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Small Ship Cruises

Small cruise ships are perfect for those who long to explore the world by sea but baulk at the thought of bustling atriums, buffet queues and booming nightclubs. If you’d rather head off the beaten track and discover less-visited hidden gems rather than the congested overcrowded ports frequented on a daily basis by larger cruise ships, then a luxury cruise on a small ship could be just what you’re looking for.

Small ships cruises are all about personalised service, a cosy atmosphere and itineraries which focus on discovering new destinations rather than flashy facilities. Whilst you may not have climbing walls, zip wires and trampoline parks on-board your small ship, you will be able to enjoy gourmet meals, free-flowing wine and excellent enrichment programmes.

Small cruise ships sailing from the UK

There are plenty of small ships across luxury cruise fleets, including Silversea and Seabourn. Many of these also depart from the UK, meaning they are a great choice for cruisers looking for their next getaway. Take a look at our luxury cruises from the UK for a chance to set sail on your next incredible holiday.

How many passengers are on each small ship?

On this page, we’ve listed luxury cruises on ships which have fewer than 500 passengers. The world’s largest ships have more than 5000 passengers, making these ships with less than 500 seem tiny by comparison. Within the small ship category, you’ll find that some ships are much smaller than others, with luxury yacht Crystal Esprit accommodating just 62 passengers.

Small luxury cruise ships

These small luxury cruise ships each have fewer than 500 passengers:

Where can you sail on a small ship cruise?

One advantage of smaller cruise ships is that due to their size, they are able to slip into some of the most remote ports of call. On-board the world's best small luxury cruise ships, you can expect to experience some of the world’s most remote islands, hidden harbours and secluded coves. You’ll have access to many of the more elite destinations too, including the treasures of the Mediterranean, Asia and elsewhere, offering you the chance to delve into fascinating cultures or simply enjoy the spectacular unspoiled scenery. Alternatively, small ship cruises from Southampton offer a convenient way to start your luxury cruise holiday.

Expedition cruises

Many small cruise ships are expedition ships, with reinforced hulls to slice through ice and the ability to sail close to shore and dock in the smallest of ports. The aim of expedition cruising is to head off the beaten track and experience the culture, landscape and wildlife of rarely-explored regions. Destinations include the Galapagos, Australia, the South Pacific, the Arctic and the Antarctic. If you’d like to embark on the voyage of a lifetime, discovering some of the planet’s most remote destinations, take a look at our selection of expedition cruises.

Expedition ships

Luxury expedition cruises are available on the following ships:

Browse expedition cruises

River cruises

River cruising is another great option for anyone looking for a small-ship experience. River cruise ships have to be small to be able to fit under bridges and through locks. With destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA, perhaps a luxury river cruise could be ideal for your next trip? Our sister company, rivervoyages.com specialises in river cruising and offers sailings with luxury river cruise lines including Scenic, Tauck, Uniworld and Crystal River Cruises.

See luxury river cruises

Small ship cruises in 2020, 2021 & 2022

When it comes to small, luxury cruises, we are the experts. No matter where you want to go in the world, we will help create the perfect holiday, tailor-made for you. So, call your personal expert Cruise Concierge on 08082026105 today, and secure your ideal small ship cruise escape.

161 Exotic Caribbean In-Depth
23 January 2021 - 14 nights

Bridgetown, Barbados | Port Elizabeth (Grenadines) | Trois Ilets, Martinique | Basseterre | Charlestown, Nevis | St. Johns, Antigua And Barbuda | St Kitts | Philipsburg, St Maarten | Sopers Hole (Frenchmans Cay) | Gustavia, St. Barts | Basseterre | Terre-de-Haut, Guadeloupe | Castries, St. Lucia | Saline Bay, Mayreau, St. Vincent And The Grenadine | Bridgetown, Barbados more

Fly Cruise £4999pp
Cruise Only £4749pp
162 Mahé/victoria Harbor Roundtrip
24 January 2021 - 7 nights

Mahe, Seychelles | St. Anne Island, Seychelles | St. Anne Island, Seychelles | Praslin Island | Cousin Island, Seychelles | Praslin Island | Praslin Island | La Passe, La Digue, Seychelles | Laraie Bay, Curieuse Island, Seychelles | Laraie Bay, Curieuse Island, Seychelles | Laraie Bay, Curieuse Island, Seychelles | Aride, Seychelles | Mahe, Seychelles | Mahe, Seychelles more

