Small Ship Cruising

By Allen Cox, Northwest Travel and Life Magazine

I have been on a few large ship cruises, but the small ship experience was new to me until I boarded three separate small ships, each for a week-long cruise in Northwest waters. What do I mean by a small ship? Fewer than 250 passengers (often fewer than 100), two to four decks, and the ability to navigate waterways the large cruise ships cannot. Enjoying the Northwest's diverse landscapes—and seascapes—from a small ship lends a fresh and close up perspective. As far from a large cruise ship as a fine boutique hotel is from a mega-resort, small ship cruising is an intimate experience that brought me and my fellow passengers close to nature, history, and out-of-the-way destinations.