Classic big ship cruising is all very well but most people find there is only so much of it they can take. On board the crowds and activity can be overpowering. When you dock and go ashore the locals put up the prices (and fair play to them) for the mobs of tourists that turn up in fleets of coaches. We may not be alone in thinking that large cruise ships could be the ruin of many beautiful places.
But there is an alternative – small cruise ships or so called ‘Mega Yachts’. These are luxurious and elegant craft with 25 or so cabins that keep the passenger numbers small yet maintain a high crew-passenger ratio for top class service. You might not get the choice of restaurants but the exceptional menus mean you’ll be happy with the same table every evening. You might not get a swimming pool but who needs one when your vessel is small enough to drop anchor in a deserted cove and lower the aft swimming platform.
Best of all small ship cruising lets you visit all those pretty islands and picturesque waterfronts the big ships can no longer get to – and that means Greek Island cruises where the tavernas offer you the local lunch menu not the tourist one. It can also mean river cruises deep into Africa or Thailand along famous and historical waterways like the Gambia River or the River Kwai, where the river banks teem with wildlife and ancient ruins.
If small ship cruising sounds like your sort of cocktail you will be pleased to know that one website offers a complete range of small ship cruising opportunities from Greek Island cruises, western Mediterranean cruises, Gulet cruises and fascinating river cruises into the bargain.
Seafarer is the general sales agent in the UK for Variety Cruises who have the biggest fleet of luxurious Mega Yachts in the Med, and some lovely quaint river cruisers. Currently there are some great deals available for summer 2012.