Fly Cruise £5999pp
Cruise Only £5999pp
163 Papeete to Papeete
30 January 2021 - 10 nights

Papeete (Tahiti) | Papeete (Tahiti) | Moorea | Fakarava, French Polynesia | Nuku Hiva | Rangiroa | Bora Bora, French Polynesia | Bora Bora, French Polynesia | Raiatea | Papeete (Tahiti) more

Fly Cruise £5289pp
Cruise Only £3549pp
164 Grand Southern Expedition
30 January 2021 - 52 nights

Ushuaia | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | South Shetland Islands | Tortel, Chile | Castro, Chiloé Island, Chile | Puerto Montt | Niebla | Santiago (Valparaíso), Chile | Robinson Crusoe Island | Alexander Selkirk Island, Chile | Easter Island | Easter Island | Adamstown, Pitcairn Islands | Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marguesas Island | Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands | Fakarava, French Polynesia | Rangiroa | Moorea | Papeete (Tahiti) | Bora Bora, French Polynesia | Rarotonga | Aitutaki, Cook Islands, New Zealand | Palmerston | Apia | Apia | Somosomo, Taveuni | Lautoka, Fiji more

Fly Cruise £31919pp
Cruise Only £31919pp
165 Mahé/victoria Harbor Roundtrip
31 January 2021 - 7 nights

Mahe, Seychelles | St. Anne Island, Seychelles | St. Anne Island, Seychelles | Praslin Island | Cousin Island, Seychelles | Praslin Island | Praslin Island | La Passe, La Digue, Seychelles | Laraie Bay, Curieuse Island, Seychelles | Laraie Bay, Curieuse Island, Seychelles | Laraie Bay, Curieuse Island, Seychelles | Aride, Seychelles | Mahe, Seychelles | Mahe, Seychelles more

Fly Cruise £6589pp
Cruise Only Call
166 Great white wonder
03 February 2021 - 14 nights

Buenos Aires | Buenos Aires | Ushuaia | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Ushuaia | Buenos Aires more

Fly Cruise £13039pp
167 Exotic Caribbean In-Depth
06 February 2021 - 14 nights

Bridgetown, Barbados | Port Elizabeth (Grenadines) | Trois Ilets, Martinique | Basseterre | Charlestown, Nevis | St. Johns, Antigua And Barbuda | St Kitts | Philipsburg, St Maarten | Sopers Hole (Frenchmans Cay) | Gustavia, St. Barts | Basseterre | Terre-de-Haut, Guadeloupe | Castries, St. Lucia | Saline Bay, Mayreau, St. Vincent And The Grenadine | Bridgetown, Barbados more

Fly Cruise £5969pp
Cruise Only £4749pp
168 Great white wonder
14 February 2021 - 14 nights

Buenos Aires | Buenos Aires | Ushuaia | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Ushuaia | Buenos Aires more

Fly Cruise £11969pp
169 Valparais to Papeete
17 February 2021 - 22 nights

Santiago (Valparaíso), Chile | Robinson Crusoe Island | Alexander Selkirk Island, Chile | Easter Island | Easter Island | Adamstown, Pitcairn Islands | Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marguesas Island | Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands | Fakarava, French Polynesia | Rangiroa | Moorea | Papeete (Tahiti) more

Fly Cruise £14479pp
Cruise Only £14479pp
170 Papeete to Papeete
19 February 2021 - 10 nights

Papeete (Tahiti) | Papeete (Tahiti) | Moorea | Fakarava, French Polynesia | Nuku Hiva | Rangiroa | Bora Bora, French Polynesia | Bora Bora, French Polynesia | Raiatea | Papeete (Tahiti) more

Fly Cruise £5099pp
Cruise Only £2819pp
171 Great white wonder
25 February 2021 - 14 nights

Buenos Aires | Buenos Aires | Ushuaia | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Ushuaia | Buenos Aires more

