Seafaring families are exploring new depths with these adventurous alternatives to traditional cruising.
When most families think
cruising, ten-storey super
liners, Hawaiian theme
nights and sun loungers
come to mind. While there’s
plenty of fun to be had on traditional itineraries,
a collection of more adventurous encounters
and destinations make for an invaluable
WHO: Lindblad-National Geographic
Travellers have responded to the unique
experiences and unexplored destinations of
expedition cruising with utter enthusiasm.
Families can share in the excitement with
Lindblad-National Geographic on weekly
year-round itineraries ranging from 10 to 16
days in length. A voyage to the Galapagos
Archipelago aboard the Endeavour and
Islander enables children to walk among bird
and animal colonies comprised of 100-year-old
tortoises, iguanas, penguins and sea lions, just
to name a few.
Between ports, children are kept busy with
stargazing, scavenger hunts, drawing and
poetry workshops and lessons in knot-tying, all
appealing to their exploratory spirit. Best of all,
families are free to wander the islands at their
leisure, making the most of glass bottom
boats, kayaks, zodiacs and the knowledge of
local naturalists. Every day brings a new
education in nature; however a particularly
memorable highlight is visiting Isla Santa Cruz,
home to a Charles Darwin Research Station.
Pursue your fascination with fabled faraway
lands and the rich culture of South East Asia on
a crewed Moorings cruise, combining the
independence of a self guided journey with the
peace of mind that onboard experts afford.
On your journey through Thailand, limestone
cliffs, coral reefs and white sand beaches
provide spectacular surrounds. The southern
peninsula is where your explorations will take
place, beginning in Phuket before cruising
westward to Krabi Province. At the completion
of six days families will arrive in Koh Rang Yai,
having witnessed natural landscapes that
challenge and inspire the imagination.
Sailing onboard a modern, air-conditioned
catamaran complete with private guestrooms,
ensuite bathrooms and a personal chef
enables families to experience the rich and
vibrant cultural characteristics of Thailand in a
way not possible on a large liner. Access to
secluded bays and coves is virtually unlimited,
making for world-class snorkelling and scuba
VIBE: Wild encounters
South Africa; it’s the place where safaris meet
the sea and a cruise along the coastline makes
for an incredible family voyage. MSC’s
itineraries beginning in this country combine all
of the usual trademarks of comfortable family
cruising with an added sprinkling of adventure.
Itineraries vary to a maximum of seven
nights. If you choose to begin in Durban, the
weeklong voyages combine urban cityscapes
and unspoiled territory, like Portugese Island in
Mozambique. You also have the option of
shorter itineraries departing from Cape Town.
Aboard the MSC Sinfonia, families can
unwind into the comfortable, cruising lifestyle
with additional extras that will make your trip all
the more special. A Virtual Golf Simulator will
ensure your most picturesque swing to date
and a video games room and teen area cater
for young passengers while mum and dad take
a well deserved day (or longer) off.
WHO: Le Boat
VIBE: Gaelic fantasy
Enter tartan territory on one of Le Boat’s
bareboat tours of Scotland, an entirely
independent itinerary offering you total control
and the unrivalled experience of captaining
your own boat through the Caledonian Canal.
Far from a daunting task, Le Boat’s cruises
through Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany,
Holland, Poland and Belgium are designed for
even the most inexperienced sailors, with a
pre-departure briefing and demonstration
equipping you with all you need to know.
Those that are familiar with the bareboat
lifestyle insist that it is the most relaxing way to
cruise. Kids scramble over their floating palace
and perfect the art of tying a knot, all against
the backdrop of the Scottish Highlands.
The ultimate destination for active families,
children will relish exploring the rugged valleys
of Great Glen, stumbling upon hilltop castles
and monitoring the surface of Loch Ness on Le
Boat’s Great Highland Fling Cruise.
WHO: Royal Carribean
VIBE: Colourful and fun
If there’s one continent on everyone’s lips it’s
South America, and as the world scrambles to
explore it, family-friendly ways of doing so are
rapidly increasing. Its tropical beaches and
dense forests make for spectacular natural
discovery, but it’s the lively and unique culture
of the cities and towns that make this collection
of countries so enchanting. Royal Caribbean
offers families the ideal introduction on
itineraries that range from three to 14 nights,
departing Brazil, Chile or Argentina on board
the action-packed Rhapsody of the Seas.
Children will be pleased to know their
favourite cruising attractions are near, including
rock-climbing and swimming pools aplenty,
ensuring at sea days are far from lacklustre.
When docked, the abundance of shore
excursions promises to satisfy every desire on
your lengthy South America bucket list. Kids
will especially love a visit to Argentina’s Punta
Tombo Penguin Rookery, home to thousands