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Your Best Small Ship Cruises in Europe

Small Ship Cruises are popular in Europe - you have lots of choices…

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These are not crewed or bare-boat yachts, nor the big ships that sail the Mediterranean and Baltic seas…

These in between cruise ships sail around the Greek Islands, Turkey and along the coast of Croatia. Some are tiny and cozy...others hold 800 passengers…still they are a lot smaller than the "biggies” with thousands of people.

Here are your options…

  • Variety Cruises in Greece

    This company operates sail-assisted cruisers and mega yachts with 22 to 36 cabins. They give you the feeling of a private yacht with all the services…except you don’t have to do anything…

    But ask the right questions before you leave. Some are like a small luxury cruise ship whereas others are more basic. Decide what is the best for you!

    Public areas are located both indoors and outdoors, also for meals. Cabin size ranges from 118 to 150 sq. ft., and they offer all the amenities you expect.

  • Zeus Casual Cruises

    (now part of Variety Cruises)

    This company has small ship cruises in the Greek islands and uses more basic wooden motor sailers and motor yachts.

    Accommodating from 17 to 24 in simple cabins with an informal atmosphere, they operate cruise programs around Rhodes, Corfu and Athens.

  • Gulet cruises in Turkey

    A gulet, also known as Turkish gullet, is a wooden motor sailing vessel…the modern version of the ancient cargo boats that used to trade along the Turkish coast.

    Now they are comfortable cruising vessels for 4 to 18 guests in double cabins. Each has its own toilet, wash basin and shower.

    • Gulets come in three categories, economy, standard, deluxe. You can cruise a gulet as an independent traveler or you can charter a gulet for a small group…families or friends.
    • Your crew sails the gulet and prepares all meals. You take a gulet cruise to relax, and do a minimal sightseeing visiting some of the ruins on land. And, of course, swimming, snorkeling and getting a nice tan…are all possible.
    • Bodrum on the southwestern tip of Turkey is the major port for gulet cruises. Marmaris and Antalya are other starting points. All casual gulets sail along the south coast of Turkey.

    Bodrum Blue Cruises and Turktour are two major operators for gulet cruises.

  • Greek Island Cruises

    Monarch Cruises/Dolphin Hellas and Louis Cruise Lines are the two main operators for the regular Greek Island cruises. The ships are a lot bigger than the ones listed above and take up to 800 passengers.

    You have a choice of three different cruises…

    1. 3-day weekend cruises, leaving on Fridays, that include the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes and Patmos.
    2. 4-day mid-week trips, leaving on Mondays, that also include the island of Crete.
    3. One-week sailings that include all the above islands, plus give you an exciting 24-hour stay in Istanbul. (Only Louis Cruise Lines)

    These are all “regular” cruises with all meals on board and optional sightseeing trips. Visit the islands during the day and enjoy dancing and entertainment at night.

  • Small ship cruises in the Adriatic Sea

    This section along Dalmatian Coast has once again become very popular for its historic cities and beautiful beaches. It’s sometimes called the “New Riviera.”

    It has some of the clearest, bluest waters on the planet.

    Two ships, the yacht-like Monet and the classic vessel Andrea, offer cruises from Venice or Dubrovnik and carry between 60 and 100 passengers. Jauntee is a booking agency for Croatia Cruises.

So what is the best way to book your Small Ship Cruises in Europe?

  • Decide on the area you want to visit…Greece, Turkey or Dalmatian Coast.
  • Decide on the type of cruise and size of ship…do you want entertainment and sightseeing or just want to relax, swim and lie in the sun?
  • Visit the web sites to get all the details, including departure dates, cities and prices for all categories.
  • The European Travel Resource Center offers direct links to all small ship cruises.

Final Tip about booking Small Ship Cruises

Small Ship cruises are different from river, barge and “big ship” cruises…some people like this type cruise and others are not sure...

Would you…?

Before you book I suggest you look at some of the cruise reviews from travelers who have already taken the cruise.

The descriptions in brochures at times are a bit vague. Go to a cruise critic web site (type in your browser name of ship + cruise reviews) or find a good travel consultant who has sailed on the ships.

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