Favourite four: reasons to set sail on a small -ship cruise
Do you love the choice and variety on board ocean liners, but are curious about to trying something a little more low key? Perhaps you’re a river cruise aficionado, but you crave the wide open ocean? Or maybe you’re just dipping your toes into the world of cruises for the first time and you’re keen to start off small. Whatever your cruising preference, we think the freedom of a small ship cruise is hard to beat.
Our product manager, Alison, shares her four favourite things about small-ship cruising on our island-hopping cruises 'Croatia on our Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Islands' and'Lakes and Islands of Undiscovered Croatia'.
Get closer to your destination
If you’re a seasoned ocean cruiser, you’ll be well used to a whole array of entertainment options. Cinemas, casinos and dance shows – to name just a few – are essential for those long, leisurely days at sea. But on a smaller ship, you’re travelling shorter distances, so these vessels really are designed for guests to spend more time outside, bringing them closer to the destination.
On both of our Katerina Line cruises you can enjoy al fresco dining at every mealtime, head to the top deck to take in the view and watch the sun go down as you moor up for an evening with a brand-new view.
The ships' smaller size means you’ll be physically closer to your destination, too. You’ll sail by islands so close, you could almost wave at the locals as you pass by. And you’ll dock up in quiet inlets for a secluded swim on a pebbly beach.
But if you’re a stickler for a singalong or an evening boogie, not to worry; we include two evenings of live evening entertainment on board, from local performers (dancing is encouraged).
"I loved spending balmy evenings on the top deck - it's the best spot for watching the town light up as the sun goes down at the end of each day." Alison
A taste of local flair
On a small ship, each evening brings a new culinary experience. You’ll moor on a new island or in a new city every day, so the crew will bring fresh ingredients on board each time you stop. From the catch of the day to regional specialties or local wine, you’ll get a flavour of the day’s destination as well as the chance to explore it. And if, come dinnertime, you're not ready to head back to the ship yet, you always have the option to dine with the locals and head to a restaurant in town. Your tour manager can even book a table for you beforehand, too.
"There's one captain's dinner on each cruise - and this is the chance for the chef to really wow the guests on board. We had a delicious meal, using just fresh produce, with the view of the terracotta-topped buildings of Hvar in the background. Magical." Alison Porter, Product Manager
The spice of life
From the ancient UNESCO-listed streets of Dubrovnik to the sparkling azure waters of Hvar or the sprawling national parks of Mljet, you’ll experience a real variety of scenery, sights and history on your small ship cruise. Plus, you’ll enjoy a host of tours and private excursions, so you’ll really get a feel for each destination and learn about the fascinating history.
With overnight dockings at almost every stop, being on a small ship makes it very easy to hop ashore whenever you want. Fancy a pre-dinner stroll or a late night ice-cream? Be our guest. Plus, you get the added benefit of exploring each destination both during the day and at night.
“One day you're wandering through the great walled city of Dubrovnik, the next you're sipping Croatian wine with locals whilst admiring the endless sea views. This cruise is full of pinch-me moments." Alison
A family feel
With just 16 cabins or less, there’s no doubt you and your fellow cruisers will feel like old friends before you know it. But what you might not expect is the inevitable friendship of the crew that will serve you each day.
The captains on our two Katerina Line cruises are the proud owners of their ships, and they choose their crew very carefully. Your every need will be pandered to by a skilled team of staff. From the serving staff to the talented chef or the larger-than-life barman (also an expert on the local wines, if you’re looking to try something new), your name and your favourite drink order will be remembered in a jiffy.
Plus, your Titan tour manager will also be on standby throughout the whole trip, in case you have any questions or queries along the way. They’ll be organising all your excursions for you, so you don’t need to think about a thing – just enjoy.
Have you been on a small-ship cruise before? We'd love to hear about your experience - why not leave us a message on our Facebook page?
Article published on: 27th September, 2019
From the coffee-clad highlands of Colombia to getting up-close-and-personal with elephants in Thailand and the exploring the sprawling winelands of South Africa, Natalie is a wannabe-adventurer and finds it hard to pick favourites when it comes to travel destinations. She has a weakness for wildlife and good wine, so her escapades are usually in pursuit of one or the other.
As well as writing for The Scenic Route, Natalie also manages our social media channels. Be sure to follow Titan on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest news.