Think ‘cruise’, and you probably picture Hawaiian shirt-clad retirees sipping Blue Lagoons by the pool all day. But with Adventure Cruising, it’s all about the destination.
There’s no time to spend on shuffleboard or bad cabaret when you’re admiring breathtaking waterfalls or off wandering through little Croatian laneways with your local leader. On our adventure cruising vessel, we travel in a small group of travellers (no more than 31), so when we haul anchor into smaller ports and islands, you’ll get to know the locals rather than outnumber them. Small ships, small groups – big adventures.
Our adventure cruising tours
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Why choose adventure cruising?
It all comes down to a matter of size. Our Intrepid Sailing range puts travellers on a real sailing vessel – mast, sails and all – and you can help sail the boat (or just relax with a book if you prefer). These boats are smaller, with our fleet comprised of single-hulled yachts in Europe and catamarans in Asia and the Caribbean. Each boat can accommodate up to 8 passengers plus crew.
By contrast, our Adventure Cruises use larger boats that allow room for additional creature comforts – such as air conditioning and Wi-Fi. A bigger boat also carries more people, which is why you’ll be joined by up to 31 fellow travellers to share the journey. While our cruises use larger boats, these are still smaller than other commercial cruise ships. This means you can skip the queues waiting to get off the boat and spend more time in places that larger cruise liners simply can’t get to.
We have two classes of ships – Motor Yacht and Motor Sailor – with both carrying around 30 passengers. Both ships rely on motors as their main means of propulsion, however the Motor Sailor also features the more romantic option of setting the sails to the wind too. The interior varies between ships – with some vessels offering more contemporary furnishings while others are more traditional in style.
Please note only adventure cruises in Cuba and Greece offer a choice of ships. All other destinations have a single ship per itinerary.
Being a larger boat, there’s more room for comfort and additional luxuries – such as air conditioning in each cabin, as well as a central music system and telephone connection for intra-ship communication. Cabins also feature wardrobe and storage space. Please be aware that, although cabin space is larger than on a sailing boat, cabins are still compact in size.
All cabins on all ships have been fitted with private bathrooms and include hairdryers. Cabins are equipped with European type plugs, so please remember to bring an adaptor if necessary. Each guest on board will receive some handy toiletries too, such as shampoo and shower gel. A safe and stocked minibar (containing water) are in every cabin.
In the same way that hotels offer varying rates for rooms depending on views, location and space, prices on a cruise ship will also vary depending on differing levels of amenities.
Most sailing between ports will take place at night, allowing greater time to explore each new location during the day. This also allows you to make the most of any optional on-shore excursions or off-ship activities. It’s generally a good idea to familiarise yourself with the trip itinerary before arriving, as this will contain more in depth details about the excursions on offer and the amount of time scheduled at each port. While we do our best to stick to the itinerary, it’s important to remember that all sailing is reliant on the weather being cooperative. If there’s a turn in the weather, or maintaining the itinerary becomes unsafe, you can rely on your skipper to chart an alternative course.
Seasickness is most often felt when the ship is cruising in open waters, although some passengers may feel symptoms while cruising through sheltered conditions along the coast. Some itineraries include a mix of coastline cruising as well as navigating open waters between islands and ports.
Common symptoms of sea sickness include fatigue, uneasiness, dizziness, headaches, and, in some instances, vomiting. If you’ve never sailed before, or are unsure whether you’re susceptible to seasickness, it’s generally a good idea to pack some precautionary medication.
Many symptoms of seasickness subside after some time to adjust to life on board the ship (usually a few hours to a day) and paracetamol tables can assist in easing this transition. If symptoms persist, there are a number of self-management techniques you can try – such as drinking ginger tea, sitting out in the open air (the higher on board the better) and watching the horizon. There are also a variety of medications available to help alleviate seasickness symptoms.
Please note that there are no doctors aboard the ships and you will need to obtain any medication before arriving.
Each of our cruise ships carries around 30 passengers, who are usually a mix of European, North American and Australian/NZ travellers of all ages.
If you’re travelling solo, never fear! Joining one of our adventure cruises is a great way to experience a destination and make some new friends. Solo travellers on our Croatia cruises will be able to share a cabin with another passenger of the same gender, however this is subject to availability. If cabin sharing is not an option, you may need to pay the single passenger price – this will grant you a cabin for your own use.