Fly Cruise £11819pp
172 Papeete to Los Angeles
01 March 2021 - 16 nights

Papeete (Tahiti) | Raiatea | Bora Bora, French Polynesia | Hilo, Hawaii | Honolulu, Oahu | Nawiliwili | Los Angeles, California more

Fly Cruise £6779pp
Cruise Only £5119pp
173 Papeete to Lima(Callao)
01 March 2021 - 18 nights

Papeete (Tahiti) | Raiatea | Bora Bora, French Polynesia | Bora Bora, French Polynesia | Rangiroa | Fakarava, French Polynesia | Hanga Roa, Easter Island | Hanga Roa, Easter Island | Lima | Lima more

Fly Cruise £6279pp
Cruise Only £4499pp
174 Australia's Coral Coast
04 March 2021 - 21 nights

Sydney, Australia | Phillip Island | Melbourne | Melbourne | Adelaide, Australia | Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island) | Albany, Australia | Bunbury, Australia | Perth (Fremantle), Australia | Broome, Australia | Bali (Benoa) | Bali (Benoa) more

Fly Cruise £10279pp
Cruise Only £8549pp
175 Fort Lauderdale to Fort Lauderdale
04 March 2021 - 11 nights

Fort Lauderdale (Florida), United States | Key West | Cozumel, Mexico | Belize City, Belize | Santo Tomas | Roatan | Progreso | Progreso | Fort Lauderdale (Florida), United States more

Fly Cruise £3459pp
Cruise Only £3459pp
176 Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands
08 March 2021 - 20 nights

Buenos Aires | Buenos Aires | Ushuaia | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | Antarctic Peninsula | South Georgia | South Georgia | Falkland Islands | Falkland Islands | Rio De Janeiro | UK more

Fly Cruise £14599pp
177 Ushuaia To Cape Town
09 March 2021 - 21 nights

Ushuaia | New Island | Westpoint Island | Stanley Island, Australia | South Georgia | South Georgia | South Georgia | South Georgia | South Georgia | Tristan Da Cunha | Nightingale Island | Gough Island, St Helena | Cape Town, South Africa | Cape Town, South Africa more

Fly Cruise £9349pp
Cruise Only £9349pp
178 Exotic Caribbean In-Depth
13 March 2021 - 14 nights

Bridgetown, Barbados | Port Elizabeth (Grenadines) | Trois Ilets, Martinique | Basseterre | Charlestown, Nevis | St John's, Antigua | St Kitts | Philipsburg, St Maarten | Sopers Hole (Frenchmans Cay) | Basseterre | Gustavia, St. Barts | Terre-de-Haut, Guadeloupe | Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia | Saline Bay, Mayreau, St. Vincent And The Grenadine | Bridgetown, Barbados more

Fly Cruise £8199pp
Cruise Only £4749pp
179 Lima to Miami
19 March 2021 - 14 nights

Lima | Salaverry | Guayaquil, Ecuador | Manta, Ecuador | Fuerte Amador (Balboa) | Fuerte Amador (Balboa) | Panama Canal | Puerto Limon | Roatan | Harvest Caye | Costa Maya, Mexico | Miami more

Fly Cruise £6799pp
Cruise Only £5879pp
180 Galapagos Inner Loop
21 March 2021 - 7 nights

Baltra (Galapagos) | Daphne Island (Galapagos) | Egas Port | Rabida (Galapagos) | Elizabeth Bay | Tagus Cove (Isabella) | Sullivan Bay (Santiago) | Bartolome Island | Las Bachas (Santa Cruz) | North Seymour (Galapagos) | Puerto Baquerizo (Cristobal) | Punta Pitt (San Cristobal) | Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) | Baltra (Galapagos) more

Fly Cruise £9859pp
Cruise Only £6989pp
181 Tokyo to Singapore
21 March 2021 - 18 nights

Tokyo, Japan | Kagoshima, Japan | Shanghai | Shanghai | Shanghai | Hong Kong, China | Hong Kong, China | Hong Kong, China | Hong Kong, China | Hong Kong, China | Singapore | Singapore more

Fly Cruise £6979pp
Cruise Only £6979pp
182 Grand Tropical Expedition
23 March 2021 - 52 nights

