4 Good Reasons To Set Sail
The return to travel has manifested new ways to see the world. For those of us still desiring social distancing and open spaces with the addition of adventure and, perhaps, luxury, cruises provide lots of options.
FEEL THE BREEZE
If the concept of a sailing holiday conjures up images of a Gilligan’s Island three-hour tour, you really should look at Windjamming in Maine. For a three-day to weeklong sailing trip, the association’s eight beautiful schooners that leave from Penobscot Bay will convert you to the glory of the high seas. Days begin early if you wish with a glorious sunrise punctuated only by seagulls overhead. You’re invited to be active if you’d like, learning to sail from the captain and the super-attentive crew, hoisting the mainsail and assisting in the galley kitchen where meals are concocted in a space that’s smaller than an apartment kitchen. Choose your level of comfort from schooners like the Ladona or the American Eagle, refitted and polished to a gleam.
Accommodation is compact, and you’ll learn that packing light is your best friend. Topsiders, bathing suits, a windbreaker and a warm sweatshirt are pretty much all you need. There are basic conveniences like plugs and a shower. This is travel with like-minded, unfussy guests who enjoy an itinerary that depends on the wind. Info: schoonerladona.com; schooneramericaneagle.com
SAIL LIKE A CELEBRITY
The minimalist sailing life may not be your thing. That’s why there’s the opportunity to sail like a celebrity without taking out a mortgage by chartering a crewed yacht in Croatia. Less expensive than sailing in Monaco or along the Amalfi Coast, superyachts from broker Goolets offer a variety of sizes and degrees of luxury to create a very personalized yachting experience. When you consider this all-inclusive, bespoke trip with a fixed number of cabins at a fixed price, the economics work in your favor. What’s more, the yacht comes with a crew tasked with making you happy all the time. The length of the cruise is up to you, and the experts at Goolets will select the yacht that meets your budget and interests, adding stops at UNESCO sites, or sailing to exclusive beaches and islands where only smaller vessels have access. Plan to get to know Croatia—history, culture and beauty all wrapped up in an affordable price—with a sailing experience that will have you singing “the yachting life’s for me.” Info: goolets.net
FLOAT A NOT-SO-LAZY RIVER
When you hear about a river cruise, what comes to mind? Slow travel, beauty, excursions, food and wine? All are correct. And the mode of travel is truly special. On Scenic Cruises’ river itineraries, you’ll be immersed in the culture of the area, taking in historic scenery, while enjoying gourmet meals, fine wines, and a well-heeled coterie of passengers. Consider some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, and you’ll understand the appeal. On the Bordeaux Affair cruise, for example, you’ll spend your days soaking up the vineyard-filled villages along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, introduced to wines from local producers, oysters from local coves, and gourmet meals and non-stop snacks to ensure you’re well fed. A massage area, salt therapy relaxation room and butler service ensure happiness. Lest you think you’ll be inactive on this trip, there are walking and biking excursions through towns and vineyards. Info: scenicusa.com
Expedition cruises are all the rage, but some come with a huge entourage which may not be to your liking. Windstar cruises are small ships with a limited number of guests, most under 200, with a guest: staff ratio that is close to 1.5:1. Consider the Alaskan Splendors cruise to experience the north country’s glaciers and wildlife. Increasingly important as climate change affects our lives, these marvels of nature are evident every day on the cruise. Staff excel in knowing what to look for, where to go, and how to keep you safe and happy, while they embody the Cheers mantra of “where everybody knows your name.” Daily expeditions searching out otters and bears or dogsledding on glaciers after an exhilarating helicopter flight are the stuff of dreams. Each port, from Seward to Vancouver, has its many attractions and if you’re a culture vulture, you’ll see that area residents are special people who are as curious about you as you are about them. Meanwhile, back on deck, you’ll enjoy superb dining, spa services and evening entertainment where you’ll be hard-pressed not to shimmy on the dance floor.