The predominant language on board is English, however our staff may also speak German, French, Spanish or Russian depending on the departure. Most tours are multilingual environments, providing the opportunity to meet and learn from a variety of nationalities.
Cruising is, by its nature, always subject to winds, tides and weather. Sometimes we may need to adjust the itinerary, or vary the order in which destinations are visited, to accommodate this.
All of our ships are built to SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and are operated by an experienced captain and crew. Each ship is equipped with life jackets, flares, radio, life ring buoys, and emergency supplies.
While there is an optional credit system for expenses, the accepted currency on board is the Euro. Travellers who choose to use the credit system can settle their tab at the end of the cruise. Credit cards are accepted.
Most dietary requirements can be catered for, simply tell us if you have any allergies or dietary requirements at the time of booking. Unfortunately we are unable to cater for kosher and halal needs. If you require kosher or halal meals, please tell us at the time of booking and we will do our best to accommodate.
Reasonably prices alcoholic drinks are available for purchase on all our ships. All prices on board use the Euro. For example, a cocktail may cost EUR5 while a glass of wine might be EUR3.50. The bar uses a chit system, where you sign for drinks as you purchase them, and the amount is added to your on-board account. This account is settled at the end of the tour.
Absolutely! All ships are fitted with a swimming platform, usually located at the stern side of the ship. This platform allows easy access to and from the water during swimming stops. The crew will always be present, either from the ship or a small zodiac safety boat, and will watch out for the safety of swimmers. Additional towels are available during swim stops if needed. All ships are supplied with snorkelling and fishing gear that you are free to use, simply ask the crew and they’ll be happy to provide it. Some ships also offer kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for use at swim stops.
The dress code on board is very casual – so feel free to leave your regulation Hawaiian shirt at home (or bring it if you really love it). It is generally a good idea to pack some smart dress, such as a sundress or a collared shirt, for the final night’s Captain’s Dinner. Smart dress might also come in handy if you plan to eat off the shop in port.
Due to the compact size of the boats and the sometimes rocky nature of a sailing trip, it is advisable that you bring fabric/canvas luggage. When choosing what kind of bag to pack, be mindful that you will need to wheel or carry it over a gangway connecting the boat to the port.
While cruise ships have more space than smaller sailing vessels, there’s still only a finite amount of space on the boat. It’s best to avoid bulky suitcases and packing needless items such as surfboards, scuba gear and your favourite lilo.
While the below list is not an exhaustive summary of what you should pack, it should give you some idea of what to expect:
- A medium-sized fabric bag that can be flattened or stored easily
- A small day pack for shore excursions
- Some flip flops or deck shoes that can get wet
- Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat
- Seasickness tablets (just in case)
- Swimmers (don’t worry about the snorkel and fins – we provide those)
- Waterproof camera (for those sweet underwater shots)
- A light weatherproof jacket (just in case of high seas or seasonal showers)
Please check your tour’s essential trip information for a more tailored packing list.
Wi-Fi is available on board at an additional cost. Please note, Wi-Fi signal may be impaired or temporarily unavailable in more remote locations or when cruising.
Please note that none of the ships are fitted with lifts and moving between deck levels involves climbing steep stairways. To disembark the ship at port, you will need to walk down a narrow gangway connecting the dock to the ship. Our ships are small enough that they can dock at all ports, and this means tenders (small dinghies) are not required.
Flights are not included in the tour cost, however we can assist with booking these. Intrepid has partnerships with many of the major airlines, which means we can get you the best price on flights for your intended travel dates. We know it can sometimes be challenging to organise flights - and some destinations are harder than others – which is why we can assist with negotiating dates, transfers and prices. Speak to us about how we can help.
As cruising is a heavily weather-dependent activity, which can cause delays in returning to port, we recommend allowing an additional night at the end of the trip to ensure nobody misses any onward flights.
Yes, in fact this is a popular option for many travellers. There are short day tours available to help fill the days, and you can choose to bookend your cruise with an Intrepid tour too. Contact us or your local travel agent to find out more.
Yes. We can help you book any additional accommodation as needed as well as transfers and day tours. Contact us to find out more.
Stories from the sea
Looking for a smaller boat?
Want to feel the wind in your hair? Our sailing tours use smaller catamarans or yachts rather than multi-deck cruise ships. Travellers can lend a helping hand with navigating, tacking and steering, or (if that sounds like hard work) simply stretch out on deck with a good book.