Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island are classic New England islands.
Framed by white sand beaches, these photogenic locations are dotted with Victorian architecture and Federal-style brick mansions built by sea captains and industrialists who profited from the once-thriving whaling trade.
Lighthouses, dramatic bluffs and windswept dunes complete the alluring picture that keeps tourists coming every spring, summer and fall.
A Victorian cast-iron hitching post on a quiet street in Nantucket.
As there are no bridges to these islands, most visitors use the ferry service that runs throughout the day, taking one to two hours each way. Some also fly. And a handful get there by small cruise ships.
Small-ship cruises are a convenient way to sample New England’s enchanting islands. It eliminates the hassle of making round-trip ferry or flight reservations, which are often difficult to get in high season.
Serving as both transport and hotel, small-ship cruises — under 200…