Small Luxury Cruises

When it comes to cruise ships, bigger is definitely not better. Some destinations are so remote that the only way to reach them is on a small luxury cruise ship. These purpose made, boutique vessels feel more like a floating lodges offering intimate, bespoke travel experiences to some of the most exotic and exciting locations on Earth.

Luxury yachts, small ships and expedition vessels enable small groups of travellers to access areas that large ships cannot due to size and other constraints - remote places such as the exotic Galapagos Islands, small ports around Patagonia, along the Amazon River and to ecologically sensitive Antarctica. Small ships are versatile, able to maneuver in small coves and channels, and can dock at more intimate ports, making for a much more intimate and exclusive travel experience, with the lightest footprint possible.

Galápagos​ Islands
Discover the mystical islands where Darwin discovered his groundbreaking Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. The Galápagos Archipelago is a cluster of some 13 volcanic islands located just under the equator, about 1,000 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador. Considering that 10 of these 13 major islands are only accessible by sea, taking a luxury Galápagos cruise by yacht is the best and only way to really discover this natural paradise. Imagine sailing through these magical islands as you feast on gourmet meals and a first-class selection of wines. Enjoy daily activities such as swimming, snorkelling and small group land excursions led by some of the Galápagos’ leading naturalist guides.

Choosing the correct option can be overwhelming as there are so many different vessels and itineraries to choose from. We have personally vetted the best of these and narrowed them down to just handful of different boutique operators who excel in three main criteria: guides, itinerary and facilities. So, whether you are looking for a 4, 7 or even 14-night option, a modern state of the art vessel or one exuding old Hollywood glamour, you will have an unforgettable experience in one of the world’s last remaining and pristine wildlife sanctuaries. If you are travelling as a family or small group of friends, we can also arrange a private charter for you, which is often comparable in price to standard voyages and can be tailored exclusively to your personal preferences and tastes. 

Best time to cruise? The good news is that the Galápagos is a year-round destination so there really is no “best time” to visit. From June to November is the dry season where temperatures tend to be a little cooler, and December to June is the warm and wet season. In the end, whenever you choose to travel, no one ever returns disappointed. 

Amazon River Cruises
Whether in Peru, Ecuador or Brazil, there is no better way to gain access to the inner depths of the Amazon Rainforest than on a riverboat. These small, purpose-built vessels allow you the chance to spot wildlife and birdlife from the comfort of your cabin or deck chair. This sort of intimate Amazon experience was only previously possible via a dug-out canoe, now you can do it with a Pisco Sour or Caipirinha in hand. We have hand-picked the most exclusive options in each country to ensure amazing nature and wildlife interactions in the most luxurious environment. All our vessels provide spacious suites, world class dining with matching wine-lists and the top naturalist guides. Every day will bring something new, whether it be paddle boarding or kayaking on the river, guided hikes and canopy walks, visits to remote villages, birdwatching or night boating safaris, with each experience creating memories to last a lifetime.

Best time to Cruise? As with the Galápagos, the Amazon is a year-round destination and can be divided into two seasons: the warmer, dry season from June to November and the wet season from December to May. Many guests prefer the wet season as water levels are higher allowing explorations by canoe to access more hidden corners of the rainforest not accessible when water levels are lower. The dry season brings lower water levels, allowing more land-based activities such as hikes into the rainforest and offering a different yet still unique experience. Our tip is to travel in May and June as the water levels are high enough to take canoe trips but the low enough to allow access by land. 

Surely the ultimate in small luxury cruises is one to the white continent. Whilst many of the more well-known global cruise companies operate relatively large ships to Antarctica, we exclusively use smaller expedition vessels. We offer a few different options from longer cruises sailing the Drake Passage to a shorter, week-long fly-cruise flying travellers over the Drake Passage to start the cruise. We also arrange multi-week itineraries that also take in the wildlife rich South Georgia and Falkland Islands. Whichever option you take, there is no feeling in the world comparable to stepping foot for the first time on the Seventh Continent.
As we use smaller vessels, we are able to maximize activities and experiences as, by law, only 100 people are able to set foot on land at any one time (the larger vessels have to take shifts and guests only have half the amount of time on shore). Also, our preferred ships carefully curate their daily itineraries to make sure that they are the only ship landing in any one area, making sure that you will always have an exclusive experience. Our vessels have surprisingly large cabins, great food and wine and above all, the best and most enthusiastic expedition crew in the industry. If there ever is “the trip of a lifetime” this is it.

