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Small ships range from megayachts and sailing vessels of less than 5,000 tons to ships of about 25,000 tons. These ships may carry as few as 70 passengers or as many as 350 and tend to be more upscale although that isn’t always the case.

Larger

Because of their small size, these ships never have elaborate facilities and amenities. And that’s not really the point of a small-ship cruise anyway. You might find a small spa with a couple of treatment rooms and a fitness room, though you’ll rarely encounter a fully equipped gym.

Public spaces are similarly limited. On smaller vessels, passengers tend to entertain themselves rather than be entertained. Therefore, lounges on small ships are more intimate, and the only entertainment is usually done cabaret-style. There are no big Broadway or Las Vegas revues. There’s rarely room for multiple dining venue, so small ships ordinarily have a single restaurant that can accommodate all guests in a single open seating. Gracious service and fine dining are paramount, and your table is likely to be set with signature china, European crystal, and heavy silver, and covered with Belgian linens. Cabins may be luxe but will rarely be large.

Un-Cruise Adventures

  • Sails To Alaska

Why It’s Wonderful

The luxury adventure yachts offer a nearly all-inclusive experience on vessels with well-appointed public areas and accommodations.

Ponant

  • Sails To Europe

Why It’s Wonderful

The 64-passenger, 3-masted cruiser feels like a private sailing yacht and guarantees a unique experience with all the personalized service and attention to detail expected from a luxury operator.

Wind Surf

Windstar Cruises
  • Sails To Europe

Why It’s Wonderful

Newly upgraded in 2012, the ship offers fine dining in elegant surroundings, comfortable accommodations, and an appealing unstructured atmosphere.

Silver Spirit

Silversea Cruises
  • Sails To Caribbean, Europe

Why It’s Wonderful

The largest ship in the Silversea fleet has more space for high-end specialty restaurants, expansive decks and lounges, and a theater for superior entertainment.

Silver Whisper

Silversea Cruises
  • Sails To Alaska

Why It’s Wonderful

High-end specialty restaurants, expansive decks and lounges, and a theater for superior entertainment are just some of the luxury features aboard Silver Whisper.

SeaDream I

SeaDream Yacht Club
  • Sails To Caribbean, Europe

Why It’s Wonderful

SeaDream I offers casual luxury on a truly yacht-like vessel with superb food and service.

Seabourn Sojourn

Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Sails To Caribbean

Why It’s Wonderful

The 450-passenger ship evokes a club-like atmosphere, scoring high points for impeccable service, elegant suites, and excellent recreational facilities.