Best Small Ship & Expedition Cruises Tour Companies

Search 160 Small Ship & Expedition Cruises tour operators and travel companies, with 2,782 reviews.

160 Travel Providers meet your criteria (Providers 1 to 20 shown)

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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Silversea

5.0 | Excellent
100% Recommend
Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 5 Trips
Average Price $ 758 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 5 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Founded in 1994, Silversea has been a major player in the world of luxury small ship cruising.  What Makes Them Stand Out? For many years, Silversea has been the pinnacle of luxury cruising for the 50 + audience. They excel at providing an all-encompassing experience, from multiple restaurants and bars on board, extensive shore excursions, and attentive customer service. Who Travels With Them? Typically Silversea attracts older travelers seeking a high standard of luxury from their cruise experience. Activities and ambiance are all designed to appeal to an older crowd. Where Do They Operate? Silversea cruises sail to over 800 destinations on all seven continents. All cruises provide multiple and varied opportunities to go ashore. Why Travel With Them? For a relaxing and luxurious experience, where you have control over how adventurous or laid back you want to be, Silversea is a great option. Amenities include personalized service, large staterooms, and world class cuisine. 

Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Hurtigruten

3.7 | Great
86% Recommend
Rivers & Seas Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 16 Trips
Average Price $ 414 per day
Size Regional Expert
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 15 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Once known as "Norwegian Coastal Voyage" in the U.S., Hurtigruten adopted its traditional Norwegian name a few years ago, and remains, in many minds, "The World's Most Beautiful Voyage." What Makes Them Stand Out? They operate cruises to lesser known locations and focus on providing unique nature experiences and excursions. They’ve been a leader in constantly improving how they treat the landscape and try to maintain as little harmful impact as possible. Who Travels With Them? Hurtigruten’s cruises are perfect for adventurous travelers looking to “connect with your inner explorer.” Excursions tend to be very active, and do take place in harsher environments - it will most likely be cold! And while you certainly won’t be roughing it, the Hurtigruten ships aren't the newest vessels on the seas, nor are they equipped with large numbers of amenities. But the scenery and experiences are hard to beat. Where Do They Operate? The 11 Hurtigruten ships ply the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Kirkenes, near the Russian border, making the round trip in just under two weeks (but many passengers choose to go just one way). They also run voyages to Spitsbergen (a far northern Norwegian island also known as Svalbard) and other Arctic locations, as well as Antarctica. Why Travel With Them? For spectacular views, and incredibly unique experiences ashore. You'll stop in some fascinating cities and fishing villages; sail down gorgeous fjords and view snow-capped mountains; cross the Arctic Circle; pay a visit to the Top of Europe (the northernmost point on the Continent); and watch as the ships unload supplies for the locals at each stop -- the Hurtigruten is both cruise passenger and cargo ship.

Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Paul Gauguin Cruises

0% Recommend
Australia & Pacific
Total Trips 4 Trips
Average Price $ 435 per day
Size Local Specialist
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 4 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Paul Gauguin Cruises sails award-winning luxury cruise ships, owned by Pacific Beachcomber S.C., an operator to luxury destination resorts in French Polynesia for more than 25 years.  What Makes Them Stand Out?  Its cruises’ award-winning Polynesian hospitality aims for an attention to detail, which delivers a personalized, luxury experience. Every sail also offers live entertainment and hosting activities, which bring Polynesian culture to life on board. The Gauguin is one of the only luxury ships in French Polynesia to offer PADI SCUBA diving programs.  Who Travels With Them?  Paul Gauguin cruises are open to families, couples, solo travelers, and groups.  Where Do They Operate?  Paul Gauguin Cruises operates in the Caribbean, Fiji, Indonesia, Tahiti, and French Polynesia. They also offer transatlantic cruises. Why Travel With Them?  Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the longest continually sailing cruise ship in the South Pacific—The Gauguin. It was recognized by Condé Nast Traveler on its “Top Small Ships” list, 15 years in a row.

Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Lindblad Expeditions

5.0 | Excellent
100% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 6 Trips
Average Price $ 827 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 5 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Lindblad Expeditions is an expedition cruise specialist with almost 50 years experience. The company was founded by Antarctic explorer, Lars-Eric Lindblad in 1969, who pioneered leisure travel expedition cruises to places like Antarctica and the Galapagos. What Makes Them Stand Out? Lindblad is one of the most well-known adventure travel brands in the world, with a rich history of exploring the far corners of the earth. All of their trips have an element of education, such as lectures from naturalists and photographers. In fact, Lindblad has long partnered with National Geographic to provide this enriching, educational aspect to their tours. Although you are on board with a large group, sometimes 100+ people, this is not your typical group tour. Travelers have flexibility and can choose their daily activities based on personal interest. In places like Antarctica, smaller groups form to make landings via a zodiac boat. Who Travels With Them? Lindblad attracts a curious, well-educated traveler - someone who wants to truly immerse themselves in nature and their surroundings, versus a more passive traveler. Lindblad travelers have diverse backgrounds such as professional photographers, artists, teachers, and scientists. You can expect your expedition group to be of all ages, although many passengers are 40+. Where Do They Operate? Lindblad offers a wide range of tours to classic expedition cruise destinations like the Galapagos, Alaska, and Antarctica as well as non-traditional places like Costa Rica, Panama, and the British Isles. Their fleet of ships numbers 10 in total. Why Travel With Them? If you’ve always wanted to explore distant places like Antarctica or tough-to-reach lands like the Galapagos, then Lindblad could be your best bet. They have many years experience fine tuning their hands-on, but comfortable, expeditions to provide a fun, educational experience. This certainly isn’t your classic cruise experience.

Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

0% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe
Total Trips 5 Trips
Average Price $ 453 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 5 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Formerly Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, Regent — rebranded in 2007 — is a Miami-based luxury line that operates a fleet of four small cruise ships (with maximum passenger capacities ranging from 490 to 700) that sail much of the world.  What Makes Them Stand Out?  Regent is known for its attention to detail and personalized service, with a high ratio of staff to passengers. And while expensive, the line also offers a number of cost-cutting incentives such as all-inclusive pricing and, in many cases, two-for-one airfares (including free business class air for many cruises). Its four sleek, top-of-the-line small ships can reach out-of-the-way and more intimate ports that larger ships cannot. Regent ships feature all-suite cabins, and almost all come with private balconies.  Who Travels With Them? Regent Seven Seas attracts an affluent group of passengers — usually couples middle aged to older — who are seeking an all-inclusive small-ship experience, often in exotic locales. The line doesn’t cater to families (no supervised children’s programs are available), though it does offer special children’s fares on some cruises.  Where Do They Operate? As its name implies, Regent travels the Seven Seas, stopping in nearly 350 ports around the world. Parts of Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific, North and South America and Europe (northern and Mediterranean) are all on Regent itineraries, as are around-the-world cruises that visit more than 60 ports in 30 countries and may last up to two months.  How Does It Work? Once you come aboard a Regent ship, your only expenses will be personal items such as laundry and beauty services, purchases in the shops or on shore, or perhaps a fling at the casino. Shore excursions, gratuities, specialty restaurants, and drinks (fine wines and spirits) are all included in the price – expenditures that could run into the thousands of dollars on other lines. True, Regent charges a good deal more to begin with, but its passengers like not being “nickel-and-dimed to death” during the voyage. Why Travel With Them?   If you can afford it, you can cruise the world with Regent and expect to have an excellent experience with few hiccups. No formal wear is required – “elegant casual” is the watchword for dress.

