The Variety Cruises passion remains unchanged since 1968: an alchemy that blends enriching oneself educationally and exploring the true identity of a destination while enjoying the comforts and unique benefits of a small ship sailing the seas. Today, Variety Cruises is the number one fleet of small ships hosting no more than 71 guests onboard their diverse boutique floating homes.
Variety can transport you to the destination of your dreams, on one of 8 state-of-the-art SOLAS-certified yachts. A team of local experts and worldwide partners are available to walk you through your next yacht cruise adventure and customize the experience to your personal preference.
For the comfort and pleasure of our guests, our itineraries generally follow warm rather than hot weather patterns. The world's climate being at times unpredictable, our small ships are seldom far from a sheltered bay or port. Our Greece and Turkey cruise programs operate from April to October, however, we also offer an off-season themed cruise program in Greece, the Antiquity to Byzantium, operating in March, April, October, and November. Our cruise programs in West Africa, Cape Verde, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Panama operate from November to April. In Seychelles, we are offering 3-night, 4-night, and 7-night cruise programs all year round.
What amenities will I find in my cabin?
All cabins have private, nicely appointed bathrooms with showers. All cabins are air-conditioned and fitted with central music and with telephone for intra ship communication. All ships have in lounges TVs with satellite channels with at least English speaking channels. There are hairdryers in each cabin. Also, almost all of our ships have TVs or flat-screen TVs, safe boxes, mini-fridges, DVD players in cabins. For more details, please visit the Ships section on our website.
What services are available onboard?
Aboard our small ships, you will find elegant dining rooms, spacious sun decks, and comfortable lounges. No pools are offered as it is common for our guests to swim off our ships or for passengers to reach secluded beaches by tender. Your cruise program is either with breakfast plus lunch or dinner or with all meals. Meals are served at set times and there is flexible seating. Limited laundry service is available at a cost on our small ships. The shore excursions are offered at a supplemental cost. The M/Y Pegasus, the M/Y Harmony V, and the M/Y Variety Voyager offer a small wellness suite with massage and other beauty treatments. Sports activities: Swimming off the ships is possible as well as snorkeling, kayaking, and canoeing. In some destinations, it is possible to organize diving excursions.
What languages are spoken on board?
The language on board is English but German, French, Spanish, or Russian can be spoken by our Cruise Coordinators and Hotel Crew on scheduled cruise sailings. In general, there is a multilingual environment and you will have a chance to mix with a variety of nationalities. Excursions and public announcements are usually in English. English and sometimes German and French are widely spoken on all ports of call visited by our small ships.
What is not included in my cruise cost?
Unless a specific package has been purchased, transfers to and from the vessel, shore excursions, wine, alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, gratuities, laundry service, and items of a personal nature are not included and may be bought en route or are at a supplemental cost. There is a boutique on board some of our vessels. All onboard charges are in Euros. Gratuities are at our guest's discretion. As a recommendation, satisfied customers are expected to leave between Euro 15-18 per person per day on the M/Y Variety Voyager and the M/Y Callisto, or Euro 13-15 per person per day on all other Variety Cruises Vessels. These tips are distributed to all crew members. Guests have the choice to adjust the number of gratuities reflecting the level of satisfaction
What should I pack?
Please travel as lightly as possible so as not to restrict space in your cabin. Soft bags are more practical than hard suitcases. Sports or casual clothes are more useful. Plenty of swimwear is required and a pullover or cardigan is recommended for cool evenings. Comfortable walking shoes are suggested when ashore.
What travel documents are required?
Participants must be in possession of a valid passport (expiring not earlier than one month after the cruise ends) and should obtain visas and health certificates where required. All requirements should be confirmed with the appropriate government consulate or information office prior to departure.
What is the electric current provided on your ships?
Our ship generators provide an electric current of 220v. Cabins are equipped with European-type plugs so please remember to bring an adaptor if necessary.
Should I mention any special dietary requirements?
Every attempt to meet special dietary requirements should be made provided it is requested in writing at least 4 weeks prior to sailing.
What should I know about safety at sea?
An emergency drill is conducted by our crew before the ship sails and is to be attended by all passengers. The drill will provide passengers information about the alarm system, the master station position, life jackets use, and other emergency procedures.
Where can I keep my valuables while onboard?
Jewelry, money, documents, etc., should be placed in your individual safe deposit boxes or given to the captain who will deposit items in the ship’s safe boxes free of charge. The company and its personnel bear no responsibility for valuables kept by passengers.
What is the official currency while onboard?
The EURO is the official currency while on board. There is an optional credit system for expenses on board that may be paid/settled at the end of the cruise. Most major currencies and traveler’s cheques are accepted/exchanged at their official exchange rate. Credit cards are accepted only onboard all Variety Cruises ships.
Is smoking permitted onboard?
Smoking is not permitted to any of our passengers or member of the crew in any indoor part of the ship.
What kind of activities are provided onboard?
There are fins, masks, and snorkels available onboard for use during the swim stops. In some of our programs, such as in Costa Rica and Panama or in Seychelles you will also find kayaks. You can also find a small borrowing library as well as board games and playing cards for your amusement. Movies are often shown in the vessels’ Lounges, so please check in the Daily Program for showtimes.
Are there any excursions offered?
Shore excursions are not included in the cruise fares and are available according to the cruise schedule/ports of call visited. Details are available in your cabin and provided also on a daily basis by the onboard Cruise Coordinator. Shore excursions are subject to shore and weather conditions and are based on minimum participation.
What is the Variety Cruises concept?
The Variety Cruises concept is unique for offering a small ship experience in the pampering environment of our premium motor sailers and mega yachts. For years, we have been striving to make our guests feel as if they were spending their precious vacation days on a friend’s private yacht. As you are about to experience, this is not a typical cruise. We assure you that everything under our control has been done to secure a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable time onboard. We have combined the cruise experience with ample leisure time in each port, including overnights, so our guests are encouraged to explore the culinary traditions, culture and to get involved with the local culture and the local people. Furthermore, due to their size, our small ships will reach the heart of the destination, where big cruise ships can not. The best of the ports of call on your itinerary has been carefully selected by our team of experts crafting itineraries for over half a century to ensure you see the best of world-known destinations as well as off-the-beaten-track locales, and experience local customs as travelers, not tourists.
When do I embark/disembark?
Passengers are requested to be on board 2 hours prior to departure. Disembarkation is after breakfast at approximately 9 am. Please also note that sailing times are listed in the Daily Program and you must comply with the specified “ALL ABOARD” time, also posted on the Notice Board. If you are not onboard by the set time, it will be your own responsibility if you miss the ship. The “all aboard” time is 15 minutes prior to the vessel’s departure time.
Are children welcome onboard Variety Cruises ships?
Aboard the Variety Cruises ships there are no recreational facilities for children and reservations for those under the age of eleven are not advised. Taking that into consideration please note that children onboard are their parents' sole responsibility.
Is there medical care on board?
There are no doctors on board any Variety Cruises ships. In case of an emergency, some members of the crew are trained to offer first aid. Medical care is available on all ports of call visited, which are always very close. In case of discomfort, please contact immediately a crew member
Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.