Traditional preparation VS custom cruise creation.

What travelers usually check and prepare, when they are taking a readymade tour?


Some of the most common considerations when preparing for a vacation are:

  • Get the right documents,
  • What to pack?
  • What rules and cultural codes are in the country?
  • How much everything will cost?

When planning the course of the trip we typically check things like:

  • How to get to places?
  • What to see at destination?
  • Whom to travel with?

 

What is added when you can create a custom cruise?
Once given the opportunity to draw everything from ground zero, each aspect of your travel, few things appear. In addition to points from above and similar ones, you start to choose points of your route and what will you do there at those locations. Yes, there are package tours, so that you don't have to do all that, yet custom trip builders have their perks. One of them is getting to hidden gems. Sometimes certain tour guides from travelers' clubs can get you there. However, the hunt for the unexplored happens via private or solo travelers. Many of them are influencers or bloggers. Anyways, planning to go to off the beaten track is a growing trend, and filling in your schedule with gems is a good preparation technique. Especially, since you may not get the best connection or masses of people nearby to ask questions.
Boutique ships VS cruise liners
Small ships or tall ships are not about destinations or itineraries. The service on boutique ships is structured in a similar way, but it is more tailored, more relaxed, the vibe is different. If you want dynamic vacation with many people onboard and more options, then, perhaps, larger ships is your cup of tea. It is up to you. You decide if you want calmer trip with more space when walking around the ship or travel in more vibrant atmosphere. On one hand, on liners you have way more options what to do onboard, on the other hand major cruise lines leave less time for things to do on the island and cannot get you up close to remote beaches and grottos. It is all not just about hiding, being introverted, etc. Everybody is free to choose their type of travel that is more attractive and comfortable for them.
Cruise templates
Package deals and package tours will always be there, but why not take a core of some ready plan and adjust it to your liking. It is often hard to find a plan that will perfectly fit everybody, or a big group of people, or individuals. Oftentimes ready tours get close to needs and wants, but they try to stay flexible. In the world of customization, tools and the Internet of Things, and pop-up recommendations getting exactly the trip you want is not surprising, nothing negative, not something out of this world.
Yes, charter bookings is a thing. Despite the fact that charter customization is about getting everything predetermined, allowing the client to choose all parameters, without communications, without calls and emails, does not deteriorate independent trip planning as a phenomenon.

Apart from just great routes, EmbarQ gives templates for golf tours, wineries' tours, yoga, beaches, gastronomy tours, diving, ancient sites tours, caves, hiking, and so on and so on.
Readymade scheduled cruises
Travel planning is all about options, and so are we. If somebody wants just to take a fully ready deal, we want to provide that too. Nevertheless, we are a planner at the core, thus we invited on a number of communities, clubs and other partners.
Destinations
Right now, we filled up 22 countries with ports of call that proved to be convenient for boutique ships and luxury yachts. 240+ destinations and 1140+ activities. We plan to cover each interesting part of the Mediterranean and beyond.
Activities
Most of people are aware of the top tourist spots in France, in Italy and in Greece. Croatia got on the radar a lot in the past ten years. Yet each of these and other countries contains many points of interest that only obsessed travelers know about. Moreover, how many people know about any tourist attractions in Albania?
Our main criteria in this part of EmbarQ are diversity and uniqueness.
Filtering activities by hobby tags
Embarq has 73 Port Activity tags at the moment. We try to be somewhat specific and not too broad at the same time by categorizing place attractions as specific hobbies and genres of culture.
Sports and leisure, culture and commerce – the scope should suffice even picky planners. Plus travelers can bookmark each activity and destination, which are saved in the user profile and get back to them later.
Suggesting activities and voting
One of the key goals of EmbarQ as a platform is to encourage travelers to gather into groups by using our tools. And the way for the members of travel groups to have a cruise program that doesn't make them argue each other prior and during the cruise, is to enable voting and open suggestions. The creator of the cruise sees which activities are more popular in the group, be it from our guides or own ideas, and those are kept in the final version, that this leader of the group sends to our support team for moderation. More on that later.
Reviews about points of interest
This is just one example of how rating and reviews can look like, but main idea is that regardless of what you use to plan, read descriptions, or book, nowadays reviews is becoming more and more important. Wherever it is placed on - own system, or Google, or Trustpilot, or Tripadviser, or Viator.
Hidden secret gems at destinations