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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Grand Circle Cruise Line

3.4 | Average
58% Recommend
Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Asia Africa Europe
Total Trips 7 Trips
Average Price $ 197 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 5 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Grand Circle Cruise Line is a family of Grand Circle Corporation, a global enterprise. What Makes Grand Circle Cruise Line Stand Out? It offers a value small ship cruises and river cruises for travellers seeking to discover their destination. The trip duration ranges from 5 to 30 days and its fleets cabins and other features are designed to meet American taste. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Grand Circle Cruise Line?  Grand Circle Cruise Line caters exclusively to older Americans Top Destinations While the Grand Circle Cruise Line offers their small ship cruises globally their river cruises are focused on Europe. Grand Circle Cruise Line Travel Style It focuses on providing value tours by having low per diems and yet focuses on providing rich experience through inclusion of local program directors and activities that deeply engages in discovering the culture of the destination. Why Choose a Cruise with Grand Circle? If you are looking for an enrichment tour that gets you in-depth knowledge of culture, history and traditions of the destination you are travelling to and are open-minded to try new things then Grand Circle Cruise will be a perfect solution.

Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

St Hilda Sea Adventures

4.9 | Excellent
100% Recommend
Rivers & Seas Europe
Total Trips 8 Trips
Average Price $ 166 per day
Size Local Specialist
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 8 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review St. Hilda Sea Adventures provide the unique experience to see Scotland from the sea. They offer many activities and private excursions - a perfect travel experience for families, older travellers, and small multi-gen groups. What Makes Them Stand Out? Taking only up to 11 guests (6 on St Hilda and 11 on Seahorse II), their tours are incredibly unique, as you cruise aboard a classic ex-tall ship (St Hilda) or a proper small ship (Seahorse II). Activities include sailing, swimming, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, rock pooling, and lobster potting. Or, you can simply choose to just relax and watch the spectacular wildlife and scenery float by. Who Travels With Them? All ages and all types enjoy traveling with St. Hilda Sea Adventures. Families, couples, and solo passengers are all welcome. Passengers can choose to do as much or as little as they like. This is a great trip for young kids to enjoy as well, for the thrill of hoisting the sails like a true sailor. Where Do They Operate? The West Coast of Scotland is where they specialize, the Outer and Inner Hebrides specifically. Such a niche focus is a huge positive for those interested in getting a unique view of this part of the world. Why Travel With Them? Their Scottish cruises give you the opportunity to see extraordinary wildlife and to cruise aboard a small ship with skipper and chef and a small group of passengers. All food is included, and there are many opportunities for interesting excursions. Some excursions are included in the price however, you can also arrange excursions based on your interests. These are not included but allow for a wonderful amount of personalization to your travel experience with St. Hilda Sea Adventures.

Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Oceanic Society

0% Recommend
Total Trips 2 Trips
Average Price $ 510 per day

Stride Review Around since 1969, the Oceanic Society has stayed true to their original ideals: to teach travelers about the ocean, marine life, and encourage conservation. What Makes Them Stand Out? They offer active ocean travel, exploration, and education around the world. With a strong focus on conservation, they are the perfect travel experience if you want to learn more about ocean life, movement, and history. Their tours involve such amazing experiences as whale watching, snorkeling, and even some yoga retreats. The point is to connect to the ocean and feel empowered to help keep them safe. Who Travels With Them? Water travel enthusiasts! If you love snorkeling, scuba diving, rafting, and other water (specifically ocean) sports, this is the company for you. They are especially popular among families for their educational focus. Where Do They Operate? They have expedition tours that go around the world with a focus on conservation - these include Kenya, Nicaragua, The Galapagos, and Cuba. Their other main focus is in North America, specifically the California coast and San Francisco. Why Travel With Them? They are a community of passionate conservationists as well as a tour company. Part of traveling with them is learning about the incredible marine wildlife around the world and how you can help protect threatened areas and species. If you’re seeking a company that has a community feel and a focus on ocean education, but also wants to make sure you have fun on your vacation, this is a great place to look.

Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Tauck

4.7 | Excellent
95% Recommend
North America South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 384 Trips
Average Price $ 535 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 139 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Founded in 1925 by Arthur Tauck, the company has blossomed from a New England motor coach tour agency to offering trips throughout the world -- by land (including rail), sea, and sometimes by air (private air charters, helicopters). But it remains a Tauck family-run business, now in its fourth generation. Quick Facts Founded in 1925 Luxury travel with a friendly touch Small groups, large groups, river cruises Solo friendly Average tour price is around $6,000 p/p Unique partnerships: BBC Earth, offering science themed nature tours, Ken Burns journeys in the US What Makes Tauck Stand Out “No grouches or pessimists” was the plea in a 1920s newspaper ad for a small tour group. From that small automobile taking curious, adventurous New Yorkers along dusty roads through beautiful New England, Tauck has come a long way, now offering guided tours throughout the world. They look upon their legacy with immense pride, as well they should. Arthur Tauck was an immigrant who pulled himself up by bootstraps and engenuity, and his name represents a supreme, classic and classy tour experience.   Tauck is a long-established high-quality tour operator with a strong reputation as one of the top companies offering upper-mid-range to luxury group travel and river cruises for the 50+ crowd. While its staple has been European and North American land tours, Tauck has been increasingly expanding into special family trips, exotic locations, and recent award-winning European river cruising. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Tauck? Pricing is virtually all-inclusive -- no additional options that can run up costs are offered during the trips, yet this is not a place for the true budget traveler. Though they offer several different types of tours, from family vacations to river cruising, attracting and serving a diverse customer group, the legacy of tradition and comfortability appeals largely to older and middle aged travelers. Solo travelers are very welcome on Tauck trips, and pay a low single supplement. Numerous specifically solo friendly tours are offered. You’ll meet romantic singles, or simply independent minded travelers, of all ages. Large family or friend groups could find a great fit at Tauck. Particularly because if your group is 11 people, the 11th travels for free! Because of Tauck’s impressively wide reaching themes and styles for families, having several different ages will be easier to entertain than they might be with other companies. They even have dedicated “family river cruises”. So if you’re considering a multi-gen family reunion or have a large group of friends with various ages, Tauck could be a good choice. Top Destinations Tauck destinations include all seven continents -- so whether you're trying to plan an Iceland vacation or looking to take a trip to Canada, consider Tauck! Special themes may include food and wine, North American national parks, fall foliage, solo travel, African safaris, “Culturious” travel (for culturally curious baby boomers), “Bridges” (for families), and “Events,” which are considered once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. These may feature a trip to the Kentucky Derby or journeys based around themes of Ken Burns films, with a chance to meet Burns himself. Tauck Travel Style Tauck’s travel style is all about seeing destinations in comfort, yet with a strong sense of adventure and desire to see different sides of the destination - from local life to culturally immersive activities. Land tours are where they began, and they offer hundreds of different tours of various lengths around the world. Typically accommodations are in comfortable 3, 4, and occasionally 5 star hotels. Tauck has an award winning river cruise line, covering a variety of European rivers. They strive to create an intimate setting, where customer service is not compromised. Small ship cruises use 40- to 264-passenger-size yachts and expeditionary vessels that can visit small islands and other locations that big ships cannot. The staff is known for its attentiveness and individualized service. Among Tauck’s unique partnerships is a special connection with the BBC Earth, through which they offer what they call “Earth Journeys”. These explore the natural world with emphasis on being outdoors learning the fascinating earth science behind stunning nature and wildlife. Tauck is a luxury minded brand, and their prices do tend to sit in the upper budget range. Think an average price between $5,000 and $7,000 per person. That said, they strive to reflect a friendliness and openness, and steer away from any kind of “stuffy” feeling. Their trips are comprehensive and full of enriching cultural activities, while also appreciating the value behind enjoying a cocktail hour before heading into dinner. Why Choose a Tour or River Cruise With Tauck? Tauck has an impressive array of travel styles and tours, suitable to numerous types of travelers. They are especially popular with large family groups and corporate groups, as well as very friendly to solo / single travelers. A renowned, award winning, and well established company, they seamlessly marry innovation with legacy - sticking to their roots while continuing to create unique offerings. Some of its biggest growth has come on water, where Tauck operates a fleet of seven European river boats and a number of small ship cruises. Their customer service, attentive and knowledgeable guides are definitely a key component to their popularity. Tauck offers something for just about everyone.

Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Quark Expeditions

0% Recommend
Rivers & Seas Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 14 Trips
Average Price $ 744 per day
Size Local Specialist
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 13 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Quark has been a leader in expedition-style cruising for nearly a quarter century, specializing in the polar regions. You can travel in an icebreaker -- including one that's nuclear-powered and goes to the North Pole -- or in smaller, more mobile ships, all of which hold fewer than 200 passengers.  Quark Expeditions are exactly that -- if you'd like to follow in the wake of some of the great Arctic and Antarctic explorers, this company will provide you the opportunity. Passengers often board Zodiacs to get out on the water or make landings in remote locations.  Here's an example: in December 2014, passengers on Quark's vessel Sea Spirit made a successful landing on Saunders Island, part of the uninhabited South Sandwich Islands in the Antarctic region. It's so difficult to land on the precarious coast of Saunders Island that only 12 touristic attempts have been made in the past 24 years, many unsuccessful.  So if you're ready for true adventure, this is the place.        

Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

International Expeditions

5.0 | Excellent
100% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa
Total Trips 8 Trips
Average Price $ 602 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 3 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Peregrine Adventures

4.5 | Great
86% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 306 Trips
Average Price $ 402 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 76 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review With Peregrine Adventures, ‘anywhere is possible.’ Based in Australia, Peregrine has led small-group, ‘soft’ adventure-style trips worldwide for over 30 years. It was one of the first operators to employ local leaders, a practice that is now widespread in guided travel. What Makes Them Stand Out? While considering itself an adventure travel company, Peregrine promises to “smooth down the bumps and rough edges.” In short, it’s more about soft adventure with added comforts than roughing it. Group sizes are kept small, with no more than 16 travelers per trip. Its philosophy is that while “seeing the famous sites is a must, it’s those memories of wandering through a little village or sharing dinner with a local family that leave a lasting impression.” The small-group aspect allows for more time to absorb the nature of the places visited, and to make a minimal environmental impact on them as well. Who Travels With Them? While Peregrine is a global company, many of its travelers originate from Australia and New Zealand. However, their groups can be geographically diverse, with most travelers 50+ years of age. Where Do They Operate? Peregrine offers a wide variety of exciting global destinations, with 200 trips across 80 countries -- spanning from Egypt to Turkey to Canada trips! The company is perhaps best known for its Himalayan trekking excursions to far-flung destinations including Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. It was a pioneer in high-altitude trekking and these trips remain among their most popular today. How Does it Work? Most travel is by private, air-conditioned minibus, but you might find yourself on a houseboat in Kerala, India, a tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka, or a mountain lift on the best Switzerland tour you've ever experienced. Lodging and dining is at smaller, locally run hotels and restaurants. You might also dine with locals from time to time, and stay with local families or at campsites as well. Why Travel With Them? Peregrine is a good choice if you’re looking for a bit of a softer landing with respect to transportation and accommodations but still crave an authentic, off-the-beaten-path experience. If you’re looking for more individual travel, Peregrine will craft independent journeys, arrange self-guided walking and cycling tours, or arrange private group and tailor-made trips. It’s your choice. Peregrine also helps support various community and conservation projects via its ties with the Intrepid Foundation. Tweets by PeregrineSpirit

Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Star Clippers

4.5 | Great
100% Recommend
Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Europe
Total Trips 2 Trips
Average Price $ 247 per day
Size Regional Expert
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 2 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Windstar

5.0 | Excellent
100% Recommend
Total Trips 2 Trips
Average Price $ 450 per day
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 2 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Windstar operates a fleet of luxury small ship yacht-style cruise ships around the world. What Makes Them Stand Out? Windstar is the place to go for luxurious, yacht style travel . Their fleet consists of  vessels specifically designed to be a difference experience to larger ships. Each ship has a maximum occupancy of 300, lending to their luxurious feel. They pride themselves on providing a “private yacht experience” so even though you are traveling with a couple hundred passengers, you have a lot of space to yourself. Who Travels With Them? Those seeking a flexible, inclusive, customizable cruise experience will be most at home on a Windstar Cruise. This is a higher budget kind of experience, popular among baby boomers, couples, and families.  Where Do They Operate? Currently Windstar operates their cruises in North Europe, Italy and the Mediterranean, the South Pacific and Caribbean. They also offer special themed cruises and ocean crossings. Why Travel With Them? For the experience of authentic travel with a luxury twist, Windstar provides an ideal mix. They offer options like private events, exclusive on shore tours with interesting and varied themes, as well as top notch cuisine and on ship activities. Smaller ports are more accessible on smaller ships such as these so it’s a great option for those who want a comfortable travel experience with just an element of adventure.

Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Un-Cruise Adventures

5.0 | Excellent
100% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas
Total Trips 16 Trips
Average Price $ 410 per day
Size Regional Expert
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 16 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Formerly American Safari Cruises, Un-Cruise Adventures changed its name in 2013 to reflect its philosophy: You won’t be on a conventional cruise with us. Un-Cruise has an eight-ship fleet that includes expedition vessels, yachts, and one replica 19th-century coastal steamer. None of the ships holds more than 88 passengers, and one carries a maximum of 22. Most are in the 40-to-70-passenger range. Experts such as National Park Rangers in Alaska often come on board to give lectures and answer questions, and guides often try to arrange cultural encounters with local people. What Makes Them Stand Out? Un-Cruise Adventures combines water-borne adventure with small-ship intimacy and casually clothed luxury. It’s an unusual combination that sets them apart from most other cruise lines. On-board service is personalized and excellent with a high crew-to-passenger ratio, and guides are extremely knowledgeable. Ambience on board is relaxed; you never need to dress up. Once you’ve taken an Un-Cruise, you may find it difficult to return to “regular” cruising.  Who Travels With Them?  Adventurous and active travelers of any age can enjoy an Un-Cruise. Un-Cruise does attract primarily upscale passengers, though if you travel in the offseason and choose one of the lesser-category cabins, their prices are competitive with other small-ship cruise lines. (And more amenities are included in the base rates than on many other lines.)  Un-Cruise also offers family trips. Where Do They Operate? Un-Cruise “adventure cruises” sail Alaska’s Inside Passage, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, Mexico’s Sea of Cortes, the Pacific Northwest (Coastal Washington state and British Columbia), and Central America (Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, including a complete crossing from the Atlantic to Pacific). They also run river cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers of the Northwestern U.S. Un-Cruise Adventures like to get off the beaten path, and, using small ships, they can do just that. How Does It Work? Kayaking, paddle-boarding, snorkeling, hiking, and going out in skiffs to watch for whales or other marine life are typical activities, depending on the destination. There’s also plenty of time to be out on deck, read in the lounge, or chat with fellow passengers at cocktail hour and over meals.  Why Travel With Them? If you don’t like waiting in line to embark or disembark your ship; want to get to know many of your fellow passengers; prefer itineraries flexible enough to, say, go in search of whales if the captain spots some in the distance; believe in the “leave no traces” style of travel; enjoy good food and service; and want to bring home intimate knowledge of a destination rather than just souvenirs, then an Un-Cruise may be right for you. 

Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Lost World Adventures

4.9 | Excellent
100% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Africa Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 55 Trips
Average Price $ 447 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Custom/Private Tour Operator
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 8 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Founded in 1987, Lost World Adventures offers private and customized trips to South and Central America and Antarctica. What Makes Them Stand Out? Your guide will get to know you before beginning to plan your customized experience. If you want to have a relaxing beach vacation, they can arrange that. Or if you’d rather hike up the adrenaline, they are able to offer that as well. Who Travels With Them? They accommodate anyone from honeymooners to large groups. Trips are generally in middle price range - you won’t find tremendously budget items here, but they do their best to craft a trip based on all factors, price included. Where Do They Operate? They are focused in South and Central America, with a variety of trips from beach vacations to Costa Rica, food tours in Argentina, or Machu Picchu adventures. They are also among the few small companies providing cruises to Antarctica. Why Travel With Them? For the variety of trip type and theme you can choose from. They have food and wine tours, adventure tours, beach getaways, and cruises - all of which are customizable to your likes and dislikes. If you’d prefer not to overly customize, they have pre-set itineraries as well.

Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Ecoventura

5.0 | Excellent
100% Recommend
South America Rivers & Seas
Total Trips 0 Trip
Average Price $ 125 per day
Size Local Specialist
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line

Stride Review Ecoventura  is all about cruising the Galapagos -- it doesn't just do the Galapagos along with lots of other cruises. Its three identical expedition motor yachts -- the M/Y Eric, Flamingo I and Letty -- were custom-designed for Galapagos cruising: While nearly 25 years old, you'd never know it because they're refurbished annually. You'll find lots of teak and brass fittings and the lounge area is very comfortable for pre-dinner socializing or reading a book at any time. There's also plenty of outdoor deck space.  With just ten (spacious) cabins, all facing outside and with private bathrooms, the ships each hold a maximum of  20 passengers. It's easy to get to know everyone on board if you want.  The key, though, is the thorough coverage of the Galapagos themselves. You'll take in up to eight islands on the seven-day trips, with chances to view most of the marine mammal, reptile and bird species that inhabit them, as well as research facilities. Besides hiking to view the animals, you'll have plenty of chances to swim, snorkel or scuba dive among sea turtles, sea lions, and tropical fish.  Guides are trained, local, and knowlegeable, and Ecoventura is dedicated to sound environmental stewardship of these fragile island habitats. 

Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Variety Cruises

0% Recommend
Central America & Caribbean Europe
Total Trips 3 Trips
Average Price $ 253 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 3 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

World Luxury Cruise Vacations

0% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Asia Africa Europe
Total Trips 2 Trips
Average Price $ 439 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type River Cruise Line
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 1 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

Trafalgar

4.5 | Great
91% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe
Total Trips 1,203 Trips
Average Price $ 265 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise
Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises 120 Tours in Small Ship & Expedition Cruises

