Cruise vacations have been very popular for the last 30 years. With a wide range of offerings from dozens of cruise lines, tourists seem to be ever so willing to spend a week aboard giant floating hotels. It is not hard to understand the appeal. Being able to effortlessly visit multiple destinations over a few days ; without having to manage the logistics of such endeavor while having access to countless amenities such as shows, pools, and restaurants are just a few of the reasons behind this popular industry. However, such mass travel is a significant turnoff to many who would love to spend their vacation on the water. There are solutions and they don't have to involve spending a fortune renting your own crewed yacht ; but they are equally amazing experiences.
Time travelling and sailing
What if you could enjoy the conveniences of a cruise ship with only a tenth of the crowd ? What if you could sail the world like royalty without the title ? Well, you can. Permission to come aboard has been granted. A little known sailing company, called Star Clippers, operates amazing sail ships. This cruise line uses classic multi-masted fully rigged tall ships, similar to the barquentines of centuries ago, but have equipped them with all the modern technology to make sailing safer, luxurious and comfortable. While enjoying this incredible setting, you can discover amazing destinations throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas as well as Southeast Asia. It is hard to imagine a more memorable way to sail the Southern Cyclades, for 7 days, while discovering places like Santorini. Aboard their flagship schooner "Royal Clipper", they will even let you climb to the crow's nest for better views. After exploring a new island or beach during the day, you will be able to enjoy a relaxing evening at the piano bar or at the spa and health club. The skilled international crewmembers make this experience all the more interesting as they are very happy to share their knowledge. Star Clippers also offers longer journeys, such as ocean crossings, between seasons, allowing the company to continuously relocate ships around the world. One such sailing will take you from the Iberic Peninsula to Barbados via the Canary Islands in 16 days. You will be able to follow in the wakes of Christopher Columbus or Vasco De Gama's ships which have sailed these waters more than 500 years ago.
Prices per person : Starting around $3000
Become an explorer
There is another way to spend your vacation on a floating house. This one will allow you to discover numerous canals around Europe, the United Kingdom as well as Canada ; thanks to a company called "Le Boat". The best part is that you and your family or friends get to do it at your own pace. Le Boat offers the ability for travelers to rent river boats and leisurely discover the beauty of a specific region. Boats come fully equipped with cabins, restrooms and showers, a kitchen and sun decks. While boats are space limited, they are perfectly adequate for anyone looking for the privacy and entry level comfort of a home away from home without the price tag of luxurious yachts. You can discover Venice and its islands or the Loire Valley and its castles any ways you want. You do not need a boat license but once you have checked in, you will go thru a short live tutorial on how to use the boat, learn the basic navigation rules and finally be given a map of the region. It all takes about an hour. Be sure to bring groceries with you so you don't have to waste time trying to find a store along the river. Once you are on your way, you are in charge. You and your party get to set the schedule as you see fit. Whether you want to sail to the next town for the night or just want to grill on the banks of the river, in the wild, the decision is yours. Just be sure to follow the local rules and the environment. You will also be able to rent bikes, ideal for all the local outings you might want to do. One of the best reason for this kind of adventure is the price. Starting at around 2000 dollars for a week, per boat, it is a very cost effective way to explore parts of Europe. Once you add car rental, hotels and restaurant costs of a traditional trip for 4 to 8 people, renting your own river boat becomes a worthy alternative.
Prices per boat per week : Starting around $2000
These types of adventures offer completely different approaches to the world of cruise vacations but remain somewhat unknown to most people. Renting your own boat in a foreign country always seem like a complicated endeavor to even experienced travelers but I can assure you that, with minimal preparation, you too can do it and make memories of a lifetime. To help you with most of the logistic, remember that Itinerary of a Passport is able to organize these different types of cruises for your next vacation.
You can submit your cruise request here
Expert tourist, I love visiting new places, discovering new cultures and meeting new people. With this blog, and my business "Itinerary of a passport", I want to share my passion, ideas and experience.