Any cruise can be a wonderful and carefree vacation, but not all cruises are alike. There’s a wide variety of cruise experiences available to you; and, much of what you experience on a cruise depends on the size of the ship.
Today’s largest cruise ships have lots of incredible features. Along with room for thousands of passengers, they have space for an amazing variety of dining and entertainment venues. Plus, they sail to some of the world’s most popular ports.
Butthere are advantages to cruising on a smaller ship – say, up to 1,500 passengers – as well. One is the ability to visit smaller ports that are a little off the usual cruise routes because they can’t accommodate larger ships. Here are a few examples.
Quepos, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is a stop for some smaller cruise ships that pass through the Panama Canal. It’s near Manuel Antonio National Park, which is known for wildlife –iguanas, capuchin, and howler monkeys, and two types of sloth – and beautiful beaches. Here, you can also take a surf lesson, go deep-sea fishing, or zipline through the forest canopy.
Nafplion is a charming Greek town on the Aegean Sea that was a busy trading center in the Middle Ages, so it’s steeped in history. Stroll the Arvantia Promenade, visit the Archaeological Museum, or climb the steps to Palamidi Castle to enjoy the stunning view. There are markets full of handmade crafts and a lovely beach, too.
Molde, nestled along Norway’s Romsdal Fjord, offers beautiful Nordic scenery; a flightseeing tour over the mountains and glaciers is a breathtaking experience. There are some surprises here, too, including rose gardens that flourish in the summer and Moldejazz – one of Europe’s oldest jazz festivals – every July.
Kaikoura, a coastal village on the South Island of New Zealand, has a gorgeous backdrop of snow-capped mountains. This part of the coast is known for marine life, and you could spot whales, seals, dolphins, and sea birds from the Peninsula Walkway or a tour boat. You can also see the Ohau Waterfall or tour the Fyffe House to learn about Māori heritage and the region’s whaling history.
In addition to fascinating ports, there are other delightful reasons to cruise on smaller ships. For example, many smaller ships belong to luxury cruise lines, so you can expect a high level of comfort and service. For more information about small ship cruising, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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