itting down to pick the right cruise for your next vacation is like going to a speed-dating event. You can’t take all day getting to know someone, but you need to figure out whether your personalities match.
A cruise ship is a luxury vessel that is used to take passengers on a pleasure voyage on a journey. This is a very refreshing mode of enjoyment and recreation, which relaxes the mind and replenishes energies to a great extent.
Picking the perfect ship is like choosing the perfect love match; totally tricky. The cruise ship you find yourself depends entirely on where you are going and what you want to see.
Here’s a rundown of some cruise ships designed to provide cruise and excursion services in seas, oceans, rivers, and lakes all around the world:
Mainstream Cruise Ship
It is the most common and popularly known type of cruise ship. These vessels have a capacity for 850 – 3,000 passengers and include all sorts of standard resort features, amenities, and services, such as restaurants, bars, and pubs, nightclubs and discos, libraries, casinos, personal care areas with gyms and spas, swimming pools and other sports facilities.
This cruise ship is often used for short to medium-haul cruises.
Mainstream cruise ships can further be divided into two more different types of cruise ships:-
- Contemporary Cruise Lines- offer the widest variety of cruise schedules and itineraries; perfect for families, couples, and honeymooners.
- Upscale Contemporary Cruise Lines – offer all the regular amenities plus some more amenities to cater to upscale customers.
Needless to say, these cruisers are amazing if you can afford them!
Mega Cruise Ship
As the name suggests, mega cruise ships are the largest cruisers you can ever find. These types of ships can accommodate more than 5,000 guests and are the most sophisticated vessels in the world.
Mega ships are a new class of cruise vessel, and the next step in terms of capacity and onboard services, with some units that routinely serve a large number of passengers.
Ocean Cruise Ship
It is a type of cruise ship with more solid designs and more resistant structures to withstand the harsh conditions of ocean voyages in long and world cruises.
These massive vessels contain all the facilities that a mainstream cruise ship possesses. This vessel itself is more heavy-duty and designed to withstand the punishment delivered by the world’s biggest roughest seas. It’s commonly utilized in long-haul transcontinental voyages and world cruises.
It may not have many entertainment options but you can expect more room to stretch your legs. Ocean cruise ships might be perfect for adventure-seeking travelers.
Luxury Cruise Ship
These ships usually sail or motor-powered and are equipped with the more discerning passenger in mind. These are equipped with the most sophisticated and technologically advanced nautical systems, high standard features and luxurious comforts to meet the special demands of an exclusive clientele looking for longer itineraries and more exotic destinations around the world.
These luxury vessels are equipped with the most luxurious fittings and fixtures and also feature a superior level of cuisine and service, essentially a 5-star floating hotel. Luxury cruise ships can be further divided into three different types:-
- Premium Cruise Lines – a great choice for luxury travelers who seek luxurious accommodation, fine dining, and extensive activities, such as spa and wine tasting.
- Ultra-premium cruise lines – offer similar amenities as premium cruise lines but are much smaller and offer voyages to less-traveled destinations and so, are priced higher.
- Ultra-Luxury Cruise Lines – cater to their customers’ every desire and are designed for people who desire the finest and can afford it. A cruise with high-end amenities and an international atmosphere.
Small Cruise Ship
It is a cruise ship ranging from motor or sail powered yacht-like vessels to medium-sized classic cruise ships with a capacity up to a few hundred passengers on board, offering more intimate and relaxing experiences than the larger mass-market vessels in less familiar destinations, designed to provide specific services.
These cruise ships are perfect for travelers who seek a more in-depth experience of the regions they visit. Smaller ships can go to ports that are not accessible to large cruisers and cover a lot more exotic destinations on a single trip while providing all the luxury big cruisers do.
Adventure Cruise Ship
These cruise ships are designed and equipped to provide services that include visits of remote destinations, most commonly out-of-the-way or inaccessible to larger vessels. These are far smaller than mainstream vessels, usually sail powered and generally equipped with luxury features.
People that would generally use these vessels are adventure travelers such as whale watchers. These ships are usually equipped to a very high standard with premium fixtures and fittings.
So, if you think that the activities most cruisers provide are boring and cruising with a pina colada in your hand just isn’t for you, you should definitely check out some adventure cruisers.
Expedition Cruise Ship
These are specially designed ships, or adapted research or icebreaker vessels, operated by specialized companies to offer an exclusive experience in remote destinations and waterways.
Expedition cruise ships are used by specialist companies that offer customers an insight into the most inhospitable areas on earth such as the Arctic and Antarctic. These types of cruise ships have the smallest target group but a lot of them are doing really well.
River Cruise Ship
River cruises are becoming increasingly popular and bankside facilities have sprung worldwide to meet their needs. These are much smaller than any seagoing vessel, they can range from a large converted paddle steamer to a traditional rice barge.
Always smaller than seagoing cruise ships, and with a capacity for no more than a few hundred passengers, these vessels are specially designed to navigate rivers and inland waterways, offering from exciting experiences onboard ultra-high-tech units, to nostalgic trips on paddleboats ships in rivers.
Famous rivers that are popular for cruises include the Nile, the Amazon, the Mekong, The Danube, and the Yangtze River in China.
Luxury Hotel Barges
Hotel barges offer everything river cruise ships do with some more luxury. Most of these cruisers cruise the canals of France, Belgium, Germany, and the UK, and few in the US as well.
They can accommodate between 5 and 24 guests and have a high staff-to-guest ratio which means you can expect superb service. These types of cruise ships are perfect for destination-oriented luxury travelers who want to explore more small towns and villages on their journey.
Intimate vessels are even smaller than small cruise ships and this category includes everything from river ships and mega-yachts to sailing vessels and expeditions ships. These vessels offer an upscale experience and oftentimes include overnights in ports.
A great reason to choose intimate vessels is the flexibility that they offer because they allow passengers to set an itinerary according to their needs.
Sailing Vessels and Yachts
These types of cruise ships include yachts, sail-assisted ships, and dual-purpose cargo ships. This category is also known as specialty lines and is perfect for travelers who seek a more intimate experience without breaking the bank and people who enjoy an educational type of vacation.
Nowadays, every continent and region on Earth can be visited on board a cruise or recreational ship, including the most exotic, faraway places and secluded destinations.
The rapid growth and specialization process experienced by the cruise industry in the last decades has also affected the design and general aesthetics, materials, size, and overall onboard functionalities and recreational vessels to satisfy a clientele more and more numerous and sensitive to quality, who demands the most diversified services with assurance of satisfaction and excellence while providing solutions to the growing concerns about the cruise industry’s environmental impact on marine and coastal communities and ecosystems.
So, hopefully, the above mentioned different types of cruise ships will help you choose which one would be ideal for your next cruise vacation.