship cruising has plenty to offer passengers – keep reading to find out more!
Itineraries feature off-the-beaten-track destinations
Shorter and slimmer, small ships can dock at ports that bigger ships simply can’t access, meaning their itineraries usually offer guests the chance to really immerse themselves in a country’s way of life. For example, river cruising often includes stops at quaint towns, instead of only capital cities. Remote and exotic ports are also often within reach of smaller cruise ships, such as Lindblad Expedition and Hurtigruten’s fleet of vessels.
Another reason to book a smaller ship cruise? When at port, you’ll be disembarking with hundreds of fellow passengers at most, instead of being one of thousands of visitors.
Themed cruises are all the rage
Along with immersive itineraries, many small ship cruise lines cater for passengers’ niche interests, offering a variety of themed voyages. Avalon Waterways, for example, lists ‘Art and Impressionist River Cruises’, ‘Beer Tasting River Cruises’, ‘Jewish Heritage River Cruises’ and ‘Wine Appreciation River Cruises’.
There’s a great array of onboard activities and amenities
Small cruise ships may have less space than their bigger counterparts, but that doesn’t stop them from serving up a wide range of attractions and facilities for guests to enjoy. Scenic’s Space-Ships, for example, boast a wellness area with a hairdresser and massage services, a gym, electric bicycles and Wi-Fi. On board Lindblad Expedition’s voyages, passengers will be joined by a host of experts, from historians and naturalists to undersea specialists and expedition leaders. Meanwhile, on Uniworld’s itineraries, a range of local musical and dance performers come aboard to entertain guests each evening.
There’s higher staff-to-passenger ratios
Step aboard a smaller cruise ship and you’ll immediately notice a welcoming and intimate atmosphere. With lower passenger capacities and comparatively high crew numbers, smaller cruise ships present passengers with the chance to expect and experience personalised customer service. Instead of being just a room number, guests will be greeted by name and have their every whim catered for, day or night.
Small ship cruising isn’t just for luxury cruise passengers
Small ship cruising doesn’t necessarily mean luxury cruising, although many cruise lines that offer river cruises, such as Scenic, Crystal Cruises and Uniworld, are at the top end of the range. The best way to snag a bargain is to keep an eye on early-bird deals and book well in advance, or stick with one cruise line and reap the benefits of becoming a loyalty club member. On small ship cruises, you’re also likely to find all-inclusive itineraries, where excursions are part of the fare.
What do you think? Is it time to hop aboard a smaller cruise ship and make the most of a warm, welcoming atmosphere and immersive itinerary? To discover more or to make a booking, give us a call on 1300 954 661. Our friendly cruise consultants have the knowledge and experience to help you find the perfect cruise line and itinerary and can take care of your travel insurance and flights.
Images courtesy of Getty.