Stride Review Trafalgar is a name many seasoned travelers will recognize. A branch of the Travel Corporation, whose brands all enjoy stellar reputations, Trafalgar has been offering classic and affordable journeys for over 70 years. What Makes Trafalgar Stand Out? Trafalgar is a budget friendly group tour operator with premium tastes. Their motto is “See the world from the inside,” - this is the place to come for culturally rich and immersive travel experiences that don’t break the bank or the back. Tours are comfortable, not too physically demanding, and offer the opportunity to meet, talk, eat and drink with locals. You’ll get to know chefs, artisans, craftsmen, historians, and farmers as you explore what makes each destination truly special. Trafalgar has a strong reputation, having been around since 1947 - putting them right at the pinnacle of when many premier guided tour companies were established. You’ll meet groups of like minded travelers, enjoy cultural experiences, expertly crafted itineraries with local touches and experiences guides, while traveling in comfort and ease. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Trafalgar? If you are an active traveler, perhaps recently retired, eager to explore the world in comfort, visiting a nice combination of unique local spots and classic sites, then Trafalgar could be a great choice. Possibly you are new to group tours and packages, having been used to creating your own travel experiences at a younger age - Trafalgar provides the perfect introduction to group tours. Or maybe you’re traveling with a family and interested in introducing a new generation of travelers to your favorite country - but don’t really have the time or patience to worry about planning out all the logistics. While they offer many trip styles, suitable for travelers of all ages, their classic touch is popular among older travelers. Classic doesn’t mean old fashioned or tired - simply a bit less on the active adventure and more on the historic sights and cultural experiences. They have a number of family focused tours, as well as tailored trips for special interests. Trafalgar trips are budget friendly, with most trips in middle to low range, including a “Cost Saver” feature that allows you to see more inexpensive trips broken down by ratings and cost clearly. They offer several deals throughout the year. Trafalgar is a British brand, so many of the attendees on your tour will be from the UK.   Top Destinations With Trafalgar, you can find trips to Europe, USA & Canada, South America, Asia, Australia & New Zealand. While the destinations are widespread, Trafalgar trips explore the culture and guides take you to hidden local spots without venturing too far outside the comfort zone. Tours in Europe and the UK are among the most popular itineraries. In South America, Trafalgar travels to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. In Africa, they go to Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa. In Asia, it’s Cambodia, China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. And in the Pacific, Trafalgar visits Australia and New Zealand. Wherever you go, you can expect high quality guides and accommodations, and smooth travels. They also have a number of religious themed tours, including trips that include excursions to Oberammergau, Bavaria. Once a decade this small town presents a Passion Play, and Trafalgar has had special access since 1970. The next time to experience this unique event is 2020. Trafalgar Travel Style The Trafalgar travel style is all about getting to know the culture through activities and connecting with locals. Their main tagline is “Discover the Good Life” meaning getting to experience the real thing, in a safe, escorted environment with knowledgeable guides there to help with the language and provide historical and cultural context. Discovering the Good Life encompasses perks like skipping lines and private access to classic sites; and unique experiences that bring you to places and among people you’d never have the chance to meet traveling on your own. This kind of travel is local immersion, but not in the same way a 25 year old might interpret that idea. Rather than bunking at hostels, going out late at night, and enjoying potentially questionable street food, you’ll stay in premium, centrally located and culturally significant accommodations - everything from bed and breakfasts in Ireland to hotels right on the banks of Norwegian fjords.  Learn cooking techniques in Italy, enjoy private winery tours at French chateaus, and touring a small olive farm in Spain are just a few examples of the kind of unique travel experiences you can expect with Trafalgar. Groups are large, typically between 40-45 travelers, a max of 52 on trips in the USA and Canada. Primary transportation during the tour is in large coaches, equipped with WiFi (with the exception of Alaska) and featuring large viewing windows - ideal for taking in the scenery as you head to your next destinations.   Most meals during Trafalgar tours are included. Trips often include free time during which you can explore on your own, with suggestions from your expert guides. Why Choose a Tour with Trafalgar? Trafalgar has a solid reputation, and they stick to what they’ve done well for over 50 years. They focus on the classics, providing a culturally rich perspective as you meet locals along the way. Their experience has allowed them to cultivate relationships around the world with local businesses - quality control you can trust for every stop along the trip. Niche tours based on specialized interests are also something they are proud to offer. Trafalgar is where you go to have the essentials and logistics take care of seamlessly while you sit back and enjoy. Do note that these tours can be quite large - 40 people traveling together in a tour group can be stifling for some. While they appeal to an older crowd due to their history and recognizable name, Trafalgar has an impressively well integrated social media presence. Trips on their site are accompanied by instagram posts from real travelers who have been on the same tour, using the hashtag #SimplyTrafalgar. Old or young(ish), couple or single, traveling Simply Trafalgar inspires confidence, comfort, and enjoyment.

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