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We cover these 67 small ship cruise lines, with more coming soon. A Abercrombie & Kent (Expeditions, Oceangoing, Rivers, Sailing) — Antarctica, Arctic, Cuba, Egypt, East Asia Alaska Marine Highway (Coastal) — Alaska Alaskan Dream Cruises (Expeditions) — Southeast...read more
QuirkyCruise covers five different types of small ship cruises that ply the waterways of the world carrying fewer than 300 passengers: coastal, expedition, oceangoing, river and sailing ships. Coastal Ships Perhaps the hardest category to pin down, coastal ships...read more
By Ted Scull & Heidi Sarna. Here are answers to 11 frequently asked questions about small ship cruising. Q: Will I feel hemmed in on a small ship? A: The lounges and bars will appear intimate rather than spacious and not as numerous as on larger ships. Then...read more
KID-FRIENDLY (age 12+) small ship cruises Thanks to sporty activities like kayaking, hiking and snorkeling, these lines are great for families during summers and holidays. Alaskan Dream Cruises; AmaWaterways (Disney charter); Australis; Blue Lagoon Cruises; Captain...read more
Snapshot: The Galapagos Islands are one of the most coveted and stunning small ship cruising regions in the world thanks to the unique wildlife (from sea lions and seals to turtles, iguanas, penguins and birds of all feathers) and the scientific legacy of Charles...read more
- Most of the ships in this category sail in the Caribbean, Aegean and Mediterranean seas, with a handful cruising in the waters of French Polynesia, Southeast Asia and New England
- You will feel more movement aboard a sailing ship than the other small ship types
- Most sailing ships in this section rely on both sail and engine power
This category is all about ships with sails, from those built in the spirit of the speedy 19th century clippers to ships designed like traditional Indonesian Bugis Phinisi vessels. Here we cover hearty Windjammers and schooners that have been at sea for decades as well as ultra modern gleaming-white yachts. The vast majority of ships in this category have engines that are used in conjunction with the sails much of the time; though most captains will try and rely on sail power alone whenever conditions permit.
No matter the exact design, sailing ships are for lovers of sea travel and for romantics, sailors and history buffs. They’re for people who like to feel a ship move and hear the rigging creak and the sails snapping in the wind. These are ships without stablisizers for old (and young) salts with solid sea legs. Most of the ships in this category sail in the Caribbean, Aegean and Mediterranean seas, with a handful cruising in the waters of French Polynesia and Southeast Asia — around the Phi Phi Islands of Thailand and the Indonesian archipelago, for instance. The northeast coast of America is another popular route for sailing ships, especially off the coast of Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
With a few exceptions, cabins on sailing ships are very compact and passengers spend most of their time up on deck, in the water or exploring on shore. The vast majority of itineraries include a port stop every day, or nearly so.