Since the dawn of luxury cruising, cruise lines have long tried to outdo each other when it comes to size. Today's super ships are now on active routes worldwide including Royal Caribbean International's record holder, Allure of the Seas, a ship that measures 1,187 feet long and capable of carrying more than six thousand passengers.
But not everyone is delighted by the prospect of large crowds confined to one floating space. As such, discerning travelers who desire a more intimate cruising experience have ignited an emerging trend for smaller boutique ships, proving bigger isn't always better.
With a focus on quality and service, cruise lines such as Azamara, Seabourne and Oceania carry less than seven hundred passengers. Their smaller size not only gives them the ability to provide a more tailored experience, but their compact size allows them to reach some of the world's more remote ports, resulting in more interesting and unique itineraries.
Smaller ships can also provide open seating in the dining room and are often better equipped to offer fresher food cooked to individual standards. Less passengers also means little to no line ups for boarding, disembarking the ship or making reservations for specialty restaurants and excursions.