Lautoka, Fiji | Ambrym Island, Vanuatu | Pentecost Island | Champagne Bay | Nendo Island | Santa Ana, Solomon Islands | Rabaul, Papua New Guinea | Garove Island, Papua New Guinea | Madang | Tami Islands, Papua New Guinea | Dobu Island | Dei Dei Hot Springs, Fergusson Island | Samarai, Papua New Guinea | Cairns, Australia | Thursday Island | Darwin | King George | Hunter River | Hunter River | Buccaneer Archipelago | Ende, Flores | Kalabahi | Pulau Kital | Anano Island, Indonesia | Bau-Bau, Indonesia | Palopo, South Sulawesi | Semarang | Singapore | Singapore | Anak Krakatoa, Indonesia | Karimunjawa Archipelago - Java, Indonesia | Padang,Sumatra For Cupek, Indonesia | Bawemataluwo, Indonesia | Belawan, Indonesia | Belawan, Indonesia | Galle, Sri Lanka | Colombo | Cochin (Kochi), India | Cochin (Kochi), India more

Fly Cruise £27639pp
Cruise Only £27639pp
183 Melbourne To Perth (Fremantle)
24 March 2021 - 10 nights

Melbourne | King Island, Tasmania | Adelaide, Australia | Kangaroo Island | Port Lincoln, Australia | Middle Island | Albany, Australia | Busselton, Australia | Perth (Fremantle), Australia more

Fly Cruise £11359pp
Cruise Only £8949pp
184 World Cruise - The Dhow Route
25 March 2021 - 30 nights

Bali (Benoa) | Surabaya | Semarang | Victoria, Mahé | Praslin Island | Mombasa | Mombasa | Mombasa | Zanzibar | Durban, South Africa | Port Elizabeth, South Africa | Cape Town, South Africa | Cape Town, South Africa more

Fly Cruise £12339pp
Cruise Only £10449pp
185 Grand Voyage of Discovery
26 March 2021 - 17 nights

Rio De Janeiro | Rio De Janeiro | Salvador De Bahia, Brazil | Praia (Cape Verde) | Mindelo, Cape Verde | Funchal, Madeira | Funchal, Madeira | Lisbon more

Fly Cruise £6479pp
186 Cape Town to Tema
30 March 2021 - 18 nights

Cape Town, South Africa | Luderitz, Namibia | Walvis Bay | Walvis Bay | Namibe, Angola | Lobito | Luanda | Sao Tome | Praia Sundy, Principe | Cotonou, Benin | Lome, Togo | Lome, Togo | Sekondi-Takoradi | Accra more

Fly Cruise £11099pp
Cruise Only £11099pp
187 Singapore to Mumbai
08 April 2021 - 15 nights

Singapore | Yangon | Yangon | Yangon | Yangon | Trincomalee, Sri Lanka | Colombo | Colombo | Cochin (Kochi), India | Mumbai | Mumbai more

Fly Cruise £5219pp
Cruise Only £5219pp
188 Incredible Iberian Discovery
11 April 2021 - 8 nights

Lisbon | Lisbon | Portimao | Seville | Tangiers, Morocco | Malaga, Spain | Cartagena, Spain | Soller De Mallorca | Barcelona more

Fly Cruise £5319pp
189 Mediterranean Discovery
11 April 2021 - 16 nights

Lisbon | Lisbon | Portimao | Seville | Tangiers, Morocco | Malaga, Spain | Cartagena, Spain | Soller De Mallorca | Barcelona | Saint-Tropez, France | Monte Carlo | Calvi | Amalfi, Positano | Taormina | Santorini, Greece | Athens (Piraeus) more

Fly Cruise £8519pp
190 Fort Lauderdale to Lisbon
15 April 2021 - 13 nights

Fort Lauderdale (Florida), United States | Hamilton | Hamilton | Horta | Ponta Delgada | Lisbon

Fly Cruise £4099pp
Cruise Only £3129pp
191 Mediterranean Discovery
18 April 2021 - 9 nights

Barcelona | Barcelona | Saint-Tropez, France | Monte Carlo | Calvi | Amalfi, Positano | Taormina | Santorini, Greece | Athens (Piraeus) more

