Stuðlagil Canyon, Iceland
Small Ship, Big Adventure
You’ve heard some of the countries you're eagerly longing to visit are, to put it mildly, popular with travelers. Who wants to get stuck shoulder-to-shoulder while standing in awe of thundering waterfalls or epic mountain views or exquisitely carved works of art?
One of the best workarounds may be to sail around the country on an exclusive small luxury ship, with a crew that knows the right local ports in which to drop anchor. From there, inland excursions with your small group are intimate and enjoyable.
Tauck | Slippurinn | Puffin
Iceland's stunning, almost otherworldly landscapes become more accessible when sailing the island's perimeter on a small ship, bypassing the crowds. Travelers can explore the fascinating lava fields of Eldfell and enjoy renowned culinary experiences at Slippurinn in the Westman Islands, a restaurant redefining Icelandic gastronomy. A group visit to a private nature reserve near Skálanes on a revitalized farmstead offers intimate encounters with Arctic birds, coastal cliffs, and the chance to spot baleen whales and seals.
Sushi & Sake | Miyajima | Gold-leaf Soft Serve Ice Cream
Or perhaps your heart is set on the history and beauty of Japan? Small ship tours can take you to quieter ports along the northern and western coasts, offering an immersion into local culture. Delve into the art of sushi and sake in small towns such as Hagi, the birthplace of samurai and Hagi pottery, or visit Kanazawa, famous for its impressive castle, gardens and gold leaf production. Here, you may even be tempted to indulge in a unique gold-leaf soft serve ice cream—a true travelbrag!
One of the best reasons to explore a country by small-ship is that you only have to unpack once!