Although Cyprus is not a huge island, it is its own country, and it is still big enough to ground division into several Destination pages based on the biggest cities and activities nearby them. Nevertheless, the point here is that, while Cyprus is full of interesting spots, some of them are far less known to travelers. Hidden gems are the new thing.
Unique attractions is what media persons are hunting desperately in the age when something relatively unpopular, distant, becomes discovered suddenly, and gets rapid online attention. As a result, the place loses its charm rather quickly.
Another aspect is that some of those spots are highly overrated compared overall to what is out there. That in mind, we tried to include into EmbarQ info base as many overlooked locations as possible, and continue on that.
Diversity of themes of activities
Some travelers may be into the so-called "island hopping", which in case of luxury travel obviously does not mean ferries, but rather dense cruises with many destinations within the week. Another part of travelers may want to explore the entire island of Kos (and that is totally worth it in our opinion), for example, and stay on Kos for few days in the middle of their custom cruise.
Keep in mind also such factors like what is located near your port of call. Often those ports would be the island's capital, or the capital of the region or province. In that case, you get a cluster of activities right there. However, this is not always going to be the case.
Convenient ports of call on islands and mainland
There are some occasions when it is best to join smaller ports at different islands. These cases may appear due to several reasons, like timing, points of interest, logistics, navigation, infrastructure, etc.

If your goal is to see more places and higher number of diverse places, then it can make sense to skip some big cities and towns. This is often true about natural sites, and often the opposite about architecture. Mixed statistics are about wine, produce, and culture.
When it comes to building a smooth cruise route, there could be some sacrifices in order to make it less curly, and again denser with experiences. Known calmer parts of the sea are also a factor. Proximity to airports, for instance, is only important at the start and end of the cruise, since the whole cruise generally happens on the ship.

Ionic island of Lefkas or Lefkada in Greece has its namesake capital located in the north of the island. However, in EmbarQ we set the default port of the island to be Vasiliki. The fact that this port is on the south of Lefkas, eases building routes gathering most of Ionic islands.
For most of Greek islands one page was enough as a Destination page, but this was not the case for Crete. We split it into three parts: West, Central and East Crete.
The reasoning was the size and density, like we mentioned earlier. It can take many hours to travel to the opposite side of the island on a passenger ship. That plus reach nature, local towns and resorts make Crete a place worth staying on for many many days.
It is very likely we would split into 2-3 Destination pages the islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. The experience and routing can vary so much, and interesting locations are so numerous, that when we would get deep here in our research, the split seems a good idea for comfortable planning.
Like-minded people
We believe that premium cruisers want to travel with like-minded people, travelers with shared hobbies, interests and character, with a shared vision and theme. It is important to support such gatherings and give more channels for them to find each other. This is why we work on collaborating with a number of travel clubs and organizations with a common activity.
You can check Golf and Sail cruises also on EmbarQ. Expect to see more theme cruise partnerships there this year.

We are looking forward to entice also such themes as wineries, diving, other watersports, cycling, hiking, yoga, archeology, art, music, handcrafts, gastronomy, nightlife, beaches and many others. Come to see our templates.
Myths
This is a part of content on Embarq that we decided to put on Embarq just to spice it up. Such stories for each island or port in our guide part of the website are here for pure entertainment only. Consider that as Fun Facts block. Ancient Greece is full of incredible stories, but so are other countries. We aim to tell all peculiar fairytales and folklore that we can find. After all, such items are entwined in local culture, and travel is a lot about learning that.
Moderation, support and consulting
EmbarQ provides a few services in addition to the tools. We will check your cruise if it's doable, ie doesn't contain logistical errors and would not lead to uncomfortable schedule.
Moderation, support and consulting
EmbarQ provides a few services in addition to the tools. We will check your cruise if it's doable, ie doesn't contain logistical errors and would not lead to uncomfortable schedule.
If you have questions about the site itself and the cruises, this is where you should address them.
Resources
We did not cover every single matter here. Thus, please check out these articles, if you did not get all the answers here.

You can also visit an article from a blogger we trust:

How to Plan a Trip: An Easy Travel Planning Guide
Conclusion
More and more travelers choose custom cruises due to a trend of customization in every service, in every sphere of life. This trend means going away from massive tourism, away from crowds, more towards small groups where interests of individuals are more valued.

By using tools of Embarq, planning and gathering in advance, luxury cruises on tall ships are now more accessible to more poeple than ever before.
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