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Small Ship Cruising


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Featured Small Ship Cruises

5★ HOTEL STAYS INC.
Exclusive 2026 Antarctica & Falkland Islands Expedition

MS Fridtjof Nansen 17 Mar 2026 22 nights Fly Cruise Flights Included Ushuaia

Exclusive FREE Private UK Chauffeur Service*

Exclusive savings of up to £5,000*

Expedition Landings & Daily Activities Included*

5★ Hotel Stays, Drinks & Wi-Fi Included*

Itinerary: Ushuaia, Argentina - Crossing the Drake Passage - Antarctica - Falkland Islands - Puerto Madryn, Argentina
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(full fare £10,399) Outside from £8,799pp

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FT SAFARI GAME DRIVE
All-Inclusive 2025 Seychelles & South Africa

Silver Dawn 20 Feb 2025 23 nights Fly Cruise Flights Included Victoria

Business Class flights included*

Exclusive Savings of up to £4,000*

FREE safari game drive excursion for all bookings*

FREE three night 5★ stays in Seychelles & Cape Town*

Itinerary: Mahe, Seychelles - Port Louis, Mauritius - Pointe des Gallettes, Reunion Island - Richards Bay, South Africa - Durban, South Africa - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Cape Town,...
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(full fare £8,599) Suite from £6,999pp

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SAVE UP TO 40%
6★ 2026 Fiji, Bora Bora & South Pacific Sale

Seven Seas Navigator 12 Mar 2026 20 nights Fly Cruise Flights Included Tahiti (Papeete)

Exclusive savings of up to 40%*

INCLUDED Premium Drinks, Gratuities, Speciality Dining & Wi-Fi*

Up to 45 INCLUDED shore excursions*

FREE $500 Private Chauffeur Service credit with Blacklane for all bookings*

Itinerary: Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia - Moorea, French Polynesia - Raiatea, French Polynesia - Bora Bora, French Polynesia - Pago Pago, American Samoa - Apia, Samoa (cross the...
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(full fare £13,309) Suite from £7,599pp

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Popular Small Ship Cruise Destinations



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What is a small cruise ship?


Typically, a small cruise ship holds up to 1,300 passengers. They are perfect for those who love to cruise but are not looking for a resort at sea. What a small cruise ship may lack in innovative amenities it makes up for with a number of distinctive qualities that larger vessels can’t offer.

There are four distinct categories of small ships; oceangoing cruise ships, sailing yachts, riverboats and expedition vessels. Oceangoing cruise ships typically hold between 450 and 1,300 passengers while the capacity of sailing yachts ranges from 140 to 400, riverboats carry up to 200 passengers and expedition vessels carry up to 1,000 passengers. As passenger counts are significantly lower, embarkation and disembarkation is a breeze. This also means that queuing doesn’t take up a large portion of your day.

But it’s not just the reduced numbers that make small ship cruising special. Smaller ships have a more luxurious ambience and more personalised service - bar staff will not just remember your name but your signature drink too! What’s more, small cruise ships can cruise to more exclusive ports of call, allowing you to discover the most untouched corners of the world.


Where can you sail on a small ship cruise?

Small oceangoing cruise ships and sailing yachts explore a wide selection of destinations like the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Far East. River cruise ships are able to navigate locks and sail beneath low bridges meaning they can sail into the heart of much-loved towns, cities and countrysides like Bordeaux, Budapest and Bucharest. While expedition cruise ships, with their shallow drafts, are able to get much closer to off-the-beaten-track destinations like Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands, offering guests once-in-a-lifetime experiences.


Which cruise lines offer small ship cruises?

For those looking for the ultimate luxury cruise experience, Silversea offers the very finest at sea paired with a personal experience. APT Cruising, Emerald Cruises, Scenic River Cruises and Uniworld River Cruises all offer fascinating river itineraries in Europe. If you’re looking to delve into the culture of the Far East, why not navigate the rivers of Asia on a Mekong river cruise?

Cruise Line Itineraries
Azamara  See all featured cruises >
Celebrity Cruises See all featured cruises >
Holland America Line See all featured cruises >
Oceania Cruises See all featured cruises >
Silversea  See all featured cruises > 

 

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