Small Ship Cruising Offers Unique Experience

Theodore Slate - Jan 31, 2011
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Away. Isn’t that really where you want to go on vacation? Away from the usual experiences and the usual places. You may have caught glimpses of it from the railing of a big ships. Or out the window of a motorcoach. But truly finding away means sailing a course less traveled.

You’ll find it below the shady palm trees of a faraway beach. In the welcoming smiles of villagers living on the banks of a small river. Or tucked under low bridges, on a canal built in the 1800s. They’re the kind of places the big ships can’t go. And the kind of places that change the way you see your world.

They’re places you’ll only find aboard a small ship, on a course set for discovery. Sailing for a place called away.


Authentic Experiences

There’s something about small ship cruising that brings out the explorer in you. And it usually starts the moment you slip into your first few ports, step off the ship, and take a look around.

You notice that these places don’t seem to be bracing themselves for a crush of tourists. That people are out running errands. Living their normal lives. You’ll see the buildings, the swaying trees and the sky. And suddenly you'll realize that you’re not in the shadow of a huge cruise ship.

It’s the power of treading lightly. Of going beyond the usual tourist meccas. It’s exploration, the way it should be.

Cruise small, and you’ll meet the locals. Not at a souvenir booth on a pier. But on their street. In their neighborhood. You’ll share a few laughs, and maybe even share lunch. They’re the kind of experiences you can only have when you get to know a place through its people.

Small ship cruising means finding adventure in small towns. On isolated beaches. And in the friendships that always seem to form onboard. One dinner, one shared sunset, and one great conversation at a time.

Because when you see the world on a small ship, you stop being a tourist, and start becoming an explorer. Is there any other way to travel?


 Get Closer

 Explore the nooks and crannies of your world. In many ways, the size of the ship is the most obvious feature of a small cruise adventure. But what does cruising on a smaller ship really mean for your vacation? In a word, it means freedom.

The freedom to go where the big ships cannot. The freedom to steam down rivers, as carved wooden canoes drift alongside. The freedom to enter small harbors, tie up on a local dock, and head inland to explore. The freedom to find a small island, land on the beach and do some sunbathing, miles away from the crowds of tourists.

All this freedom comes down to size. The big ships are really, really big, which puts big limits on where they can go. And when it comes time to dock, they only have a few places they can fit. That's why the big cruise lines all go to the same places, and their passengers all end up exploring the same ports.

With small ships, the map of destinations opens up. Suddenly, real exploration is possible. On every corner of the map. Exploration that takes you to countless less-travelled ports, rivers, and small islands. Places unchanged by constant tourism.

It's the difference between going to a place, and being in a place. And it makes all the difference in the world.


Enjoy Onboard Life

Vacation experiences are better when you share them with someone. But let’s be honest, sometimes there can be a few too many someones around. Crowding the decks. Filling the dining room. Blocking the views. And that’s hardly getting “away”.

When you take a small ship adventure everything's different. You’re joined by fewer than a hundred people. And more often than not, they’re people just like you. Curious. Casual. Adventurous. They’re looking for something more personal than the big ships can offer. Something more than deck after deck of strangers.

Every part of your cruise is simply more personal. You’ll dine in a single sitting with an open seating plan, giving you the freedom to meet your fellow travelers. Want to go exploring in your own way? Just grab some snorkeling equipment, or sign up for kayaking or biking. It’s that simple.

Simply put, small-ship cruising is a more personal way to vacation. So, when you share a corner of the top deck at sunset, you’re sharing it with a friend, not just another stranger among thousands. When you need something for your stateroom you ask Tina, not “housekeeping”.

After all, when you share the fun with a few new friends, instead of the big crowds, you make any vacation better.

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