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The Essence of Small Ship Sailing

By April 12, 2022April 20th, 2022No Comments

Ocean yacht sailings, paddle wheel river cruises and cutting edge expedition voyages- awaken the inner sailor and top our list of experiences.  To get the full essence of small ship sailing, it’s important to understand the latest and greatest.  

Cruising has come a long way, no longer are mega cruise ships your only option. Small ships are large enough to pamper and entertain you, yet small enough to tuck into delightful tiny harbors and hidden coves that others can’t reach.  

One of our favorite small ships, the Wind Spirit (pictured) is a sleek, 4-masted sailing yacht accommodating 148 guests. With four decks and a gross tonnage of 5,736, Wind Spirit feels like your own private yacht.

The Wind Spirit is known for its beauty and versatility, with wide open teak decks—quite unusual for smaller ships. All staterooms have an ocean view and like most small ships, two primary dining venues. On the Wind Spirit, the Amphora restaurant serves gourmet, course-by-course cuisine in the evenings and the Veranda restaurant offers casual buffet and full-service dining for breakfast and lunch. Typical amenities include: Spa Services, Watersports Platform, Lounge, Library, Pool, and Hot Tub.


American Queen Voyages River is led by namesake U.S.-flagged American Queen®, the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world. Longer than a football field, towering six decks in height and laced with fanciful gingerbread trim, she is a marvel of modern engineering.

Her journeys through the heartland offer a unique perspective on America’s history, culture and landscape with convenient departures from America’s river port cities, including Memphis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Minneapolis.

Mississippi River Cruises

Other small ship favorites are the traditional river and lake cruises, with paddle wheel riverboats along the Mississippi, Great Lakes and Mexico toping our list. If Alaska tempts you, ask about our expedition style itineraries offering unique ports of call and rare wildlife.

Custom Sailings


Santa Barbara travel advisors will help you choose the type of ship to fit your style, then pair an award winning river, lake or ocean itinerary.  Add on exciting shore excursions and/or land tours or just soak up the on board five star service.  Small ship fleets and destinations continue to grow as demand increases, with many new ports of call added across the globe in 2022. 



Private Event


Need more small ship details and itineraries?  Visit Santa Barbara Travel Bureau’s downtown office between 5-7 on April 14th for a special event featuring small ship sailings and discounts.

Stop by….

Montecito and State Street Offices

Both Santa Barbara Travel Bureau Montecito and State Street offices are open and fully staffed with experienced travel professionals. We love to see our clients! Stop by anytime on weekdays from 8-5 to discuss all things travel.  Or make an appointment with a travel advisor for in-depth vacation planning.

Curious about the latest travel trends and what our clients are saying about their recent trips? Swing by the Santa Barbara Travel Bureau, your locally owned and operated travel agency for over 75 years. We’ve earned your trust and look forward to ensuring your dream vacation becomes a reality.