Monday, May 07, 2012

Small and perfectly formed: From sail ships to luxury yachts - how to take a mini-cruise

In an age in which every new cruise liner seems bigger than the last, it's reassuring to find there are some ships that still resemble ocean-going vessels rather than floating hotels.

Perhaps the most romantic are masted sailing yachts, which offer the charms of a relaxed, intimate atmosphere and the ability to moor in small harbors or drop anchor in secluded coves.

And what could be more thrilling than standing on deck looking up at billowing white sails... knowing you are never going to have to climb the rigging yourself? If you prefer - and if you have the budget - you can even experience the luxury of a super-yacht worthy of an oligarch in the Mediterranean.

Here is a variety of suggestions for those who want to sail away from the crowds...

Budding sea dogs might want to sail the Med on Star Clippers' five-masted Royal Clipper, where you can volunteer to help hoist the sails or climb a mast. A four-night cruise from Civitavecchia, the port that serves Rome, takes you to Corsica to moor overnight, Sardinia's Costa Smeralda and finally to Elba, where Napoleon was briefly held captive.

Travel is by Eurostar and sleeper train via Paris. The cost for departure on June 5 is from £1,319 per person.

On the three yachts of Windstar Cruises, there's no need for anyone - crew or passengers - to climb the rigging: the sails are fully automated. The sleek part-yacht, part-cruise ships have a casual dress code and the mood is laid-back luxury.

Wind Star - one of the two smaller vessels, with just 74 cabins - has a six-night cruise from Rome to Barcelona departing on July 15, costing from £2,859pp, including flights. You'll call at Elba, Porto Vecchio in Corsica, Alghero in Sardinia and Palma de Mallorca.

Alternatively, you can head to the Baltic Sea on the magnificent, five-masted Wind Surf, one of the two largest sail cruise ships in the world, on a week's cruise from Oslo to Stockholm leaving July 27.

1 comment:

Carter Collins said...

Hello Friends,
Thanks for this information. It is really very helpful for everybody who want to spent vacation on a cruise. Thanks a lot...
Luxury Yacht Charter