If you crave the open ocean, but can’t bear vast floating resorts or big crowds, opt to sail on a smaller scale. Lightfoot Travel reveals the vessels and routes that offer shorter trips, a snug atmosphere, and a more personalized service. Ship ahoy indeed!
For an easy, breezy way to explore the scenery, waters and sleepy banks of Laos, set sail aboard Gypsy. This exclusive 41-meter river vessel offers just two-cabins so it’s ideal for families with older children who don’t want to share with Mum and Dad. The cabins are plush, you get all your mod-cons, and an onboard chef serves up delicious local dishes. Lure your kids away from their iPads with sunrise yoga, cooking demonstrations, fishing, and jewelry-making in between stopping at fishing villages and exploring lush forests, gilded temples, and mist-shrouded mountains. Got your sea legs going? Log on here!
For a cruise with extra chic, the Sanctuary Sun Boat IV pulls out all the stops. The 36 elegant cabins come with a nod to art-deco styling, private bathrooms and epic views of the River Nile. Elsewhere, cabanas are dotted around the pool area, there’s a games room and gym, and gourmet cuisine prepared by award-winning chefs is served to you by white-gloved staff in the dining room. Enjoy a choice of 3 -7-night itineraries led by the best Egyptologists as they escort you down the Nile visiting the likes of the Luxor Temples, the Valley of the Kings (and Queens), the famed Colossi of Memnon and Edfu. Entertainment and parties take place in the evenings, giving you a chance to slip happily into the culture and holiday mode. Suitable for children aged 3+.
Glide your way around Kerala’s beautiful backwaters, complete with staff and a large dose of chill. Take in the pretty landscapes and wildlife, watch the locals going about their days on the river, hear ancient Indian stories, learn about the old spice trade, and discover the unique wonders of living on a houseboat. And what a houseboat. Stylishly decorated with traditional teak furniture, cheerful bright fabrics and Keralan art, Lotus Houseboat is the height of cozy and inviting. Extra points go to the sustainable fishing: follow the environmentally friendly protocol and then cook the fish you catch that day. Also, due to its smaller size, you can weave through narrow canals motor-free, and even embark on some kayaking among the backwaters. Find a more detailed itinerary here
Indonesia is practically brimming with potential micro-cruise moments. Sail towards the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Komodo National Park or the diving sites of Raja Ampat. Guests who travel to Komodo will witness white and pink sand beaches, dramatic volcanic peaks and deserted coves immersed by lush rainforests. The Raja Ampat journey visits remote islands with extraordinary marine life such as hawksbill sea turtles and lionfish. Do this from the comfort of Rascal – a super-swish phinsi cruiser. Laid back luxury comes in the shape of an infinity roof deck, rattan ceilings, and cabins, cutting edge technology, superb staff, and bespoke food and music menus.
La Pinta is less of a cruise ship and more of a luxurious bijou escape. Housing just 48 guests at a time, and featuring interconnecting cabins, it boasts a more boutique-y feel making it ideal for couples and families looking for a more exclusive sailing trip. The 4-7 night cruises take you around the enchanting Galapagos Islands with a packed itinerary that includes island hopping, spotting wildlife, snorkeling and swimming, and kayaking and canoeing. Back on board, relax on the sundeck with a cocktail, unwind in the open-air Jacuzzi, or listen to natural history talks from the guides. Children are treated to special meals and there’s a Young Pirates programme for mini explorers aged seven to 12-years old. Click here to find out more!