Introducing a new a style of travel – a premium cruise without the premium crowds. Think less on-board casinos and more island hopping along the Dalmatian Coast, a Penang port stop for a bowl of Assam laksa at a local market, or dropping anchor for a swim in some secluded Cuban archipelago. This is Peregrine’s small ship adventure cruising. Welcome aboard.
Conventional big ship cruising is all about life on the boat. What to eat, what to do, which show to catch. Adventure cruising is more about the destination: stopping at little islands the big ships can’t reach, exploring local markets and trying fresh produce, learning a place’s history and culture from local guides who know it best.
These journeys are designed to be low impact. That means there’s fewer passengers on-board, less stress on local communities, and each trip is carbon offset through a range of renewable energy projects. And while the big boats moor out at sea and ferry passengers to land by tender, we can sail straight into port. You can hop on or hop off as you like. It’s convenience and comfort, all in one.
When it comes to cruising, bigger is not necessarily better. While mega liners are very restricted in their routes and itineraries, a smaller ship means we can dock in out-of-the-way ports and drop anchor wherever we feel like it. Instead of mooring out to sea, we pull up right in the centre of town.
You can stroll on and off the boat whenever you like (very handy when you forget your sunglasses). And our itineraries are flexible enough to change as the weather dictates. So if we spot some idyllic sun-soaked cove off the starboard bow, there’s nothing stopping us from dropping anchor and having a swim.
On a small ship adventure cruise, you’re travelling with between 30 and 50 passengers…not 3000. Our boats have a maximum of 25 suites, and the small group atmosphere means you get a more personal level of service. By the end of the trip, the waiters know how you take your coffee (and, more importantly, your favourite cocktails).
Your Cruise Director will greet you by name. You’ll get to know your fellow passengers and have a chance to make real lasting friendships. They’re little things, but they make all the difference. You’re not just another face in the crowd.
We’re a big believer in travelling on our stomachs, and each cruise’s on-board menu is tailored to reflect the destination you’re in. Cruising in Greece? You’ll be snacking on grilled octopus and handmade dolmades. In Spain it’s fresh paella and crispy patatas bravas. All our trips come with either half or full-board, plus an unforgettable ‘Local Night’ where your chefs will whip up a feast of regional fare (bring your dancing shoes).
While onshore, your Cruise Director or local leader will take you to the best local spots, from that seafood restaurant on Santorini to a hidden wine bar in Seville.
‘Sustainable cruising’ might seem like a contradiction in terms, given the history of the big mega liners. But it’s a side of the industry we want to change. Small ships are a greener alternative to a traditional cruise: they’re gentle on local communities and much better for the environment. Our boats generate less waste, have a smaller footprint, and don’t overwhelm small port towns with thousands of travellers all at once (remember, you’re travelling with about 30 to 50 people).
Each departure has also been carbon offset by a range of renewable energy initiatives. It’s part of our commitment to being a carbon neutral company.
You won’t find casinos, bowling alleys or nightclubs on any of our small ships. In fact we don’t even have an on-board swimming pool. But who needs chlorine when you’ve got the glittering waters of the Adriatic or Cuba’s aquamarine shallows on your doorstep? All our ships have either a platform or a ladder at the back of the boat for swimming, so you can get in and out of the water with ease.
There’s also snorkel equipment and kayaks on certain departures. If swimming’s not your thing, we recommend a cocktail and a good book on the sun deck. It does wonders.
There’s something nice about coming back to your cabin after a full turndown service and seeing the little mint on your pillow. It almost guarantees a good night’s sleep. Small ship cabins are roomy and comfortable, usually in either a twin or double configuration, and all come with ensuites. There’s air-conditioning if you need to cool down, turndown twice a day, and a fully equipped laundry service.
It’s essentially staying in a floating 4-star hotel. Most rooms also come fitted with a key safe if you’re worried about your valuables, and each cabin can be locked for extra peace of mind.
