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Small Ship Cruise Travel Guide

Travel Tips for Small Ship Cruises

When you picture a small ship, what comes to mind? Accommodating up to 200 passengers, small ships can range from private yachts that sail primarily in coastal regions or oceangoing ships capable of crossing the world’s oceans. Once on board, your happiness is paramount with more spacious staterooms and personalized service. Here are our tips to ensure that you make the most of your small ship cruise and embark on your best adventure yet.


Choose Your Type of Adventure

When you step on board a small ship cruise, the ship is your gateway to discovery but it’s the destination that shapes the type of adventure you have. Cruises range from natural immersion along Alaska’s Inside Passage or the Galápagos to experiencing authentic culture in the towns and villages of Greece’s Aegean Islands or Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. You can align your interests and hobbies with the itinerary that is the best match, since the ports of call are the focal point of your cruise.


Plan Ahead

It’s hard not to mention the seasick elephant in the room. Many newer ships have stabilizers that keep the motion of the ocean to a minimum, but it never hurts to be prepared. Plan ahead and bring enough motion sickness medicine for the entirety of your trip, just in case. Some motion sickness medications can cause drowsiness, so try out different brands before your trip, and if you have a history of seasickness, take the pills before you get sick as a preventative strategy.


See What’s On Board

As more companies and cruise lines seek to expand their cruising repertoire, it is easy to get lost in the options and choose a cruise based on the number of passengers aboard the ship. Many older vessels have been recently refurbished to provide amenities on par with sleeker, modern yachts that have a stronger curb appeal. Amenities on board range from boutique bars and lounges to a cozy library, an intimate sun deck with a small pool or a swimming platform to jump directly into the coastal waters. When you come on board with Road Scholar, you have exclusive access to educational content that supplements the overall themes of the program you are attending.


Where the Wi-Fi Lives

The Internet has become a key part of our lives as the world has become more connected, and cruise ships are no exception. As technology advances, onboard Internet has become more reliable through both Internet lounges and Wi-Fi, but will still lag behind the broadband you enjoy in your homes. Many cruise lines offer package deals that support checking email, sharing photos and browsing the web. If you’re looking for affordable and reliable Internet, wait for port — almost every coffee shop, café and bar has free Wi-Fi for customers.

Educational Small Ship Cruises

“This was a delightful adventure. It's hard to describe the magic of being able to sail among the Galápagos onboard the wonderful Galaxy II. Our Group Leader, an exceptional naturalist and brilliant photographer, made it even more special with his knowledge and engaging personality.”

— Elizabeth, Road Scholar Class of 2019, from Temple Terrace, Fla. —