5 Ways Small Ship Cruising Beats Ocean Liner Cruising

It is often said that size matters and, when it comes to cruising, this is certainly true. Except that in this particular case…smaller really is better. Ocean liner cruising has a cult following the world over and it’s not too hard to understand why this would be. A colossal floating resort can offer a wide array of entertainment and dining options and infinitely more socializing opportunities. After all, when you choose a trip with one of the major cruise liners you’ll be sailing with thousands of people. Yet if you’re more of a ‘quality trumps quantity’ type adventurer, you may find the negatives far outweigh the positives.shutterstock_78961018

This is where small ship sailing really shines best.

If you’ve never cruised on a small ship before you may not be aware of the countless benefits this kind of adventure offers, over large ocean liners. That’s ok. We’ll tell you!

Here are 5 ways small ship cruising trumps ocean liner cruising. We guarantee that once you try it out, you’ll find many more. So whether you’re planning on an Amazon River cruise, a jaunt in the Galapagos, an unforgettable Patagonia or Antarctica cruise, or perhaps a meander off the coast of South America or Central America, do read on.

The only problem with trying out small ship cruising?

You may never board an ocean liner again!

You won’t suffer from overcrowding.

Even if you’re not claustrophobic you’ll enjoy having to share your space with far fewer people when cruising on a smaller ship. There’s no queuing for dinner, elbowing your way through dining or sitting rooms and, perhaps worse of all, touring some small port towns with a throng of fellow cruise passengers.

Both the ship and the destination can swiftly lose their romance and lustre when you’re constantly surrounded by exceptionally large crowds. All going to the same place. All wanting to do the same thing. And the fear of going overboard due to turbulent waters is the last thing you’d experience, because most of the small ships, whether it be a scow or a barge, come equipped with stabilizer for boats which maintain the posture of the vessel irrespective of gales or storms trying to harass it.

Deciding on which ship suits you is one of the most important questions to ask when booking an Antarctic cruise, so it’s worth spending the time on.

Seaman Journey (1)
You can reach hidden spots

There are countless splendid destinations the world over that are out of bounds for large liners, you wont see any among the islands in the Galapagos or close up to the peninsula in Antarctica. Thank goodness for small ships! You can visit off-the-beaten-path places in exotic locales such as the    and hidden coves on a small ship, so if you ever want to feel like you have a place all to yourself, chances are infinitely higher when your cruise vessel is smaller.

Legend-TuristasThere is more time for activities

Ever embarked or disembarked from a colossal liner? If you have, you’ll know that this can take upwards of an hour and oftentimes even more. Seriously, when you join a large cruiser you could be spending more time getting on and off the ship, than doing anything else. And out to the horizon, you’ll see those small ship passengers disembarking, enjoying their onshore excursions and embarking again while you’re still waiting in line to get off your ship. Don’t be you on a big ship. Be them on a small one.

Our favourite Antarctic ship, the Ocean Endeavour, is designed to maximise the guest experience in Antarctica, with two zodiac rides or landings per day. There are also plenty of amazing optional activities, including kayaking, day paddling, photography, snowshoeing, and camping.

You get more privacy

Guests on small ships often comment that it’s lovely to be able to get some privacy outside of their cabins. Sure, you can always lock yourself up in your room to have some peace and quiet on a large ship, but wouldn’t it be lovely if you could enjoy the best parts of the ship and still feel like you have some privacy? On a small ship, that’s precisely what you’ll get.

Bartolome Island Galapagos

You’ll have a more in-depth, quality experience

When all is said and done, small ship cruising offers the kind of in-depth experience you’re probably dreaming. You get to spend more time at your chosen destination, you can get to know your fellow travellers much better and, since we’re talking quality, you’re also assured of better food and more dedicated service on a small ship. You can do that when you’re only attending to a small group of people, rather than the entire population of a small village.

Resort style cruising may be just fine for some, but if you’re craving a truly enriching, refined, boutique experience then you simply can’t sail past a small ship cruise. Pun intended.

Author: Laura Pattara

“Laura Pattara is a modern nomad who’s been vagabonding around the world, non-stop, for the past 15 years. She’s tour-guided overland trips through South America and Africa, travelled independently through the Middle East and has completed a 6-year motorbike trip from Europe to Australia. What ticks her fancy most? Animal encounters in remote wilderness, authentic experiences off the beaten trail and spectacular Autumn colours in Patagonia.”