Our adventure cruises are run in partnership with Variety, the world’s premier small ship operator. That means you’re getting top class service on each and every departure. Your Cruise Director can provide tips on great places to eat, drink and explore, while our team of local guides can take you on a wide range of optional excursions (prices for these vary).
Onboard you’ve also got a team of chefs, waiters and room service staff, plus a Captain and crew to handle the running of the boat. We want your crew to feel like your family. It’s one of the things that sets us apart from the big mega liners.
What type of ship will I be on?
We have two classes of ships – Motor Yacht and Motor Sailor – with both carrying between 35 and 50 passengers. Both ships’ primary propulsion method is motorised, but the Motor Sailor offers the romance of travelling with the wind when the sails are raised. The décor varies between ships – some contemporary, some more traditional in their styling. Only Cuba and Greece offer a choice of ships – all other destinations have a single ship per itinerary. View all ships
What are the cabins like? Why are they different prices?
All cabins are air-conditioned and fitted with central music and with telephone for intra-ship communication. Please be aware that cabins are compact in size, with wardrobe and storage space also compact. All cabins on all ships have private bathrooms with hairdryers and come with some toiletries such as shampoo and shower gel. A safe and minibar (containing water) are in every cabin. Pricing depends on the cabin type – similar to a hotel whereby some cabins offer superior views, larger windows/portholes and additional living space. You can view cabin types on our ships page.
What happens when the ship calls into port?
You are free to choose what you do when the ship calls into port. On the majority of trips, the listed on shore excursions are at an additional cost. When arriving into port, the cruise co-ordinator will advise you of both the excursion on offer and what you might do on your own. Simply choose what interests you most, or just relax on the ship. On our ‘Dalmation Cruising’ itinerary, on-shore activities are included in the price.
How long will be spent between sailing and port?
As much as possible, most relocation sailing will take place at night, allowing for more time to be spent at port and exploring. The majority of itineraries have at least one port stop or swim stop every day. In places of particular interest the ship will moor all day, allowing additional time for shore excursions and off-ship activities. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the trip itinerary in order to be aware of what time is scheduled at port and what excursions are on offer. However, please be aware that weather conditions may prompt a change to published itineraries.
How accessible are the ships?
It’s important to be aware that none of the ships have lifts and moving between decks will involve climbing fairly steep stairways. To disembark the ship at port, you will need to walk down a narrow gangway lowered to the dock. All ships are small enough that they can dock at all ports, and tenders (small dinghies) are not necessary.
Will I get seasick?
How often the ship sails in open waters depends on the itinerary. The itineraries that sail along the coast should experience sheltered conditions on most days, but those that sail between islands will cross open waters and may sail through heavier seas. Unless you are certain that you’re impervious to seasickness, it is necessary to come prepared with precautionary medication or other methods of combatting seasickness. Please be aware that there are no doctors aboard the ships.
Who operates the trips?
Our Dalmation Cruise itinerary is operated by Peregrine and for our other itineraries we’re working with our partner company Variety Cruises to provide you with a range of small-ship cruising adventures in some of the world’s most beautiful places. Variety has been committed to helping travellers get to the heart of a destination since 1949, providing comfortable rooms, delicious local food and the support of an experienced crew. Variety’s traveller pledge aligns perfectly with our own: to give our passengers intimate, authentic and memorable travel experiences. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.
Who will I be travelling with?
The number of people joining you will range from 35-50 people depending on the ship. Our adventure cruises generally attract a mix of European, North American and Australian/NZ travellers of all ages.
What if I’m travelling solo?
On all our itineraries, if you’re travelling solo, you will need to pay the single passenger price, but you will get a cabin for your own use. The exception to this is our Croatia ‘Dalmatian Cruising’ itinerary, where it is possible to share with another passenger of the same gender, depending on availability.
What language is spoken on the ship?
Language on board is English (with staff fluent), but German, French, Spanish or Russian may also be spoken by our Cruise Coordinators depending on the departure. In general there is a multilingual environment and you will have a chance to mix with a variety of nationalities.
