Small-ship cruising on a sail boat can take you to some of the world's most interesting and less-trafficked ports.  Check out some of these top sailing cruises from the National Geographic book Journeys of a Lifetime.

1. Junk Cruise, Andaman Sea, Thailand


(Discovery Thailand)

Rare seabirds, romantic beaches, and famous limestone stalactites are just some of the attractions of the Andaman Sea marine park and its 3,500 islands, which you can enjoy on a six-day cruise between Krabi and Phuket. This is not a luxury trip; you will have to share showers and toilets.

2. Nova Scotia and Labrador Tall Ships, Canada


(Sailing Ship Adventures)

On voyages lasting up to a week, the exhilaration of the wind through the ship’s sails will put you in touch with eastern Canada’s seafaring heritage. On some ships you can sign on as a trainee crew member. Along the way, the ships dock in secluded harbors where you can kayak, pick wild blueberries, or hike.

3. San Juan Islands, Washington


(Puget Sound Express)

Skip from island to island in the San Juan Archipelago off the coast of Washington State. Classic wooden vessels offer breathtaking views of unspoiled wilderness and gourmet meals that reflect the flavors of the Pacific Northwest. During the day, you can explore the protected waters surrounding the islands on guided kayak tours.

4. Pirate Cruise, Grand Cayman Island


(Pirates of the Caymans)

This Caribbean cruise, for children young and old, takes place in a replica 17th-century Spanish galleon—complete with firing cannons, planks to walk, and sword-fighting.

5. Star Clipper to French Polynesia


(Cruise Critic)

Many people daydream about sailing between paradise islands. This trip, leaving from Tahiti, takes seven days and visits Huahine, Bora-Bora, Moorea, and other Polynesian islands. The boats have all the advantages of a modern cruise liner, combined with the heritage of a sailing ship.

Check out more cruises.


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