Small Cruises For An Offbeat Voyage

For some travelers, bigger isn’t always better. If you’re looking to take a cruise trip but don’t want the crowds or the tourist hot spots, you can book a spot on a number of smaller boats that offer a different kind of voyage. There are small cruises for all types of vacations, from super-cozy river rides to yacht-like trips through warm seas. Below, I’ve rounded up four small cruise ships that are worth looking into.

1. Lord of the Glens
Cabins: 26
Destination: Scotland

This small ship brings passengers through the Scottish highlands and coastal islands. Spanning just 150 feet, Lord of the Glens is “uniquely sized to fit through the network of locks and canals that cut through the heart of the Scottish highlands,” according to cruise line Lindblad Expeditions. Once you’re ashore there are bikes provided to explore the Scottish countryside, and there are also kayaks available for paddling on Loch Ness.

Lord of the Glens is actually one of several small cruise ships that Lindblad Expeditions offers with destinations from the Galapagos to the Pacific Northwest to the Arctic

2. UnCruise Safari Endeavour
Cabins: 42
Destinations: Alaska; Sea of Cortez

This small cruise ship has a focus on outdoor adventure. It comes equipped with kayaks, paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, snorkel gear and wetsuits. You can also check out marine life with an underwater camera mounted on the bow. All cabins are above deck with views of the voyage.

3. Sagitta
Cabins: 13
Destinations: Various locations in the Caribbean including Grenada and St. Lucia

This motorsailer is “built for comfort and blue water cruising,” according to cruise line Island Windjammers. The focus here is on relaxation, with multiple decks for sunbathing and dining al fresco. All cabins have portholes except two solo cabins located below the main deck.

4. Mekong Sun
Cabins: 14
Destinations: Laos and Thailand

This small wooden boat is designed to navigate to areas along the Mekong River that larger boats could not. Mekong River Cruises boasts that “your experienced captain guides your ship through awe-inspiring gorges, past labyrinths of pristine sandbanks, and confidently navigates turbulent rapids.” The ship’s size allows for sweeping views of the river voyage, while the cruise line focuses on letting passengers choose how they want to spend their time on land.