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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 0808 274 9579 today, and secure your ideal small ship cruise escape.

Ushuaia to Cape Town
  24 February 2022
  Silver Cloud
  21 nights
  South America

Cruise & Fly
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Cruise Only
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Cape Town To Mahe
  24 February 2022
  Silver Whisper
  21 nights
  Africa

Cruise & Fly
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Cruise Only
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Bridgetown to Miami
  25 February 2022
  Seven Seas Navigator
  10 nights
  Caribbean

Up to 67 FREE shore excursions.

Cruise & Fly
£3899pp
Cruise Only
£3049pp
Antarctica in Depth
  26 February 2022
  Scenic Eclipse
  15 nights
  Polar Regions

Cruise & Fly
£10999pp
Roundtrip to Ushuaia
  01 March 2022
  Crystal Endeavor
  19 nights
  Polar Regions

Cruise & Fly
Call
Cruise Only
Call
Miami to Maimi
  07 March 2022
  Seven Seas Navigator
  10 nights
  Caribbean

Up to 55 FREE shore excursions.

Cruise & Fly
£4269pp
Cruise Only
Call
Miami To Miami
  09 March 2022
  Seven Seas Navigator
  11 nights
  Caribbean

Includes flights and overseas transfers PLUS up to 60 FREE shore excursions, and up to $1,200 FREE to spend on-board per Suite

Cruise & Fly
£4599pp
Cruise Only
Call
Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro
  10 March 2022
  Seabourn Venture
  7 nights
  South America

Brand new expedition ship - secure your place today!

Cruise & Fly
£5579pp
Cruise Only
£4269pp
Aqaba (Petra) To Athens (Piraeus)
  30 March 2022
  Silver Whisper
  14 nights
  Mediterranean

Cruise & Fly
Call
Cruise Only
Call
Athens to Bordeaux
  13 April 2022
  Silver Whisper
  16 nights
  Mediterranean

Cruise & Fly
Call
Cruise Only
Call
Bordeaux to Reykjavik
  29 April 2022
  Silver Whisper
  12 nights
  United Kingdom

Cruise & Fly
Call
Cruise Only
Call
Barcelona to Civitavecchia
  06 May 2022
  Scenic Eclipse
  9 nights
  Europe

Now on sale | FREE door-to-door private chauffeur transfers | Includes flight, one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Barcelona and overseas transfers more

Cruise & Fly
£4439pp
Greek Islands and Ephesus
  22 May 2022
  Scenic Eclipse
  9 nights
  Europe

JUST RELEASED | Includes flights, one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Athens and overseas transfers

Cruise & Fly
£4439pp
Greek Islands & Malta
  30 May 2022
  Scenic Eclipse
  9 nights
  Europe

NOW ON SALE | Includes flights, overseas transfers and a one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Athens

Cruise & Fly
£4629pp
Bergen to Oslo
  29 June 2022
  Scenic Eclipse
  15 nights
  Scandinavia

Now on sale | Includes flights, overseas transfers and one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Bergen. FREE door-to-door private chauffeur transfers

Cruise & Fly
£9349pp
The Arctic in Depth
  12 July 2022
  Scenic Eclipse
  12 nights
  Scandinavia

Just released | Includes flights, one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Oslo and FREE door-to-door private chauffeur transfers

Cruise & Fly
£8419pp
The Arctic in Depth
  22 July 2022
  Scenic Eclipse
  12 nights
  Scandinavia

Now on sale | Includes flights, overseas transfers and one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Oslo. FREE door-to-door private chauffeur transfers

Cruise & Fly
£8769pp
Lofoten Islands & Norwegian Fjords
  20 September 2022
  Scenic Eclipse
  13 nights
  Scandinavia

JUST RELEASED | Includes flights, overseas transfers and one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in Tromso PLUS FREE private door-to-door transfers

Cruise & Fly
£9229pp
Ushuaia Roundtrip
  12 November 2022
  Crystal Endeavor
  11 nights
  Antarctica

Secure your expedition cruise today!

Cruise & Fly
£15979pp
Cruise Only
£13869pp
Prices are subject to change and availability. Prices may vary depending on airport selected.

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