M/Y Variety Voyager
The sleek 72-passenger Variety Voyager is a mega yacht with just 36 cabins and a plush yet understated design. In the cabins you'll find plenty of wood and marble and the lounge is also modern and elegant, with chic sofas that feel just right during cocktail parties. The single dining room is surrounded by so many windows, you almost feel like you're outdoors.
What We Love
The Water Sports Deck: It's possible to swim right from the ship or launch a kayak here, and there's enough snorkeling equipment for every passenger to put on fins and masks at the same time.
There are No Inside Cabins: All cabins are all outside-facing, with views through portholes or picture windows, depending on class.
Menus Are Local: Meals make use of regional ingredients, including tropical fruit, and menus include specialties from destinations on the itinerary.
Best Known For
Small Ship, Big Perks: Variety Voyager can dock in ports other ships are too large to reach and even travel up rivers, giving you the advantages of an expedition vessel but with a higher level of luxury. There's even a small spa on board.
The Greek Crew: The Greek officers and crew are warm and welcoming — whether they're mingling at a cocktail party or offering passengers an up-close view of how they navigate through the Panama Canal.
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Who It's Best For
Those Who Hate Crowds: If you think you wouldn't like cruising, this ship could change your mind. There are just 72 passengers, so you're a person, not a cabin number. You'll also find no lines and a refreshing lack of regimentation.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Tenders Are Inflatable Rafts: On some shore excursions, you'll be transported on a Zodiac-style motorized raft. They require a bit of agility to board — and the ride will definitely ruin your hairdo.
You'll Need to Be a Stair Master: There are no elevators on board, so you'll be climbing between decks.
Gayle Keck is a San Francisco-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.