Masala Expeditions launches six small-ship cruises

Newcomer Masala Expeditions isn’t wasting any time. Born of its success in small-ship cruising around the island of Cuba, today Masala Expeditions launched six small-ship cruises with ports of call in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean. The trips feature a new way to experience a destination: through its people. Masala Expeditions took a note from parent company, insightCuba, and expanded its highly acclaimed people-to-people style of travel beyond Cuba’s borders.

People-to-people travel offers an extraordinary way to experience a destination, going beyond tourist activities and interacting with local people and their culture in new and exciting ways. “For 17 years, we’ve seen how this type of travel moves people,” says Masala Expeditions President Tom Popper. “They never look at travel the same way again.”

Thanks to a U.S. regulation allowing Americans to visit Cuba, Popper was able to share his enthusiasm for finding people and places most visitors don’t see, and bring those intimate and touching experiences to others. “Everything you read about the travel industry points to the fact that people are looking for more personally special, more meaningful travel. This is it!” he says.

Masala Expeditions’ six small-ship cruises offer guests an intimate cruise experience along with people-to-people excursions. The small size of the ships fosters a community atmosphere on board and on land. Smaller vessels allow easy access to ports larger cruise ships can’t reach, which provides opportunities to create fresh itineraries. Masala Expeditions’ largest ship, the M/Y Voyager has just 36 cabins, making the on-board experience crowd-free, intimate, and friendly, affording personal service from the captain and crew. Guests will likely encounter the same people often—a benefit when it comes to making friends while traveling.

Sail the Greek Isles 10-day tour (from $4,095pp) offers guests on the ultimate Greece experience. The journey begins in the heart of this ancient country, Athens. Guests will stroll the Acropolis and the historic Plaka neighborhood, and take a scenic drive through the city with an expert guide who will set the story for the next seven days on board the M/S Galileo. During the seven-day cruise, guests will also call in Poliegos, Folegandros, Santorini, Paros, Mykonos, Syros and more to discover picturesque villages, archeological sightings, and whitewashed streets that make up this stunning country.

Cruise Dubai and Seychelles 11-day tour (from $3,895) starts in the stunningly modern city of Dubai where guests can explore the city’s massive malls, indoor theme parks, underwater zoo and spend an afternoon on a desert safari, which includes an Arabic-style buffet, camel rides and more. Then guests will catch an early flight to the Seychelles where they’ll sail around the tranquil island chain for the next eight days on a luxurious yacht and enjoy bird watching, beach barbecues, snorkeling, swimming, and views of the turquoise blue Indian Ocean.

Safari in Kenya and Cruise Seychelles 10-day tour (from $3,495) is a rare opportunity to explore two sides of the African continent. Highlights of the trip include traveling through Kenya’s fertile highlands, visiting the Maasai Mara National Reserve and engaging with the Maasai people, exploring the Rift Valley and tours in Kenya’s bustling capital of Nairobi. The journey continues in the Seychelles where guests fly to St Anne Island before traveling to Curieuse to see giant tortoises, sail to the white shores of Cousin Island and snorkel and swim among tropical fish and sea turtles. The journey includes high-end, luxury accommodations in Kenya and staterooms on the M/Y Pegasus in the Seychelles.

Sail Spain and Portugal 10-day tour (from $4,695) offers guests to see iconic sights such as the Cathedral of Grenada, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Alhambra and the Genralife Gardens. The cruise portion sets sail in Malaga and calls in Motril, Granada, Gibraltar, Seville and more before sailing to Portugal. The ship calls in Portimao, where you will go on to visit Silves and Monchique before docking for a day in Lisbon. Other trip highlights include seeing magnificent views over the Straits of Gibraltar and visiting the Cathedral of St. Mary in Seville, the world’s largest gothic cathedral.

Cruise Iceland 8-day tour (from $4,695) starts with a full day excursion in Iceland’s capital city Reykjavik before embarking on the elegant M/Y Callisto to continue exploring the country’s natural wonders. Guests will discover a fascinating country with amazing rugged landscapes full of old legacies of Vikings and the Norse. Discover Heimaey Island, the Pompei of the North, Lake Myvatn, the Namarskard a striking geothermal field, and the Godafoss Waterfall. Journey through the quaint fishing village of Husavik, and visit Siglufjordur a fishing town close to the Arctic Circle.

Sail the Dalmatian Coast 14-day tour (from $5,795) begins with seven days touring Croatia’s major cities before embarking on a cruise and making your way along the Dalmatian Coast. Begin in Zagreb before heading to Opatija, with a stop in Karlovac’s old town, dating back to the Ottoman Empire. After seeing the restored medieval city in Dubrovnik, guests will embark on a cruise along the coast and Croatian islands such as Korcula, Hvar and the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro.

For more information on Masala Expeditions, visit or call 1-800-450-2822.

About Masala Expeditions

Masala Expeditions is a brand of insightCuba, the leading provider and pioneer in legal people-to-people travel for Americans visiting Cuba since 2000. After specializing in travel to Cuba for 17 years, creating hundreds of thousands of cherished travel experiences and receiving countless requests to take our small group tours beyond Cuba, Masala Expeditions came to fruition. Masala Expeditions was created from the same love of traveling and learning about a culture through its people that insightCuba is known for. Masala Expeditions offers nine regularly scheduled small-group land tours and six small-ship cruises spanning six continents, with hundreds of departures annually.