insights from the ultimate cruising team



There has been a lot of talk about cruising in recent months, depicting the experience as being crowded spaces with thousands of people on board jostling for space.  That’s not actually an accurate portrayal – especially on the smaller ships and definitely not on small exploration ships!

Sure, on larger ships you may find scores of tourists in loud shirts lining up by the hundreds to descend upon some unsuspecting town but that’s not your only cruising option. If you’ve written off cruising because being on a ship with many hundreds, if not thousands, is enough to make you run for the hills, you’re sorely missing out.   Let’s bust some of those myths out there!

Myth #1 – There are thousands of people
Incorrect. Yes, you can cruise on ships that take thousands, but there are also a number of small ships that take just 50- 200 people. Cruise lines such as Ponant, Coral Expeditions, Silversea, Windstar, Lindblad National Geographic etc take less than 500 passengers (some take just 72!) so the masses of people and waiting for hours to disembark just doesn’t happen. They offer excellent crew-to-passenger ratios too with crew who will remember your name and your favourite drink, so you’re never just a number.

Myth #2 – Cruises are just for the elderly
This perception is so wrong! Travellers of all ages enjoy cruising. In fact, cruising is a great option if you have children – only unpack once, no hours and hours of driving with fighting kids in the back seat, all-inclusive dining means it doesn’t break the bank, included entertainment and what more fun way to get an education that on a cruise holiday? There are cruises to suit all age groups and interests whether it’s child-orientated or you’d rather there were no kids permitted. Cruising is definitely not just for the elderly – it’s just that when you’re older and wiser, you know when you’re onto a good thing!

Myth #3 – You’re in for buffet after buffet
Incorrect again. Some ships do offer buffets, however other cruise lines offer 5 course fine dining comparable with top notch restaurants.  It is not typical for small ship operators to offer a buffet service, other than for breakfast. In fact, following the Covid-19 pandemic many ships are removing the buffet option altogether.  Some cruise lines are renown for their excellent cuisine and cater specifically for “foodies.” It’s simply a matter of matching the cruise line to your style.

Oceania cruises touts itself as The Finest Cuisine At Sea

Myth #4 – The dreaded karaoke entertainment
Again, some cruises will offer this, however other cruise lines such as small ship expedition cruises do not offer this kind of entertainment at all. You’ll often find that instead of the stage shows, or karaoke bars, the entertainment is much more low-key and can be local dance groups, the crew themselves or there may be no official entertainment at all but simply guests enjoying a drink together.

Myth #5 – You only see the tourist spots
Small ships are able to access areas larger ships can not. That means if youare cruising Alaska for example, you can get in close to the coastline or the captain may decide to detour slightly if there is wildlife to be seen. Smaller ships can also visit townships that do not cater for larger ships. Expedition cruises also have smaller numbers of people on-board as well as their own expert expedition teams, so they can take you to areas that simply can’t handle crowds in their masses. Having the expedition team with you also lets you discover far more about the area and flora and fauna than you do by going it alone and relying on google research.

Myth #6 – I’ll be bored
If visiting a different port or country every day, or learning about different cultures, or seeing incredible wildlife that you just don’t see anywhere else bores you… well yes you may get bored. However, if you enjoy meeting new people, speaking with local people and learning their ways of life, watching whales breach or masses of penguins and seals, keeping your eyes peeled for polar or grizzly bear sightings, feeling the wind on your face and crisp icy breeze as you pass a majestic iceberg, kayaking in the still of a crisp Antarctic morning, canoeing up a river in a dense rainforest … you’ll never be bored!

In fact, you may well find yourself hooked!

To see some of our amazing small ship cruises, click here or speak to one of our specialists.

Paul Gauguin Cruises can supply watersports or relaxation