Launched in 1993 and renovated in 2008 -- with additional upgrades to the bathrooms, public areas and some cabins in 2014 -- Panorama is a three-masted sailing ship that can accommodate up to 49 passengers.
Panorama's 25 cabins are spread out across the upper, main and lower decks, with the majority on the lower deck. All are outside cabins. Upper and main deck cabins have windows, while lower-deck accommodations have portholes. Cabins range in size from 115 to 135 square feet, and they're available in three categories. C and B are located on the lower deck; each cabin offers twin beds or a double bed. A-class cabins are each located on the main or upper deck and offer either twin beds or a double bed. All cabins are air-conditioned and have TVs, minifridges, direct-dial internal-use telephones, safe deposit boxes, hair dryers and bathrooms with showers. Cabin decor has a nautical feel, with light fabrics and dark wood trim.
The warm-weather itineraries (think sun-drenched Mediterranean and Adriatic coasts) mean that lots of emphasis is placed on time outdoors. An aft sun deck equipped with loungers, chairs and a bar is available, as is a swimming platform for dips in the aquamarine waters (when weather and anchorage permit). Water sports equipment like kayaks and snorkeling gear is available on request. Indoor space consists of a lounge with a small library and comfy sofas for relaxing with other passengers. The indoor bar and restaurant are located on the main deck.
There is no official entertainment onboard, but there is an electronic keyboard, which talented crewmembers occasionally use to perform during dinner.
A Cruise coordinator provides destination briefings and shore excursion information; on one itinerary, "Antiquity to Byzantium," an onboard archeologist offers lectures.
The passenger mix on most of Variety Cruises' ships is roughly 40 percent American and 60 percent European, with a handful of Australians.