The best alternative cruises for travel snobs

Cruises haven’t always enjoyed the best of reputations and they’re definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. Consider yourself more of a discerning traveller? From nude cruises to 19th century style tea clippers here are some of the best alternative cruises that would catch the eye of even the most die hard travel snobs…

Star Clippers

Star Clippers

With a fleet made up of three strikingly tall elegant sailing ships, Star Clippers offers a very different type of cruise experience. The four and five-masted traditional sailing boats evoke a nostalgia for the days when these kinds of vessels ruled the oceans. The Royal Clipper (the biggest of the three) is the largest ship of her kind since the mighty ‘Preussen’ and all three ships still come with the comfort and luxury found on most modern cruises. Destinations include beautiful spots from the Caribbean to the Panama Canal and the Mediterranean to Cuba.

Delta Queen Steamboat Company

Delta Queen

This is a chance to take a cruise on a traditional steamboat on the most famous rivers in America’s Deep South. The American Queen steamboat sets sail with up to up to 436 passengers on Upper & Lower Mississippi, and the Ohio & Tennessee Rivers. Heralding the American Victorian era, the boat has big red paddlewheel, white filigree and two fancy chimneys and is probably the largest steamboat ever built. Due to the bankruptcy, the American Queen went out of service in 2001 but fortunately, it was bought by Delaware North Companies, Inc. and went back in service in January 2003.

Bare Necessities

Nude Cruises

Definitely the most alternative option on the list, Bare Necessities Travel has been chartering cruise expeditions since 1990 all sans clothes. Three times a year they charter an entire ship for sailing nudists happy to sunbathe on the deck in the buff. Activities such as yoga classes, scuba diving and snorkelling are all activities available without clothes but clothing is required in the dining room, for hygiene reasons obviously.

Norway Fjords

Most beautiful places to visit in Norway

Norway is fast becoming most famous for its fjords, and the world heritage site is appearing on many discerning traveller’s bucket list and with good reason – they are one of the most naturally beautiful and dramatic landscapes in Europe. The tranquil glacial valleys are surrounded by high mountains and waterfalls that give the area an other-worldly beauty and arguably Norway is best seen from the water. Its spectacular scenery and long coastline and the range of cruise options available make this a popular cruise destination with the top beauty spots being Geirangerfjord, Hardangerfjord, and Sognefjord. Fred Olsen Cruises offer a “Fjords, Mountains and Glaciers cruise” covering the best of what Norway has to offer.

Amazon Voyage

Amazon, Brazil - beautiful places to visit in South America

With over 600 miles of river and heaps of rare wildlife to spot, this is one cruise that would be on every thinking traveller’s bucket list. Book yourself a 10-day cruise and sail deep into the rainforest on one of the most famous rivers the world. Daily excursions include pre-dawn bird watching, visiting local villages and even dabbling in a spot of piranha fishing if you’re brave enough. Expect to see wildlife including monkeys, birds, sloths and other mammals and pink dolphins.

The North Pole Expedition

North Pole Cruise

Definitely one for the adventurous traveller and if you don’t plan for this trip now you could lose out on in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Apparently 2015 was the last chance to make this a voyage on the “50 Years of Victory” the only ship able to reach the North Pole – this region is one of the most remote and extreme on the globe but sadly it is disappearing. After a flight from Helsinki to Murmansk the ship sails through packed ice to explore the rarely visited region at the top of the world. Once there take a hot air balloon ride or take a dip in the icy waters. On your journey backdrop by the group of islands which form the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia and keep a look call in out for Polar bears, walrus and Ivory gulls.


With itchy feet, an inquisitive nature and an ardent wanderlust, Emma Clair has always been a traveller at heart. Hailing from the Emerald Isle she calls a tiny coastal town near Dublin home, but has lived in a few countries including Saigon, Vietnam where she resided for over a year. She counts supping on Bloody Marys on a rooftop in Manhattan, downing Singapore slings at the Raffles Hotel, daring a paraglide on the Grand Cayman, spending an exotic Christmas in Malaysia and exploring the Angkor Wat Tomb Raider-style as her all time favourite travel moments. Although, she’ll always have a special place in her heart for the city where she makes her annual pilgrimages – Paris, her true city of lights.


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