Sailing Cruises

While big ship cruises can be exciting — and chock full of amenities, entertainment, and grand accommodations, small-ship cruises offer something big ship cruises cannot – a much better view and much more in the way of adventure. Not only does small-ship cruising allow the passenger to get up close and personal with nature, wildlife, and marine life, it also provides numerous opportunities to visit remote areas and become fully immersed in the history of a specific region and observe local cultures up close. To get even closer and for even more adventure than a small-ship cruise can offer — try a sailing cruise!

Not for the passenger that may be prone to motion sickness, sailing cruises are for the truly adventurous. In a nutshell, you will find mostly seasoned sailing fanatics interested in amazing adventures ranging from the subtle (by their standards) to the extreme.

A sailing ship can be defined as “any large, wind-powered, vessel.� The types of sailing ships you may come across depend greatly on where the sailing cruise takes place. The different types of sailing ships include: barque, or bark, barquentine, bilander, brig, brigantine, caravel, carrack clipper, cog, corvette, cutter, dhow (Arabian Peninsula, India, and East Africa), dinghy, frigate, fishing smack, fluyt, galleon, hermaphrodite brig, junk (China), ketch, Koch (boat), longship, lugger, luzzu, pram, schooner, ship of the line, sloop, snow, xebec, yawl, and catamaran.

Depending on the type of sailing cruise and in many cases, the region, sailing cruise passengers can expect a wide variety of adventures and tours ranging from snorkeling, scuba diving, cave exploration, whale watching, and glacier hikes to archaeological tours, culture tours, and history tours, nature tours to name a few.

Some of the most popular sailing cruises include: Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Peter Deilmann Cruises, and Star Clippers.

Sailing cruise ship sizes are just as varied as the types of sailing cruise vessels. While most are considered small in comparison to small-ships, and big ships, you’ll find different levels if “small� among the different sailing ships. For example, the largest sailing ship in the industry is Star Clippers Royal Clipper.

The Royal Clipper is the largest and only five masted sailing ship built since the Preussen was launched back in 1902. The 439-foot Royal Clipper is decked out with 42 sails, state-of-the-art navigation systems, superb service, and amenities and accommodations “of the finest modern yachts.� With a 18,940 square foot deck, the Royal Clipper carries 227 passengers comfortable, features three swimming pools, and a marina platform lowers from the stern for water sports and diving.

Rates for sailing cruises vary greatly depending on dozens of factors so it would be impossible to pin down a specific price here. However, if you’re interested in booking a luxury sailing cruise, expect to pay handsomely whether you’re booking at the economy, value or deluxe level. For sailing cruises such as junk or dhow cruises, which may be part of a larger cruise itinerary, expect to pay moderate prices.

If you are interested in booking a sailing cruise, contact your local cruise travel agent or contact your favorite sailing cruise line directly.

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