Best time to Cruise – Not surprisingly, the best and only time to visit Antarctica is during their summer months, from November to March. During this time, the days are long, and the temperature is often above freezing. Within this period, each month does offer slightly different experiences:

  • November – During this period, the continent is at its most pristine with frozen seas and a landscape that is just beginning to wake up from the long harsh winter months. It is a photographer’s dream as it is at its purest with heavy snow and slow, luminous sunsets. It is also an interesting time for penguin watching as couples’ mate and prepare their nests. Look out for parents protecting their newly laid eggs. 
  • December / January – This is a magical time for penguin lovers as the colonies are abuzz with new life and the chicks are leaving the nest with their adorable downy plumage. The ocean is also teeming with life, so keep an eye out for whales feeding, groups of crabeater seals hauled out on floating ice and even the leopard seal and pup on land. This is also the mildest month where the days are long, and the temperatures are usually comfortably above freezing.
  • Feb / March – This is the best time for whale watching. It is also an interesting time for penguins as parents have left their adolescent chicks to fend for themselves. Whilst colonies may be smaller, there are lots of up-close encounters with the inquisitive youngsters. 
The Arctic
The rugged, remote Arctic remains one of the most unexplored domains on the planet. Our expedition cruises cover the Canadian High Arctic; Greenland; the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, which includes Spitsbergen; and Russia. The region is inhabited by polar bears, musk oxen, arctic foxes, beluga whales, reindeer, seals, walruses and migratory birds, among other wildlife species.  Like in Antarctica, in the Arctic we use smaller vessels so we are able to maximize activities and offer more exclusive experiences.

As with Antarctica, the best time to visit is around the Arctic's summer and early fall months.

  • May / June - During this period, the landscape is pristine and white and full of icebergs. Polar bears can be seen on the ice floes hunting seals.  
  • July / August - This is the warmest season in the Arctic, and the flowers will be in full bloom. Longer days for more photographic hours as melting ice allows the ships to explore larger areas.  This is the best season for seeing polar bears in Svalbard, and wildlife and birdlife will be at their peak, including beluga whales in Canada and whale watching in Greenland. 
  • October / November - Towards the end of the season, polar bears gather in Canada as the winter sea-ice forms. 

Apart from these iconic cruises, there are fabulous options for cruise enthusiasts from shorter cruises around Pataonia and Cape Horn to scenic day cruises and private charters.

Scenic Cruises
Everything looks different from the deck of a ship – and that includes Mother Nature. Sailing over lakes, through channels and along rivers allow passengers to access more pristine areas far off the beaten path. 
Cape Horn

There is no better way to travel from Chile to Argentina, or vice versa than on a luxury expedition cruise that navigates through the scenic fjords and channels of Tierra del Fuego. Running from September through April, the cruise covers a four-night route from Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina, passing though landmarks of the Patagonian landscape such as the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn. Expect first rate gastronomy, world-class wines, and an expedition program led by expert local guides. 


Sail around Argentina’s largest lake, Lago Argentino. As you navigate around blue icebergs, you will witness spectacular views of some the Patagonia’s largest glaciers, such as Upsala Glacier, the Mayo and Black Glaciers and of course the colossal Perito Moreno Glacier. We can arrange these cruises as a day trip or, for a more in-depth glacial experience, a 3-day cruise.

Private Charters
Imagine the privacy and intimacy of your own sailing charter just for you and your small group of family or friends. With your own skipper, crew, and private chef at your disposal, this is surely one of the most exclusive travel experiences available. Depending on the size of your group, the cost can be the same or even less than a public charter.  We can arrange these as longer expedition charters or as a day trip.
We offer this option for the Galápagos Islands, the Amazon River, even around the Antarctic Peninsula as well as other destinations. Here are a couple of our favourites:

Set sail from glorious Havana, French-founded Cienfuegos, or musical Santiago, settling into life on the ocean. Board a catamaran and sail past coral reefs, through pristine waters and watch pelicans dive, southern stingray glide, and marine turtles munch on seagrass. Look out for wild dolphins, too. Stop at secret beaches in coves along the coast, and on remote coral islands. Snorkel the shallow waters in search of rare elkhorn coral, colourful parrot fish, and sea anemones while your private chef prepares a BBQ seafood feast for lunch.

Experience luxury at sea on one of our lavish yachts and sailing boats. Whether you want to lounge on a sunset cruise, enjoy a day or two on your own private vessel or charter a yacht for your private group for a longer exclusive cruise to discover out of the way locations along the coast, we can tailor-make something for you. With the choice of the tranquil Caribbean Sea, the bold Pacific Ocean, or the geologically interesting Gulf Coast, sailing enthusiasts will love this life at sea. Getting out onto the water allows for unique snorkeling, diving, and fishing experiences that cannot be accessed by land and so allows for a unique voyage of discovery.

Cruising is a stress-free way to travel, and the casual atmosphere on a small ship cruise feels more like a community instead of a small city at sea, making this an incredible vacation, whether you're with family or traveling solo and hoping to make a few friends along the way.

Let us help arrange your
Small Luxury Cruise

Every trip we arrange is unique and customised to suit each client’s interests and budgets.

Contact our consultant to plan a custom travel itinerary for you.

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We do not subscribe to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy. Sample itineraries and cost estimates are meant purely as a guide. To find out more, please contact one of our expert travel consultants to plan a customized itinerary based on your budget and interests.