Fly Cruise £6449pp
192 Lisbon To Barcelona
28 April 2021 - 12 nights

Lisbon | Funchal, Madeira | Funchal, Madeira | San Sebastian, La Gomera | Canary Islands (Las Palmas) | Arrecife, Lanzarote | Casablanca, Morocco | Casablanca, Morocco | Casablanca, Morocco | Cadiz (Seville) | Palma De Mallorca | Barcelona more

Fly Cruise £4129pp
Cruise Only £4189pp
193 Barcelona to Rome
10 May 2021 - 7 nights

Barcelona | Palamos, Spain | Saint-Tropez, France | Monte Carlo | Livorno | Ile Rousse, Corsica | Olbia (Italy) | Civitavecchia more

Fly Cruise £3059pp
Cruise Only £3129pp
194 Barcelona to Barcelona
10 May 2021 - 14 nights

Barcelona | Palamos, Spain | St. Tropez, France | Monte Carlo | Livorno | Ile Rousse, Corsica | Olbia (Italy) | Civitavecchia | Portofino | Portoferraio | Bonifacio/Corsica, France | Sardinia (Alghero) | Porto Mahon | Palma De Mallorca | Barcelona more

Fly Cruise £5319pp
Cruise Only £4939pp
195 Cochin to Piraeus
14 May 2021 - 19 nights

Cochin (Kochi), India | Goa (Mormugao), India | Muscat, Oman | Sur | Salalah | Luxor (Safaga), Egypt | Rhodes | Symi | Naxos | Folegandros | Athens (Piraeus) more

Fly Cruise £9899pp
Cruise Only £8169pp
196 Grand Northern Expedition
14 May 2021 - 63 nights

Cochin (Kochi), India | Goa (Mormugao), India | Muscat, Oman | Sur | Salalah | Luxor (Safaga), Egypt | Rhodes | Naxos | Symi | Athens (Piraeus) | Monemvasia, Greece | Itea, Greece | Nafpaktos | Ksamil | Sousse | Porto Empedocle (Sicily), Italy | Trapani | Cagliari | Bejaia, Algeria | Seville | Seville | Portimao | Lisbon | Leixoes (Algarve), Portugal | La Coruna | Saint-Malo | Honfleur, France | London (Tower Bridge), UK | London (Tower Bridge), UK | St. Peter Port, Channel Islands | St Mary's | Tresco | Pembroke, United Kingdom | Iona Island | Fort William, Scotland | St. Kilda, Scotland | Vestmannaeyjar | Surtsey | Reykjavik, Iceland | Dyjandi | Latrabjarg Cliffs | Vigur | Akureyri, Iceland | Jan Mayen | Svalbard Northern Region | Svalbard Northern Region | Svalbard Northern Region | Svalbard Northern Region | Gjesvaer | Skarsvag | Tromso more

Fly Cruise £28969pp
Cruise Only £28969pp
197 The Gold Rush Route
15 May 2021 - 6 nights

Los Angeles, California | Santa Barbara | Monterey, California | Victoria, British Columbia | Vancouver

Fly Cruise £3099pp
Cruise Only £2179pp
198 Japan's Island Immersive
15 May 2021 - 14 nights

Tokyo, Japan | Muroran | Hakodate | Sado Islands, Japan | Ryotsu, Sado Island | Kanazawa | Kanazawa | Sakaiminato | Pohang, Republic Of Korea | Senzaki, Japan | Hamada, Japan | Hiroshima, Japan | Hiroshima, Japan | Tamano | Osaka | Osaka more

Fly Cruise Call
Cruise Only Call
199 Miami to New York
16 May 2021 - 15 nights

Miami | Oranjestad | Willemstad | Kralendijk | St Georges, Grenada | Kingstown | St John's, Antigua | St John's, Antigua | St Georges, Bermuda | New York City | New York City more

Fly Cruise £4499pp
Cruise Only £3659pp
200 Rome to Barcelona
17 May 2021 - 7 nights

Civitavecchia | Portofino | Portoferraio | Bonifacio/Corsica, France | Sardinia (Alghero) | Port Mahon | Palma De Mallorca | Barcelona more

Fly Cruise £3129pp
Cruise Only £3129pp
Prices are subject to change and availability. Prices may vary depending on airport selected.

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