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  • Starr Wlodarski

Beyond the Mega Ship-The Cruise Lines You Should Know

So you have been on a cruise ship or two, (or maybe many more). The experience was fantastic, the food was great, the ship was fun, and the beach was relaxing. You want to do another cruise, but you want to do something different.

Maybe that definition of different involves different locations and more time in port, or excursions, or different activities or even a different type of ship.

Or perhaps you're the type of person who would like to take a cruise, but the thought of being on a large ship with 3000 other passengers and doing the same things they are doing just doesn't excite you, and you want personalized service and experiences.

If these describe you, I have the answer; luxury cruises. These cruises may use different types of vessels, different itineraries, or different levels of luxury. But they all offer lower passenger levels, personalized service, and unique itineraries and experiences for the cruiser that wants something different.

They come in many different flavors, so finding one that meets your specific requirements has become easy. Here is a list of the specific categories of specialized cruises and leading providers that will help you design your own unique cruise experience. The most popular category of specialized cruises are river cruises. The attraction of river cruises is the offer of an "all-inclusive" experience for their passengers. The ships from companies like Viking Cruises, AMA Waterways, Avalon, and others are designed to handle all of your ship and tour requirements in a relaxed, carefree environment.

These small ships, less than 200 passengers, travel the great rivers of Europe and Asia; offering an easy and relax way of experiencing the great cities and sites of those continents.

A related way to cruise in the United States, to relive the past and take take a trip down the the Mississippi or Ohio rivers on a genuine river paddle boat. American Queen Steamboat Company allows you to travel back to the times of Mark Twain and the Old South by offering cruises on genuine but modern paddle wheeled river boat, that still offer allow the If modern amenities and luxuries as you travel down the great rivers of America.

Two other fast-growing areas of this market are the upper premium and luxury cruise segments. For the cruise passenger who likes what the main cruise lines have to offer, but wants a better dining and on-board experience on a smaller ship, or wants a more engaging land excursion will love sailing with an upper premium cruise line.

Oceania Cruises offers a more refined and personalized cruise experience, on 1200 or 700 passenger ships that offer longer cruises to smaller ports than the average cruise line: all the while offering world class cuisine.

If the destination is what matters to you, Azamara Cruises has you covered. Their "Destination Immersion" program gives you longer stays, more overnights and night tours at their ports of call. Also the award winning Viking Ocean ships offer unique itineraries for the curious traveler.

If you require only the best and finest in your leisure travel, the cruise industry has a ship board experience for you. Cunard Lines offers the elegance and feel of a luxury ocean liner from the golden age of ocean travel. A true rite of passage is to do a trans-Atlantic crossing on the iconic Queen Mary 2.

If you want the feel of traveling on your own mega yacht, Seabourn and Silverseas Lines offer less than 700 passengers the chance to experience the finest in personnel service and dining, as you cruise to the most exotic locales on the sleekest ships on the seas.

If you want the ultimate in luxury, but want to be different, try sailing on the tall ships of Star Clippers Line or Windstar to the most beautiful and exotic ports in the world.

Any the addition of so many expedition ships, these are 300 passengers or less and while built for Antarctica/Arctic you can find them also sailing itineraries where only a small ship can dock.

Knowing you don't need to cruise with thousands on cookie cutter itineraries, we are here to guide you on finding the right cruise line for you.

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