Sail the Galapagos, Antarctica, the Caribbean and other unexpected places on these small luxury cruises

Nov 2, 2017

While sailing off on a large ocean cruise ship resembling a massive floating hotel used to be the epitome of luxury, these days, travellers in the know are going with the adage “small is beautiful”. Small luxury cruises have become popular for their personalised service, taking you to off-the-beaten-path locations inaccessible by large ships, and being more environmentally friendly.

1. Eye of the Wind: Europe, Caribbean

eye of the wind cruise

This more than 100-year-old brigantine sailing vessel is one of the world’s most photogenic ships. Outfitted in teak and brass and 750 sq m of sails, it’s been featured in myriad Hollywood films. These days, it takes cruising to new heights, with upcoming trips to Cherbourg in France, Mallorca in Spain, and the British Virgin Islands. A maximum of 12 passengers can learn how to sail it under the watch of professionals. Wannabe sailors will love this.

2. Australis: South America

strella australis excursion

The 210-passenger Strella Australis is one of few small cruises navigating the legendary Cape Horn, sailing through the fjords of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia with special excursions (above). Australis runs 3-7 night journeys between September and April, following the routes of Charles Darwin’s HMS Beagle. It will use Zodiac boats as well to take you up close to glaciers, ice caps, and legendary passages where big boats can’t go.

SEE ALSO: Trend: Small luxury cruises

3. Windjammer Diamant: The Caribbean islands


Windjammer has just three vessels, all of them tall ships or schooners that offer private yacht experiences without the millionaire price tag. With its port in St. George, Grenada, the Diamant does six- and 12-night trips around the Windward Islands of the Caribbean, throughout the year.