Top Reasons to Travel by Small Ship with Road Scholar
Learn from Expert Faculty
Here at Road Scholar, learning is intrinsic to who we are and what we do. When you come on board a cruise with us, you’re embarking on an educational adventure with Road Scholar’s expert staff and local instructors who will be with you each step of your journey. While at sea, relax on board and take in a lecture about the next port in your itinerary or a fascinating topic that will wrap your whole adventure together. Then, set out on immersive shore excursions to gain a new appreciation for local life and culture firsthand.
The World is at Your Disposal
Craggy coasts and blissful bays await as small ships gracefully pull into port. Become fully immersed in the destination as you’re transported into the heart of untouched wilderness and authentic cultures on perfectly crafted itineraries. These ships are often built for a specific destination with exact measurements in order to access select ports of call. Small ships can sail narrow waterways and shallow outlets to off-the-beaten-path locales and across open water to iconic destinations that have been dreamed of from a world away. From the remote fishing villages in northern Iceland to the Galápagos’ hidden coves, small ships cruises will return your focus to the world around you and leave you longing for more.
The days of having to face the crowds while you’re on vacation are behind you. With no more than 250 passengers, public areas will never feel too crowded and there will always be a cozy corner to relax with book in hand or grab a seat at the bar to schmooze with your friends. Plus, you will develop a relationship with the crew as you interact every day, making the cruise feel more like a home away from home instead of a floating hotel. When you are on board a small ship, there is a more relaxed pace to life that compliments the thrill of going ashore.
Dock in the Action
The night before you pull into port, you hear the announcement that you will be tendering to shore. With a sigh, you realize this means you have to be ready earlier in order to beat the line for the tender. When you’re aboard a small ship, let your tender worries go out the window. Instead, step right onto the pier and it’s only a short walk to the center of town. Small ships are able to dock in the center of the action, letting you come and go as you please without the long lines that are frequent when sailing aboard larger ships.
Masters of Cuisine
When you go ashore each day to experience the best each port has to offer, the chefs on board the ship have their own task. They masterfully craft a wholesome dining experience — each day different from the last — from the ingredients and dishes that are prominent in local cuisine. Whether its bread bought at the market each morning, freshly caught fish or vegetables picked during an afternoon hike, the cuisine will be equal parts delicious and authentic. But the best part is with the flexibility of ingredients and getting to know the crew, which are attentive to your dining needs and capable of meeting most dietary restrictions.
Sustainability is Key
As concerns about environmental sustainability have become more prominent in the collective conscious, a greater emphasis has been placed on responsible travel practices. Larger cruise ships with guests numbering in the thousands can easily overwhelm popular ports with smaller populations such as Dubrovnik, with only 1,500 residents living in the old city. Small ships place less of a burden on the ports of call and do much a much better job of meeting environmental regulation. Many small ship cruise lines have incorporated environmental practices into their business model, whether it is sustainable dining practices, partnering with local and indigenous communities, partnering with international NGOs such as the World Wildlife Fund or building ships with new technologies that reduce their environmental impact.