Sailing Cruises

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Overview

  • 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.

Wind Star, a four-masted motor-sail ship, takes 148 passengers. * Photo: William J. Mayes

Wind Star, a four-masted motor-sail ship, takes 148 passengers. * Photo: William J. Mayes

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.

SEA CLOUD at Nice WJM IMG_0339

Sea Cloud cruises in the Mediterranean off Nice. * Photo: William J. Mayes

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.

— HMS

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