Is the itinerary always the same?
By its nature, all travel by sea is subject to the weather, winds and tides. Occasionally the order in which we visit destinations may need to change to accommodate weather conditions and, sometimes, other ports may be substituted. Safety is always our first priority. All ships are built to SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and are operated by an experienced captain and crew.
What will the weather be like?
For the comfort and pleasure of our guests, our itineraries generally follow warm rather than hot weather patterns. The world’s climate being at times unpredictable, our small ships are seldom far from a sheltered bay or port.
What is the official currency on board?
The Euro is the official currency while on board. There is an optional credit system for expenses on board that may be paid/settled at the end of the cruise. Credit cards are accepted on board.
What if I have dietary requirements?
Most dietary requirements can be catered for on all ships, except for kosher and halal. Please advise us at the time of booking and we will do all that we can.
Are alcoholic drinks available on board?
Alcoholic drinks are available on all ships and are reasonably priced (the official currency onboard is Euro) – for example EUR5 for the cocktail of the day or EUR3.50 for a glass of wine. The bar runs on a chit system where you sign for drinks as you purchase them, with the amount added to your on-board account. This account is settled at the end of the voyage.
What are the cabins like? Why are they different prices?
All cabins are air-conditioned and with telephone for intra-ship communication. Our ship generators provide an electric current of 220v. Cabins are equipped with European type plugs so please remember to bring an adaptor if necessary.
Please be aware that cabins are compact in size, with wardrobe and storage space also compact. All cabins on all ships have private bathrooms with hairdryers and come with some toiletries such as shampoo and shower gel. A safe and minibar (containing water) are in every cabin. Pricing depends on the cabin type – similar to a hotel, some cabins offer superior views, larger windows/portholes and larger or additional living space. You can view cabin types on our ships page.
Can I go swimming from the ship?
Of course! All ships have a swimming platform (usually located at the back of the ship – the Galileo has a set of lowerable stairs on the port side) that will allow easy access to the water during swimming stops. The crew will always been present to monitor the safety of swimmers, watching either from the ship or a small zodiac safety boat. Additional towels are available during swim stops. All ships are equipped with snorkelling and fishing gear that you are free to use. Some ships also offer kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for use at swim stops.
Is there a dress code on board?
Dress aboard the boat is very casual – it is a holiday after all. However, you may wish to bring a smarter outfit, such as a sundress or a shirt with a collar, for the final night’s Captain’s Dinner or if you plan to eat off the ship in port.
Is there Internet available on board?
Wifi is available on our ships at an additional cost. Please note, it may be unavailable in more remote locations or when sailing.
Can I combine an adventure cruise with another Peregrine small group land tour?
Yes definitely, and it’s a popular option for many. While dates might not always align perfectly, there are plenty of options like day tours to bridge the time between the tours. Contact us or your local travel agent to find out more.
Are the adventure cruises guaranteed departures?
If you’ve found a tour you like, we can request space and confirm availability within 2-4 days. Once availability is confirmed, a deposit is required within 7 days. We suggest not booking other things like flights until availability is confirmed.
Once the space is confirmed by our local team and your deposit has been paid, your tour is guaranteed to depart – meaning you can book your airfares and additional accommodation with confidence. Please note that like all of our tours, this is subject to our regular booking conditions.
Why are the cabins different prices?
Pricing depends on the cabin type – similar to how hotels work, some cabins offer superior views, larger windows/portholes and larger or additional living space. You can view cabin types on our ships page. Contact us to find out more
Are flights included?
While flights aren’t included in the tour cost, we can assist with booking these. Our partnerships with the major airlines means we can get you the best price on flights for your intended travel dates. Sometimes it can be challenging organising flights – some destinations are harder than others, and we know it can be tricky trying to negotiate dates, transfers and prices. So speak to us about how we can get you there easier.
Can you book additional accommodation, day tours and transfers?
Yes, we can generally assist with all of this when you’re ready to book your trip. Contact us to find out more.