Insight /

France, Indonesia, Colombia, Arctic

Voyage of Discovery Small-Ship Cruising

Want to get closer to lesser-seen destinations with a limited group of like-minded people? We’re seeing an increase in demand for small-ship cruising - read on to be surprised at these unusual and interesting voyages from river cruising in France to traversing hidden corners of the Arctic, Colombia and Komodo.

Arctic Adventure in Greenland & Iceland

The lowdown

  • Who For

    This trip suits adventurous types who like an in-depth knowledge of the region they are cruising while on a small vessel of just 200 passengers.

  • What

    An 11-day cruise starting in Iceland which crosses the Arctic Circle to explore the fjords and glaciers of northeast Greenland.

  • Combine With

    A mini break to Reykjavik beforehand or for an extended trip, head to Canada on an exploratory road trip.

Shifting ice caps, bobbing icebergs, a white-on-white glacial landscape, cultural Greenlandic settlements and perhaps the dazzling dance of the Northern Lights is what’s on offer on this Quark Expedition cruise. Hugging Greenland’s northeast coast, explore both sea and land, meeting Inuit communities and hiking the tundra, gazing at the mesmerising fjord system. Zoom out on zodiacs to spot polar bears and seals, set against the majestic backdrop of sparkling icebergs and rugged mountains. With time in Reykjavik in Iceland at the start of your trip, cross the Arctic Circle on your way to Greenland’s northeast coast, immersing yourself in a world of icy seas, rugged mountains and ethereal night skies.

Lost Cities of Colombia

The lowdown

  • Who For

    Ideal for customers who want to dip their toe into South and Central America without committing to a long itinerary.

  • What

    Start in Miami for this nine-day cruise which crosses the Caribbean Sea to explore Colombia’s northern coastline, cities and jungles before finishing in Panama.

  • Combine With

    Incorporate Miami and the Everglades or the Keys on a self-drive holiday before your cruise.

Colombia’s north coast is the very top of South America and alongside Cartagena, a magnificent UNESCO-protected walled city, it is the gateway to off-radar experiences in the jungly forests of Santa Marta. Here the Tayrona National Park reveals bright green coffee plantations winding around dense jungle and ancient archaeological ruins, found past thatched villages of the indigenous Kogi people. Your cruise host is Explora Journeys, a company who pride themselves on unconventional ocean travel with exploration at its heart and for this trip, you’ll begin in Art Deco glamour in Miami before sailing for two days through the calm aquamarine waters of the Caribbean. Once you hit Colombia, heady experiences come thick and fast – take a salsa class, tour a coffee estate, laze on exquisite Caribbean beaches or forge a connection with the Arhuaco people on a visit to an indigenous village. Cruise back to Colón in Panama, finishing on a high, kayaking the waters of Gatún Lake and the Panama Canal.

Indonesia’s Dragons

The lowdown

  • Who For

    Whether you’re an adult or a child, a family or a couple, if you’ve got an adventurous spirit, you will love this cruise.

  • What

    A nine-day journey sailing around the islands of East Nusa Tenggara starting and ending in Komodo aboard a traditional Indonesian yacht.

  • Combine With

    Head to Bali to extend your trip – a beach break in Seminyak or stay in verdant Ubud. Neighbouring island Java offers mystical temples at Borobudur.

A region of raw elemental seascapes, volcanic islands and improbable wildlife is yours to discover on this intrepid SeaTrek voyage that starts in Komodo and sails through Indonesia’s Ring of Fire. Your vessel is a wooden pinisi ship, crafted using centuries-old Sulawesi techniques updated with nautical technology and comfortable cabins. As well as swimming in the translucent Flores Sea, snorkelling among rays and turtles and paddleboarding crater lakes, spend time on pink-sand beaches for picnics and barbecues under the stars. On land, hike to remote fishing communities to view their absorbing culture, trek around active volcanoes or locate the fearsome prehistoric Komodo Dragon. A trip high on awe-inspiring sights and experiences, this SeaTrek voyage explores one of the world’s most remote places where you’re unlikely to share it with anyone.

River Cruise the Rhone

The lowdown

  • Who For

    Perfect for those that appreciate a slower pace of cruising and enjoy France’s cultural and foodie appeal.

  • What

    A four-day river cruise along the Rhone from Lyon to Avignon.

  • Combine With

    A stay at Provencal chateau and wine estate or an extended self-drive along the glamourous delights of the Cote D’Azur.

Just because France is close by, it doesn’t mean we can’t uncover new ways of enjoying our nearest continental neighbour. This four-day Riverside Cruise trip takes you down the Rhone making three cultural stops, ending up in Avignon – the gateway to the South of France allowing a tempting opportunity to extend your trip. Start in France’s gastronomic capital Lyon, aboard elegant ship Ravel, with its spacious suite-cabins, luxurious spa and pool, and exceptional fine dining featuring classic French dishes. Smoothly sail to Viviers to explore the medieval town via its cobbled streets and onto Arles known as the ‘pearl of Provence’ for its well-preserved Roman amphitheatre. It was also the home of Van Gogh for a few productive years of his life – follow his footsteps and admire his work at the Foundation of Vincent Van Gogh. Finish in Avignon to cross the ‘pont’ and admire the imposing Papal Palace.

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