If you’re after a cruise with cabaret, disco, casino and 16 meals a day don’t read on. With no disrespect to our ‘floating resort’ style cruising cousins that’s simply not what we’re about. For sure cruising should be about a little bit of luxury, good food and excellent company – but for us it’s also about a cultural journey and the opportunity to experience some of the world’s great places in relative peace and quiet. If that sounds like you then these five top tips might help you find the cultured cruising you’re looking for:
- Big ship cruising means big crowds. If you’ve ever been in a port ‘when the boat comes in’ you’ll know just what we mean – loads of coaches on the quayside full of loads of people off to see the local sights. We have no problem with that – but we’d rather be there when the sights are a little more empty, take our time and go by taxi.
- Big ships can’t get into small harbours. If you truly want to see the unspoilt sights and sites small ships get you close up and personal to the sort of cultural places big boats only dream of.
- Big ships can’t get to hidden beaches. For sure they may have 4 or 5 swimming pools on board but for us that simply can’t compare with the experience of mooring up in a shallow cove and jumping off the swimming platform into the warm waters.
- The company on small ships is more cultured – you get to know the crew and other passengers by name and vice versa. It’s like a wonderful grown up country house party that lasts 7 nights but where you wake up every morning to find they’ve changed the scenery – such a clever idea!
- Small ship cruising is kinder to the environment. One of the greatest conundrums in travel is that the more beautiful the place the more people want to go there, but the more people the go there the more quickly the true culture gets swamped by commerce. Small is beautiful.
The fact is there are still so many brilliant cultural places in antiquity and so many sites of natural beauty are hidden away not far from a coast and can best be reached and seen by boat. It’s up to you how you want to see them but we would argue small ship cruising is a much more cultured experience.