What is a Pocket Cruise Ship?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Traditional cruise ships carry thousands of passengers at once.
Traditional cruise ships carry thousands of passengers at once.

As an alternative to full sized cruise ships, the pocket cruise ship offers many of the same amenities but is often carries significantly fewer passengers, making for a more intimate cruise experience. Generally with enough cabins to accommodate a couple hundred passengers comfortably, there are pocket cruise ships in service today that will provide accommodations for up to five hundred people.

Buffet-style meals are typically served on cruise ships.
Buffet-style meals are typically served on cruise ships.

The idea of a pocket cruise ship has been around for several decades. During the decade of the 1960s, cruise lines began to look at the option of operating smaller cruise ships that would offer cruise packages that ran for a few days and called at a series of ports that were relatively close to one another. The idea was to maintain the same level of amenities found with the traditional size of cruise ships, but offer them in a setting that was considered more intimate. As an added attraction, a pocket cruise ship would be ideal for shorter cruises, which made it possible for people who could not take time for longer cruises to enjoy a weekend on the water and still be back in time for work on Monday morning.

Most cruises have a full bar for passengers to enjoy.
Most cruises have a full bar for passengers to enjoy.

Many of the pocket cruise ships in operation today began life as larger ships that have been retrofitted to include larger and more luxurious cabins, expanded entertainment areas, steam rooms, pools, and fitness centers. As the popularity of the pocket cruise increased, more pocket cruise ships were designed and built to specifications that allow them to call at ports where larger cruise ships cannot. This has allowed pocket cruises to include stops that are different from other cruises, adding still another unique touch to the experience.

Though smaller, pocket cruise ships may still offer fine dining for passengers.
Though smaller, pocket cruise ships may still offer fine dining for passengers.

Many cruise lines run packages using a pocket cruise ship from the early spring into late autumn. Providing a simple getaway while still offering fine dining, plenty of sunshine, evening entertainment and calls at a series of closely located ports, the pocket cruise ship is often the ideal solution when the need to relax is strong, but time is limited.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

anon96692

Many years ago (1980) my wife and I went on the Stella Oceanis (Sun Line)on an Agean and Black Sea trip. 225 passengers and 150 crew. A great trip. We went to Athens, Mykonos, Patmos, Dikili and Pergsmun in Turkey, Odessa, Constanta and Bucharest in Romania and Istanbul. Wonderful food, great service and good entertainment.

anon96685

Well, pocket cruise tours aren't exactly small nor intimate. Two to five hundred people are too many for me. I can imagine what the real cruise ships carry around 5,000? Interesting, anyway.

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    • Traditional cruise ships carry thousands of passengers at once.
      Traditional cruise ships carry thousands of passengers at once.
    • Buffet-style meals are typically served on cruise ships.
      Buffet-style meals are typically served on cruise ships.
    • Most cruises have a full bar for passengers to enjoy.
      Most cruises have a full bar for passengers to enjoy.
    • Though smaller, pocket cruise ships may still offer fine dining for passengers.
      Though smaller, pocket cruise ships may still offer fine dining for passengers.