This year, the Columbia River sold out faster than ever before. Despite having the most departure dates because of its long season, three paddlewheels sold the majority of their cabins so quickly, we had to turn away clients who called, encouraging them to plan ahead and book a year in advance. The Hudson River Fall Foliage cruises are also so popular, they sell out quickly every year. Small ships are gaining in popularity worldwide as more people learn about these fantastic vacation opportunities, but the number of available cabins remains the same. Even with new ships being added every year, that’s only 100-200 more passengers. More people means the ships fill up faster. Booking ahead has never been more essential!

Limited Quantity

What’s the most obvious difference between big and small ships? Ship size limits number of passengers. Aboard a big ship, you could fit as many as 5000 or more! There’s plenty of room to accommodate so many people from all over the world. But on a small ship, limited to less than 500 passengers, it is an exclusive experience. Take the below example comparing two Alaskan cruise ships:

blog alaska side by side comparison royal princess american constellation

Next year, as many as 67,640 people can cruise the Royal Princess on its Alaskan departures. But aboard the American Constellation, only 1,925 people in the world will be lucky enough to book a cabin! Fewer people get the opportunity to cruise Alaska aboard the American Constellation in a year than the Royal Princess in one departure. This is one reason our cruise experts always encourage our clients to book early. It’s easy to find a room when the ship holds 3000+. The smaller ships fill up so quickly, it’s much harder to get the departure date and cabin category you want if you wait too late to book.

Let’s look at a New England cruise. Cruising from New England thru the Canadian Maritimes is a popular cruise destination every year, especially in the fall. But the number of cruise departures is limited by season. The Carnival Sunrise only has 3 departures scheduled for 2019, and yet that’ll still accommodate over 9000 passengers! Victory I will only accommodate 800 passengers in the same region next year.


Even if we added in more ships, the number of New England cruise cabins is still limited. Even if we added in the 20 departures of American Cruise Lines’ two ships that do New England Islands, that’s only 2000 people. Plus Blount Cruise Lines’ 6 departures equal 528 passengers. So of 3 small ship cruise lines that we represent that cruise New England, only 3,336 passengers can be accommodated. That’s less than 40% of the 3 departures of Carnival Sunrise. Small ship cruises are a rare and exclusive opportunity. From the luxury experience of the Victory I to the engaging opportunities with American Cruise Lines and the personal experience of Blount, these options are so limited in availability, booking your cabin is special occasion.

Book Early

We can’t say it enough – book early! We have clients worldwide booking cruises on America’s most beautiful rivers and waterways.¬†With such limited space available, it has never been more important than now to plan your cruise vacations ahead. Cruise lines have already started booking for 2019, and a few are open to 2020 as well. Our cruise experts can help you plan for the future. By booking now, you ensure that your vacation is on the ship you want, the departure date you want, and the cabin category you want.


Give our cruise experts a call to plan your 2019 or 2020 vacations: (800) 578-1479.