Unusual Cruises

By Ann Dermody
Published: February/March 2013

Last year, almost three-quarters of the 15 million cruise-ship vacations worldwide were taken by Americans. While the enormous super-ships continue in their competition to outdo each other in the "faster, bigger, newer" sweepstakes, another facet of the industry has been quietly developing.

Niche cruising to more exotic locales on smaller, more interesting ships is gaining popularity, especially with our members. Here are some of their ideas for your next holiday!

A Luxury Run Down The Dalmatian Coast

By Scott Croft, New York

When my wife April and I decided to take our first big vacation in years, we knew we wanted it to be aboard a boat, and that we wanted a carefree experience. The tall ship Star Clipper (the flagship of the company) gave us each what we wanted. We chose the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia cruise, which had been getting rave reviews, and stopped in Montenegro and Greece, the latter of which was one of our dream destinations.


At the end of my first day at sea, watching daylight fold into night while I floated on my back, arms outstretched, in the ship's pool, I knew we'd made the right choice. Looking high above, the pool's lights projected a luminescent blue-green shadow across acres of canvas, framed by the stars.

This beautiful 366-foot barkentine has more than 36,000 square feet of sail, and the captain isn't shy about using every inch of it. With about 150 passengers on our Venice-to-Athens voyage, we never waited for dinner once, or had to wade through throngs at the bar. It was like having our own private megayacht -- small enough to make friends, which tends to happen on a 10-day cruise, or to tuck away quietly and muse, whatever the mood.

At the end of my first day at sea, watching daylight fold into night while I floated on my back, arms outstretched, in the ship's pool, I knew we'd made the right choice. Looking high above, the pool's lights projected a luminescent blue-green shadow across acres of canvas, framed by the stars.

This beautiful 366-foot barkentine has more than 36,000 square feet of sail, and the captain isn't shy about using every inch of it. With about 150 passengers on our Venice-to-Athens voyage, we never waited for dinner once, or had to wade through throngs at the bar. It was like having our own private megayacht -- small enough to make friends, which tends to happen on a 10-day cruise, or to tuck away quietly and muse, whatever the mood.

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