This segment of the cruise industry is unusual and offers a different type of experience and ship. Seasoned as well as budget-conscious travelers will have an interest in these lines. These typically smaller cruise lines offer immersion experiences at various destinations. Some are yachts, sail-assisted ships, and dual-purpose cargo/passenger ships. All generally are regarded as “specialty lines.”
These vessels are able to visit ports and destinations that are not accessible to bigger ships, and their itineraries can be flexible; for example, captains may, for a number of reasons, prefer to remain longer in a port than previously scheduled, or even to make an unscheduled call! In general, these vessels spend more time in port—especially those which have an active nightlife.
While the ticket price, the service, the cuisine, and the amenities earn the adjective “luxury,” you won’t find soaring atriums or a lot of black tie events. This cruise experience resembles a voyage aboard a private yacht, where you have a comfortable cabin with nice amenities, can dress as you please, and have some flexibility about when and with whom you dine. Some of the vessels listed are fairly inclusive (wine, beer, soft drinks, cocktails, and gratuities are included), but others are not.
These lines are well suited for:
- Adults looking for a sophisticated, intimate small ship experience.
- Travelers seeking an educational experience and a vacation filled with history and culture.
- Seasoned travelers and adults who are destination-oriented.
- Highly educated travelers looking for a history-rich vacation.
- Those seeking to meet experts in their fields who have a vast knowledge of the cities visited.
- Those who enjoy an educational type of vacation.
- Those who enjoy traveling and conversation with noteworthy academic experts.