The Pros and Cons of Small Ship Cruising

European River Cruises

The more experienced independent traveler doesn’t usually see cruising as an option for numerous reasons. Most feel that in order to get a real sense for a location you need more then a day to take in a location. However there are many small cruises where this is not only possible, but can actually be very enjoyable. Independent travelers pride themselves on planning their trips themselves down to the last detail. However, even they could benefit from a European River Cruise vacation where everything is planned for them for once.

Not all cruises are like your typical mega-cruise with manufactured cruise ports and large crowds. A small cruise can be a very intimate experience with a focus on relaxation. The ports you normally stop in are smaller and are actually able to be enjoyed in the amount of time given without a feeling of being rushed. A smaller port doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do, ships offer both guided tours as well as free time to roam depending on your mood or interests. Some of the best wine tours can be found on many of the leading European River Cruises as well as some amazing holiday cruises.

Pro – A small ship is just that, small. You won’t ever be at risk at getting lost on a small ship. This means that you won’t have to go far to get back to your cabin or to leave the ship for land excursions. Navigating the ship doesn’t require a map and having to double-check if you’re on the right deck.

Con – A small ship does have its drawbacks. There might be times when a small ship does feel a bit too small, but this is rare and many ships have become very creative with how they deal with these issues. If the ship happens to have a pool (many smaller ships don’t) it may only accommodate a few people at a time, however guests are mindful of this and tend to take notice if others are waiting.

Pro – Small means intimate. The activates offered tend to cater to the smaller groups which gives it a much more personal feel rather then just feeling like you’re a face in the crowd. This allows you to ask questions of your tour guides and really feel like a part of the tour.

Con – Sometimes it can feel too intimate. On a large ship there’s a bit of anonymity with such large groups. The people that you see on the first day will all be the same people you see each and every day, there’s no avoiding people on a ship you can walk around in under 10 minutes, but if you’re looking to avoid people perhaps a cruise isn’t for you.

Pro – Smaller ships can go where large cruise ships never could. European river cruise ships have flat bottoms that allow them to go pretty much anywhere on a river. You don’t need to deal with shuttles when the boat is tied right up in the port of a small town. This gives you the convenience of never being far from the  ship and your room.

Con – You might find yourself bored on a smaller ship while you’re not in port. Unlike mega-cruises the activities provided aren’t quite as extensive as what you might be used to. If you’re the type that likes to rock-climb, dining in a different restaurant each night and spending your nights in the casino, then a small ship might not be what you’re looking for.

Pro – Small ships are much more eco-friendly. They use a lot less fuel and make a much smaller impact on the environment then the mobile city type cruise ships. Even some smaller ships have sails so that on the right days no fuel is even needed. In this day and age this should be something that impacts your choice in vacation.

Con – Small ships tend to be a bit more expensive then the larger ships, but you are paying for a different experience and many deals can be found for any type of cruise you’re interested in. Many offer 2 for 1 specials that allow two people to travel for the price of one.

The biggest pro of the all is that once you’ve booked your cruise no other planning on your part is needed. Just relax and enjoy your faction.

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