As any recent visitor to Miami can attest, cruise ships keep getting bigger. November 2014 will see the debut of the latest behemoth from Royal Caribbean, the 167,800-ton, 4,180-passenger Quantum of the Seas. Among its touted features are “virtual balconies,” real-time views of the ocean on special screens in its windowless interior cabins. Such ships are really floating hotels, packed with diversions such as climbing walls and surfing pools, whose passengers are effectively insulated from their natural surroundings.
For me, the allure of cruising is to be found on smaller ships. I appreciate vessels that offer sophisticated comfort and the pleasures of a traditional cruise, but on a congenial and intimate scale. Smaller ships also offer access to remote and wondrous parts of the world that the floating juggernauts can't reach. Here are seven highly recommended expedition ships.
Also, Please enjoy this complimentary cruise issue from the Hideaway Report to find more recommended itineraries, vessels, and destinations.