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Top 10: Most Popular Small Ship Adventures for Solo Women

Posted on 3/16/2021 12:00:00 AM in The Buzz

The red sandstone monuments of Petra, Jordan, are among the many iconic Middle Eastern locales featured on our #1 Small Ship Adventure.

Our fleet of small ships are ideal for the spirited adventurer, often docking right in the heart of the cities we visit—and even accessing off-the-beaten-path ports. As a result, you and your small group of 20-25 (average of 22) spend less time transferring to and from your destination, and more time immersing yourself in local customs. On land, each small group will explore in the company of a dedicated local Trip Experience Leader. These are our most popular Small Ship Adventures for solo women travelers in 2022.

Wherever you choose to travel, you can reserve with confidence with our Risk-Free Booking Policy: For any reservation made by 12/31/21, you can transfer to another departure date for any reason—up until 24 hours prior to your original departure—and we will waive any change fees for 2021 and 2022 reservations.

1. Suez Canal Crossing: Israel, Egypt, Jordan & the Red Sea —18-day O.A.T. Small Ship Adventure
6 nights aboard the privately-owned 89-passenger M/V Clio

Our most popular independent film: Israel and the Palestinian Territories


Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Palestinian Discovery: Ramallah, Jericho & Bethlehem—5 nights; Post-trip: Holy Jerusalem & the Ancient Ruins of Masada—4 nights

Journey to lands traversed by prophets, pilgrims, and pharaohs since the dawn of civilization—and discover the rich cultural, religious, and historic tapestries that await. At the heart of your adventure is a six-night cruise aboard the 89-passenger M/V Clio. Enjoy a family-like atmosphere onboard in which each crew member knows your name—and cruise in comfort from the crystalline Mediterranean, to the storied Suez Canal and the Red Sea. In a small group of 20-25 travelers (with an average of 22), led by three Trip Experience Leaders (one in Israel, one in Egypt, and one in Jordan), you’ll unravel a complex web of faiths during visits to icons like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Mount of Olives … uncover the mysteries of Egypt’s Pyramids and the inscrutable Sphinx … and witness relics of an ancient civilization as you hike through the awe-inspiring city of Petra, carved into rose-colored cliff sides. From witnessing Luxor's towering Karnak Temple to floating in the Dead Sea, you'll experience some of the greatest natural and man-made marvels this region has to offer.

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2. Ancient Egypt & the Nile River —16-day O.A.T. Small Ship Adventure
7 nights aboard the privately-chartered 75-passenger Nefertiti

Our most popular independent film: Israel: Songs from the Holy Land


Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Israel & Jordan: Jerusalem, Masada & the Dead Sea, Petra & Amman—8 nights; Pre-trip: New for 2022: Palestinian Discovery: Ramallah, Jericho & Bethlehem—5 nights; Post-trip: Alexandria: History & Romance—4 nights; Post-trip: New for 2022: Highlights of Turkey: Istanbul, Izmir, Pergamum & Ephesus—7 nights

When you journey to Egypt and ply the legendary waters of the Nile, you’ll experience a land of superlatives. In Giza, stand in the 4,500-year-old shadow of the only Wonder of the Ancient World that still remains. A stone's throw away, in the necropolis of Sakkara, witness the oldest pyramid on Earth stair-stepping up from the sand as a testament to the ingenuity of the 27th century BC. In Luxor, "the world's largest open-air museum," amble among the 200 acres of Karnak Temple, the largest temple complex outside of Asia. There, and on the opposite bank of the Nile, marvel at the grand monuments immortalizing Queen Hatshepsut—Egypt's longest-serving female ruler. At the heart of this Small Ship Adventure is a seven-night cruise along the mighty Nile. With three small groups of 20-25 travelers (average of 22), you'll set sail aboard the recently refurbished, 75-passenger Nefertiti to witness Egypt's wonders just as Agatha Christie and Antony and Cleopatra did.

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3. Grand Baltic Sea Voyage —14-day O.A.T. Small Ship Adventure
10 nights aboard the privately-owned 89-passenger M/V Clio or 98-passenger M/V Corinthian

Our most popular independent film: Rudy Maxa’s World: St. Petersburg, Russia


Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Copenhagen, Denmark—3 nights; Post-trip: Stockholm, Sweden—3 nights

Explore seven countries and immerse yourself in the distinct and unique cultures of each region, with a Trip Experience Leader and local guides fostering authentic experiences along the way. Because of our ship's small size, you'll not only be able to witness the Baltics' iconic highlights—like lavish St. Petersburg and bustling Stockholm—but also delve into the region's more remote gems—like colorful Visby and historic Riga, small ports only accessible by small ship. Plus, throughout your journey, gain an intimate perspective on this multifaceted region from the people who live and work here—from spending A Day in the Life on the quaint island of Bornholm, to speaking with local experts about Controversial Topics, like Latvia's recovery from Soviet occupation and freedom of speech in Russia.

