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Carrying just a 100 or so passengers, cruising on a small ship such as the MS Island Sky is an entirely different experience to the larger, resort style ships. Travelguru John Carter highlights the unique features and pleasures of this style of cruising.

Small ship cruising is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding forms of cruising – an effortless way to visit numerous and fascinating destinations in one holiday. With a year round global cruising calendar, opportunities for adventures in unfamiliar territory await…

Formerly known as Renaissance VIII, MS Island Sky is a deluxe vessel and ranks among the finest small ships in the world. Throughout the year there is a wide variety of itineraries on offer from cruising around the British Isles, voyages in the Med and Baltic and more exotic journeys to India, Africa and the islands of the Indian Ocean.

In most cases, Island Sky will go alongside in port but in more remote areas or places with restricted access, the vessel’s tender is used. During the winter months when the vessel is operating expedition cruises or in areas such as the British Isles, Zodiacs are used. These are inflatable craft with exceptional manoeuvrability allowing access to otherwise impossible landing places. A full safety briefing regarding the use of Zodiacs is given on board.

The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of the Cruise Director and staff who coordinate with the Captain and officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks are provided throughout each voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities.

Dress on board is casual and relaxed. There are no ‘black tie’ evenings although there will be an evening or two when a jacket and tie are requested. There is no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. The atmosphere on board is more like a private yacht or country hotel.

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