When you think of a cruise, the first thing that springs to mind is probably a massive boat with thousands of people on it and a vast variety of things to do. But that’s ocean cruises and they aren’t for everyone.
On the opposite end, you have small boat cruises, which are perfect for intimacy, relaxation, and most important of all, an experience that’s highly personalized. With as much staff as you have guests, you can get as close to a bespoke service as possible, and you can even get a tailor-made excursion.
That being said, not every destination is suitable for a small ship cruise, which is why we’ve got a list of options that will all offer a tailored experience like no other. This is the type of vacation that offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make life-long memories, so read on!
The Mekong River
A Mekong river cruise will take you through Cambodia and Vietnam, and you’ll get to experience years of historically significant locations and places. This can easily become one of Asia’s most epic water trips, for a vast variety of reasons.
To begin with, you’ll be able to experience the remains of the Khmer empire that ruled the land from the 9th up until the 15th century, as well as the prominence of Theravada Buddhism, a culture that’s incredibly popular in today’s Cambodia and Vietnam.
Such a cruise will also take you along for a ride towards the Tonle Sap lake, known as the breathing lake due to the fact that it empties and then fills itself back up every year. This is a process that the locals are taking advantage of, and you’ll come across many of their floating villages full of fishermen and people making a living with the surrounding flora and fauna.
The land of over 18,000 tropical islands, Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic country. Over three-quarters of the area is an open sea, and the vast variety of islands makes Indonesia the perfect destination for a small ship cruise.
So, what can you experience? Well, Indonesia has plenty of islands to visit, the most popular of which are probably Bali, Lombok, Komodo and Raja Ampat. Bali is a beautiful tourist destination that’s full of people year-round. It’s beautiful because it gets you everything Indonesia has to offer in one place, from the long, sandy beaches where you can relax and sip a cocktail, to Buddhist temples that are a sight to behold. Lombok is the calmer, more private alternative to Bali, but it’s just as stunning.
And then we have Komodo, home of the Komodo National Park, which got its name because it has the largest population of Komodo dragons, the world’s largest living lizards. A stroll through the national park also gets you beautiful landscapes and plenty of wildlife to experience.
Last but not least, Raja Ampat is one of those places that just begs for you to get inside a small boat and start exploring the myriad of islands. While the name refers to the four main islands, there are over 600 islands as part of the ‘Galapagos of the Sea’, so you’ll definitely get to enjoy a lot of variety.
All things considered, Indonesia gets you a stunning combination between the modern and the traditional, with a little something for everyone’s flavours.
The Amazon River
An Amazon river cruise will get you through what is quite possibly the most biodiverse river and rainforest system in the world. If you’re a fan of nature, this is the expedition you want to head into. The rainforest covers about 40% of South America, and it’s spread across nine countries. The best part about it? Venturing into the jungle is only possible on a boat, which makes the Amazon river cruise all the more mystical.
The rainforest is home to over one-third of all recorded animal species in the world, which is basically an incredibly diverse collection of animal life. And you also have over 40,000 plant species, too, which only adds to the diversity.
A cruise will get you through the Peruvian Amazon, and if you have an experienced guide aboard, they’ll help you spot various wildlife in an environment that was actually made to camouflage them. This is why a smaller boat is perfect, it increases the chances of an up-close sighting because you have fewer people, and consequently, less noise.
What’s great is that most good cruise companies will also allow on-shore excursions, ones that range from walks alongside the river and through some stunning landscapes, to tours with bicycles and other means of transportation that will get you further into the rainforest, and into the wild. This is when you really get to experience the beauty of the Amazon rainforest, and it’s something you will absolutely love.
When it comes to adventurous experiences as these cruise destinations offer, a small ship and luxury mean sufficient safety and an impeccably planned trip for an optimally good trip without a single chance of unwanted problems occurring.
Small boat cruises prepare detailed on-deck and on-shore activities and commodities for every single traveller onboard which makes it a luxurious and at most enjoyable trip for everyone. Although it may come as more expensive than other travelling adventures, it sure it’s worth the money and the life-changing experiences and sights one is allowed to immerse in and enjoy!