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4. Iberian Voyage: Lisbon to Barcelona —15-day O.A.T. Small Ship Adventure
10 nights aboard the privately-owned 89-passenger M/V Clio or 98-passenger M/V Corinthian

Our most popular independent film: Metropolis: Barcelona


Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Portugal: Lisbon, Sintra Palace & Seaside Cascais—3 nights; Post-trip: Barcelona, Spain—3 nights

Ply the waters of the Atlantic Ocean as your ship navigates Iberia's welcoming coast. This trip is book-ended by stays in two iconic cities: Barcelona, where you'll soak in the surreal skyline and the city's lively ambiance while making cultural connections with friendly residents, and Lisbon, including its colorful medieval neighborhoods. Along the way, you'll also uncover relics of the region's eclectic cultural heritage in Cartagena ... enjoy a taste of North African tradition in Tangier ... behold the legendary Rock of Gibraltar, and savor a traditional meal with a local family. Thanks to the small group size—just 20-25 travelers, with an average of 22—expert Trip Experience Leaders can bring you behind the scenes and off the beaten path to have intimate experiences with local people, including a Home-Hosted Lunch with a family in Casabermeja, speaking with the owners of an olive oil farm near Seville, and more.

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5. The Wilderness Beyond: Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & the Chilean Fjords —15-day O.A.T. Small Ship Adventure
15 nights aboard the shared charter 210-passenger M/V Ventus Australis or M/V Stella Australis

Our most popular traveler-generated video: The Wilderness Beyond 2015 by Todd Werkmeister, 8-time traveler from Toms River, New Jersey


Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Santiago & Easter Island’s Sacred Sites—6 nights; Pre-trip: New for 2022: Uruguay: Colonial Charms, Gaucho Culture & Ferry Across the Rio de la Plata—5 nights; Post-trip: Iguassu Falls: Thundering Cascades of Argentina & Brazil—4 nights; Post-trip: New for 2022: Brazil’s Atlantic Coast: Exuberant Rio de Janeiro & Colonial Salvador de Bahia—6 nights

Travel through southern Argentina and Chile to explore some of the most dramatic and unspoiled landscapes in Patagonia. On O.A.T.’s southernmost adventure in the Americas, your small group of 20-24 travelers (average of 22) will cruise for four nights aboard an expedition ship through the Chilean fjords and the Strait of Magellan to Tierra del Fuego, the mystical “Land of Fire." And you'll truly soak up the natural splendors of these legendary waters aboard a small Zodiac craft where you'll behold majestic glaciers up close. You'll also discover the fabled Cape Horn, where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet, as you follow in the wake of Ferdinand Magellan and Sir Francis Drake on this spellbinding journey.

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6. Fjord Cruise & Lapland: Norway, Finland & the Arctic Circle —18-day O.A.T. Small Ship Adventure
6 nights aboard a 400- to 1000-passenger Hurtigruten or Havila Norwegian coastal voyage ship

Our most popular independent film: Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa: Oslo and Norway


Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Copenhagen, Denmark & Overnight Ferry to Oslo—4 nights; Post-trip: Stockholm, Sweden—3 nights

Set a course for the Arctic Circle as you traverse a pristine land of steep, rugged mountains, narrow ocean inlets, and vivid blue fjords on an adventure 82% of our travelers rated excellent. Following in the wake of the Vikings who settled this northern wilderness, you and your small group of 20-25 travelers (average of 22) will board an authentic 400- to 1000-passenger Norwegian coastal voyage ship. An active part of Norway’s maritime heritage, these ships regularly sail into local harbors to deliver supplies and travelers to hard-to-reach towns. Cruise along Norway’s coast near the top of the world—crossing the Arctic Circle—and step ashore to discover small, colorful cities and quiet fishing villages. Throughout your journey, interact with the people who call this region home—from local fishermen who will introduce you to the importance of fish farming in the region, to the owners of a community-run restaurant in Bergen.

