You don’t have to think ‘mega-liners’ when it comes to cruises.

Some people think BIG when it comes to cars, boats etc but if you’ve ever been in a port, be it Barcelona or Istanbul, and been overwhelmed by the size of the monster cruise ships, never fear. If you’d like to take to the seas, there are smaller ship options. We’ve searched the web and chosen the following option, from a BBC list for those who can’t stand crowds.

With mega-ships catering for over 3000 passengers, you may be surprised to learn that a handful of niche cruise lines offer nature and culture tours for groups of between 50 and a few hundred people, in some of the least travelled parts of the world like Antarctica and the Amazon River.

Cruises to Alaska are not new but InnerSea Discoveries launches this month with two small vessels that opt for spending time in the wilderness. Passengers can hike, kayak and fish in secluded and pristine bays and coves in this amazing far flung US state. The cruise line calls its product the ‘un-cruise’ as its vessels carry less than 70 passengers and can go where larger ships can’t.

There’s no fixed schedule and searching for whales, bears and other wildlife is the name of the game. During the weeklong cruise, only one port call is made and this is to a small village where passengers can take native culture tours. Prices start at $1,795 per person in a double cabin.

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