Upper Premium Cruise Reviews
For the sophisticated and experienced traveler who has been there and done that, small ships, such as those operated by Azamara Club Cruises and Oceania Cruises, offer vacation opportunities that allow guests to delve deeper into the destinations that interest them most.
The prevailing trend in the upper premium market is longer stays in port and more overnights in destinations, so that passengers have more time to explore.
While eliminating the long lines, large crowds and bottlenecks that occasionally stall the fun on a large cruise ship, smaller vessels have always offered more intimate and special experiences by taking fewer people to less-accessible destinations, including off-the-beaten-track waterways and tiny ports that passengers on large ships rarely get to see.
A lot depends on the destination, of course, but a small ship can get you closer to the scenery and the wildlife while also providing access to shore activities that are more authentic or strenuous or both.
Small-ship cruises usually give passengers close-up views of the people, cities and cultures that they are visiting, whether the destination is a natural paradise, like Alaska or the Amazon, or a cultural capital, like the Mediterranean or Scandinavia.
In fact, the entire experience is almost always more intimate, with strong bonds developed between passengers and crew, which usually includes some naturalists or historians who can provide background that makes the trip more interesting.
While major cruise lines do a great job designing ships that don’t “feel” crowded, a small ship with one-tenth or even one-fiftieth the passenger capacity doesn’t have to create any illusion, because they truly are not crowded.
For travelers who want something different, who want to travel in small groups, and who want to know about the history, and music and ecology of the places they visit and to get to know the people, small ships may be the ideal choice.