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7. New! Arctic Expedition: Untamed Norway & Svalbard —15-day O.A.T. Small Ship Adventure
9 nights aboard the privately-chartered 175-passenger M/V Ocean Diamond

Our most popular independent film: Svalbard: A Journey to the Top of the Earth


Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Reykjavik & Vik: Waterfalls, Glaciers & Geysers—6 nights; Post-trip: Copenhagen: Denmark’s Hub of Contemporary Culture—4 nights

Stately walruses gazing at you from behind massive tusks … tranquil herds of reindeer grazing in the tundra … polar bears lumbering about on the coastlines—these are the sights that you may come across at the top of the world. The Arctic was once a place that only the bravest explorers competed to see. Today, you can be one of the lucky few to cross the elusive Arctic Circle when you set sail aboard the 175-passenger M/V Ocean Diamond and journey north into the frozen wilderness. Your adventure starts in Oslo, Norway, where nature and art are higher laws. You’ll enjoy the contrast of an energetic city set against the backdrop of mountain ranges and the North Sea. Then, fly to Longyearbyen in the Svalbard archipelago, where you’ll board your ship. Our privately chartered small ship is purpose-built for accomplishing what history’s intrepid voyagers only dreamed of—exploring the Svalbard archipelago.

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8. Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast & Greece —16-day O.A.T. Small Ship Adventure
11 nights aboard the privately-owned 50-passenger M/V Athena

Our most popular independent film: Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa: Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast


Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Alpine Wonders of Slovenia: Lake Bled & Ljubljana—3 nights; Post-trip: Athens & the Peloponnese: From Homer to the First Olympics—5 nights

During this comprehensive adventure, visit destinations that have enchanted travelers for more than a millennium. You’ll not only discover the Dalmatian Coast's iconic cities, but also travel off the beaten path to smaller ports, like Hvar, aboard our privately owned, 50-passenger small ship—expressly designed and constructed for just two small groups of 20-25 travelers each (with an average of 22). Accompanied by a local Trip Experience Leader, you’ll walk in an emperor’s footsteps in Split. Journey to the island that gave Marco Polo his wanderlust. And soak up the medieval beauty of Dubrovnik. Your ship also pulls into port in the amazingly well-preserved medieval city of Kotor, Montenegro, and in Albania, where you’ll learn about that country’s communist past and visit the ancient ruins of Butrint. And, call on gems of ancient Greece—from Corfu to Delphi, and Athens.

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9. The Aegean Islands, Athens & Istanbul —16-day O.A.T. Small Ship Adventure
7 nights aboard the privately-owned 50-passenger M/V Athena or M/V Arethusa

Our most popular independent film: Santorini: Flavors of a Volcano


Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Athens & the Peloponnese: From Homer to the First Olympics—5 nights; Pre-trip: New for 2022: Crete: Isle of Myth & Beauty—7 nights; Post-trip: Cappadocia’s Unique Landscapes & Vibrant Ankara—5 nights; Post-trip: New for 2022: Istanbul & Edirne: Tracing Turkey’s Ottoman Legacy—6 nights

In Greece, the cradle of Western civilization beckons to you with its proud monuments, sun-drenched isles, and friendly people. Journey to Greece on this Small Ship Adventure, and discover the enduring treasures of antiquity, from the Parthenon in Athens to the Temple of Apollo and the monasteries of Meteora. Then enjoy a Greek island cruise aboard O.A.T.'s private small ship and explore millennia-old settlements layered deeply in myth and history. Visit Delos, birthplace of Apollo … breathtaking Santorini … bustling Patmos … lively Mykonos … and Kusadasi, gateway to ancient Ephesus. Plus, spend two nights in Istanbul, Turkey’s cosmopolitan capital, where East meets West and ancient culture enlivens modern life.

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10. Machu Picchu & the Galápagos —17-day O.A.T. Small Ship Adventure
3 or 4 nights aboard a privately-chartered 16-passenger Galápagos small ship

Our most popular independent film: Peru: Cuzco & Machu Picchu


Optional extensions: Pre-trip: The Peruvian Amazon: Treks, Cruises & Indigenous Communities—6 nights; Pre-trip: Landscapes of Bolivia: La Paz, Lake Titicaca & the Uyuni Salt Flats—8 nights; Post-trip: Colombia Reborn: Cultural Gems of Bogota & Medellin—6 nights

Travel to Machu Picchu and the Galápagos Islands with O.A.T. to discover two of Latin America’s most fascinating destinations. You’ll benefit from the guidance of two local Trip Experience Leaders, one Peruvian and one Ecuadorian Galápagos Naturalist, who will point out hidden gems along the way. First, follow in the footsteps of the ancients as you walk among the impressive ruins of the “Lost City of the Incas” and experience Peruvian culture in the Andean landscape of the Sacred Valley. We stay here overnight so you can fully explore the enigmatic ruins, arriving early in the morning before the larger crowds and staying late after other travelers have cleared out⁠—an exclusive opportunity that few companies offer. Then continue to Ecuador's Galápagos Islands, where you may swim in unspoiled waters with rollicking sea lions as your playmates. You'll also find a living laboratory of Darwin’s theory of evolution in these "Enchanted Isles."

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