Custom Travel Goes Cruising
Are we the last to jump into the cruise business or are we just super deliberate, with a well-planned out business strategy? In any case, it took some time to convince me that cruising fit our mission and that we could indeed remain true to our tag line “Custom Travel for the Independent Spirit.” But now I am on-board (pun intended). There are hundreds of cruises available that can be customized to fit a particular destination or special interest and, can arguably be the most enjoyable way to travel these days. More ground can be covered in a shorter amount of time, with less hassle and more pampering. There are 3 major types of cruising and here are the differences, as I see them.
Small Ships: Intimate Ports
SMALL SHIPS typically hug the coast line, get into smaller ports and thus are able to access the less touristy destinations.
Annie’s Recommendation for 7 Night Cruise
- Adriatic and Dalmatian Highlights: “Visit some of the most beautiful Adriatic islands. Cruise along island of Mljet, one of the 7 national parks in Croatia. Visit island of Hvar and Hvar’s archipelago island popularly translated Hells’ islands (Pakleni otoci). Experience island of Brac and pure white limestone which was used to build famous White House. Track down the voyages of Marco Polo while on island of Korcula. Hop on in Split, second largest city in Croatia, city of roman emperor Diocletian, or in Dubrovnik, known as the pearl of the Adriatic…”
- Galapagos: San Cristobal, Genovesa, Fernandina, Bartolome, Isabela & Darwin Bay
- French Polynesia: Tahiti, BoraBora, Moorea, Huahine, Tahaa & Raiatea
- Greece: Santorini, Mykonos, Folengandros, Poros, Paros, Syros & Delos
River Barge/River Cruise: Smooth Sailing
RIVER BARGES and RIVER CRUISES are very different. Designed specifically to transit locks along the way, modern river cruisers are long and narrow. Barges typically are smaller and can transport up 36 passengers and offer fewer frills and amenities than river cruisers. River cruisers on the other hand, may carry more than 100 passengers. Both offer smooth sailing, unencumbered by crowds.
- Douro, Portugal: The wonderfully scenic Douro River Valley. It is one of Europe’s most pure and unspoiled rivers decorated with deep cleft gorges, lush vineyards, and sleepy fishing villages. Begin in the capital of the North, Porto, and continue to the ancient and picturesque city of Lamego. Enter Spain to visit Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located at the center of the Castilla y León region. Travel inland and on to the beautiful countryside of the Trás-os-Montes Region to visit the palace and gardens of Mateus. Explore the 14th-century Alpendurada Monastery before concluding your vacation in historic Porto.
- Danube: Vienna, Melk-Durnstein, Bratislava, Budapest
- Bordeaux Wine & Chateaux: Garone River, Medoc, Blaye, Bergerac, Cadillac, Bordeaux
- Mekong River in Cambodia: Cai Be, Chau Doc, Phnom Penh, Angkor Ban, Siem Reap
Big Ships: Big Journeys
BIG SHIPS traverse large waters, have more activities and wider range of dining experiences. If you are looking for a more intimate experience on a mega ship then consider an elegant suite and villa in The Haven on a Norwegian ship, suites providing you with the finest amenities of a concierge, butler and secluded courtyard where you can spend your sea days relaxing, dining and enjoying exquisite privacy. Mingle with your fellow passengers only if you want to.
- 7-night Norwegian Fjord Cruise: “Norwegian Fjords cruise is like entering the magical world of Frozen.” On this cruise you begin and end in Copenhagen, and in between Alesund, Geiranger, Flam, and Bergen. The cruise can be combined, as some of my clients are doing, with a land package. Perhaps more of Norway, Amsterdam, or Stockholm?
- Mediterranean: Rome, Naples, Palermo, Olbia, Livorno, Monte Carlo, Barcelona
- South America: Santiago, Chile, Buenos Aires