Small-ship British cruise line Noble Caledonia has expanded its fleet with the addition of MS Monet. The 50-passenger vessel has been chartered from Croatian shipping company Brodosplit-Plovidba to sail in the Adriatic and Aegean in 2020.
Launched in 1998, fully renovated in 2016 and upgraded in 2018, MS Monet is a 220ft motor yacht with 28 cabins accommodating a maximum of 50 passengers.
The cabins, available in four categories, are spread across three passenger decks and range in size from 66 square feet to 236 square feet with the largest being the three Category A staterooms on the upper Lumiere Deck. Category A, B and C cabins have windows and Category D cabins have portholes. Seven cabins have twin beds and the remainder have fixed double beds. All staterooms are furnished in light fabrics with wood trimmings and have an ensuite bathroom with shower, TV, small fridge, safety deposit box, individual air conditioning, hair dryer and toiletries. They have European two-pin electrical sockets so UK adaptors are needed.
Public areas include a main lounge and bar with comfortable sofas and a small library on the Lumiere Deck and an outdoor deck area with loungers and a hot tub. The reception area, shop and small gym are situated on the main Parisian Deck. The ship has free Wi-Fi and there is a laundry service available at an additional charge.
The restaurant, with panoramic windows, is also on the Parisian Deck and can seat all passengers at one sitting. It operates an open seating system and food is served at the table or buffet-style. Menus are international with a focus on local specialities. A choice of complimentary house wine, beer and soft drinks are served with lunch and dinner, and wines, spirits, soft drinks, tea, coffee and water are available to purchase from the bar. The onboard tap water is also drinkable. In fine weather some meals are served on the sun deck.
There is no formal dress code on MS Monet and the emphasis in on comfortable, casual clothing. Some passengers wear smart casual attire for the welcome and farewell dinners, but men are not required to wear ties or jackets and women do not have to bring cocktail dresses.
Cruises, ranging from 7 to 10 nights are accompanied by a Noble Caledonia cruise director and tour manager and fares include gratuities.
Hebridean Sky, which underwent a multimillion-pound refit in 2016. Like its sisters, Hebridean Sky is more reminiscent of a smart, country house hotel than a cruise ship, with generously sized cabins, comfortable, informal lounges, a beautiful library and a big deck.