What constitutes luxury when it comes to small ship cruising?
The active travel company securing matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small expedition ships, AdventureSmith Explorations, says luxury can mean accommodation, service and dining as well as the flexibility to shape an itinerary into a customized experience.
When catering to more upmarket clientele, AdventureSmith Explorations director and founder Todd Smith begins with a handpicked selection of eight of his company’s small ship cruises that fall into the luxury category. Indicative of the service his company provides, Smith goes behind the scene to offer these insider’s tips on the best cabins or suite accommodations on each vessel to maximize one’s time and enjoyment on the water:
Costa Rica, Panama Canal & Colombia aboard the 72-guest Variety Voyager resembles a millionaire’s mega yacht. Insiders Tip - While the Owners Suite and P Category suites are obvious choices for travelers seeking the finest cabins, the B Category cabins, especially on the Riviera Deck, offer a very nice cabin with view windows at a considerable value. Advice is to book early to secure one of two Riviera Deck B cabins that are located away from the forward stairways.
An Amazon River Cruise aboard the 24-guest Aqua means enjoying the highest standards of modern-day luxury cruising on the Amazon. “Oversized suites are the largest I have ever experienced aboard a ship of this capacity, with a sitting area, king beds and a full walk in bathroom with shower. Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, one of Lima’s culinary stars, has created a menu that draws on both Peruvian and European influence,” says Smith. Insider’s Tip - Master Suites on the Main Deck are larger and can be adjoined which is a perfect option for families. Because they are raised from the water level, suites on the Second Deck offer more expansive views into the surrounding rain forest.
A Galapagos Cruise aboard the 16-guest Athala II offers spaciousness, stability and speed. A crew of 10 plus a bilingual naturalist guide offers a very high crew to guest ratio.Insider’s Tip – The main deck cabins are the obvious choice for luxury travelers because they are larger and they have balconies. The cabins on the Upper Deck are smaller but they still offer a small sitting area, they open directly to the observation deck, they are very quiet and they can interconnect which makes them a great choice for families with kids.
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