When most people think of cruising it's usually the mega-ships that spring to mind, complete with waterparks, cinemas and shopping arcades, sailing the Mediterranean or the Caribbean. But if you prefer a more intimate seafaring experience closer to home there are a number small-ship cruise lines to choose from leaving from UK ports and offering cruises around the British Isles.
While you inevitably forgo facilities, there are numerous benefits with small ship cruises. Firstly, with a couple of hundred, or fewer, passengers onboard as opposed to thousands, it's much easier to get to know your fellow cruisers and there's more of a community feel onboard. Similarly, food quality is often superior as they are catering for so many fewer passengers. Plus, while the megaships are all about flashy facilities, small ships are all about personal service, enrichment lectures and overnight port stops.
So, if you're looking to discover your country without the hassle of flights, then there's sure to be a small ship cruise for you to choose.
Here are some of the best small ship cruises from the UK.