Zambezi Queen River Safari - Exterior Sunset, Botswana

5 Reasons Why Boutique Cruising is Best

Imagine yourself stretched out under the sun as you sip your favorite cocktail and listen to the waves slap the bottom of your boat. A cruise is the perfect way to see more of the world while you indulge your love of all things maritime.

When it comes to cruising, you can board a huge ship with hundreds or even thousands of passengers — or you can opt for a more intimate experience on a boutique cruise. Why is boutique cruising better? Take a look at these 5 reasons below.

1. A Small Group Experience
The largest cruise ships may have upwards of 3,500 passengers, and that number isn’t even considering the huge crew that is necessary to keep operations running smoothly. The variety of people and the crowded atmosphere of a big ship is often exciting, but that environment isn’t for everyone. On a small ship, you’ll seldom, if ever, have to wait in line, or find yourself constantly jostled. You will have an easier time building friendships with others on the ship and you’ll never have to get up early to secure a deck chair.

2. An Educational Experience
Small cruises cater to particular types of travellers, often people who are passionate about truly getting to know their surroundings. Hence, you’ll find that many boutique cruises have guest speakers and lecturers who range from historians, botanists, and marine biologists to park rangers and published authors. They are all passionate about the area being travelled to and are on board to share their knowledge with you.

Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef with Coral Princess
Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef with Coral Princess

3. Small Ships Go Where the Big Ones Can’t
Goway offers a host of boutique cruises, many of which travel to places that larger ships could never dream of reaching. For example, Coral Princess cruises alongside the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and stops several times so that you can snorkel right off the boat. The Blue Lagoon and Captain Cook vessels in Fiji explore the Yasawa Islands where few tourists ever venture. In Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, all ships are pretty small, and we offer experiences on vessels that take as few as 16 guests. No matter the size of your vessel, the landings are done in zodiacs with no more than eight people.

Road To Mandalay on the Ayeyarwady River, Myanmar
Road To Mandalay on the Ayeyarwady River, Myanmar

River cruises are the perfect way to explore Vietnam, allowing you to board in Ho Chi Min and gently glide along the Mekong all the way to Phonh Penh – stopping to explore small villages along the way. In Myanmar the ultimate way to see the country is floating up (or down) the Irrawaddy with Eastern & Orient Express’ luxurious Road to Mandalay.

You can also enjoy river cruises on the Murray River in South Australia, The Zambezi in Botswana, The Nile in Egypt, and the Amazon River in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

Suggested Cruise Itineraries:
8-Day Murray River Cruise
4-Day Zambezi Queen – Luxury African Safari Cruise 

Nile River Cruise Ideas
Amazon Cruise Ideas – Ecuador
Amazon Cruise Ideas – Peru
Amazon Cruise Ideas – Brazil

4. Flexible Costs
Prices for boutique cruises run the gamut from super affordable to uber luxurious. You might end up paying a few hundred dollars or several thousand for your adventure. In either case, however, you’re in for a treat because all boutique cruises have a strong emphasis on local experience.

Tahiti - Archipels Cruise Huahine Dreams
Archipels Cruise in Tahiti

5. A Family Atmosphere
Just how small are boutique cruises? These cruises may have a few hundred people, a few dozen, or only a handful. Some ships, such as the ones that Archipels operates in Tahiti, carry between eight and 12 passengers. Convince your family and a few friends to go with you. The experience will be the perfect chance for you to bond as you explore Bora Bora and other Polynesian islands. Turkey, Greece and Croatia also offer gullet (purpose-built wooden yachts in the Mediterranean) rentals, where you can bring together as few as six friends and family and charter one that comes complete with crew.

Cruise Ideas for Greece
Cruise Ideas for Croatia
Cruise Ideas of Turkey

Hvar, Croatia
Hvar, Croatia

Whether you cruise on a river barge, unwind on a yacht, or float on a felucca — the choice is yours. Boutique cruises can get you on board unique vessels that lack the cookie-cutter feeling that may come with larger ships.

Water covers about 70 percent of the earth’s surface. Why leave that part of the world untouched by your wanderlust? Boutique cruises offer adventure, fun, luxury, and memories that will last a lifetime.

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Carolyn Weppler
Carolyn Weppler

VP of Sales at Goway Travel -
Carolyn Weppler has tracked gorillas in Rwanda, been proposed to in Paris (she accepted, naturally!), and travelled to 70 countries, counting Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Russia, Sri Lanka and even Afghanistan among her travel memories. Originally from Hong Kong, Carolyn lived in the UK before settling in Canada. A self-professed ‘foodie’ traveller, her favourite destinations are Nepal, Peru, Uganda, and anywhere else where she can roam local markets and experience new flavours.

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