Going on a cruise is the ultimate combination of fun and adventure. Whether you’re sailing across the ocean or along a river, you’ll never want to be out the water again, and before you’ve left the ship you’ll likely be planning your next cruise. Cruises are the ultimate getaway because everything you need is onboard, and you’re disconnected from the rest of the world. However, there’s much more to cruising than people think. Different types of cruises provide different ways to traverse waters. Here are four different cruise types and what each are like:
A river cruise is a much smaller, more intimate cruise than its mainstream counterparts. Typically, they travel short distances and do most of the cruising during the night, leaving you to explore new areas during the day. Among the many reasons you should go on a river cruise is the ability to forge long-lasting relationships with those on board. While ocean cruisers typically house anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 people, river cruises hover around the 200 range.
Because these boats aren’t as massive and commercial, you’ll likely get to know your other cruise members and staff much more closely. The boats are also able to squeeze through much smaller places, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your surroundings. For example, the 10-day Viking River cruise from Bucharest, Romania to Budapest, Hungary allows cruisers to plenty of small villages and the occasional castle. These cruises allow more time at ports, where cruisers can spend time doing group activities, or venture off on their own in cities and villages around the world.
Adventure cruise options are perfect for those who want as much full-scale fun as possible. Active enthusiasts will find plenty of adrenaline-inducing activities on smaller boats that focus on getting your hands dirty. These cruises arrange a variety of fun excursions, from kayaking to paragliding to hiking and diving. Typically, each day provides an itinerary of activities suited to different skill levels and features top-of-the-line equipment. REI Adventures, UnCruise Adventures, and Quark Expeditions are just some of the many reputable adventure cruises to choose from.
Sure, you can find luxury accommodations and perks aboard mainstream cruises like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, but there are high-end cruise lines that set the bar much higher for luxury cruising — with a price tag, of course. The major players in the luxury cruise arena include Regent Seven Seas, Crystal Cruises, and Silversea Cruises.
On these lines, luxury is infused into every aspect of the cruise experience. Expect gourmet cuisine, catered pampering, world-class spirits and wines, and incredible, airy accommodations. Silversea has butler service in each suite, and each suite has an ocean view, while most have private verandas. Crystal Cruises features the famed chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s only at-sea restaurant. The cruise also offers complimentary language classes from the oldest provider of language training, Berlitz Languages, Inc. And lastly, Seabourn’s top-of-the-line spa and fitness centers feature hydrotherapy pools, Kinesis Walls, and watersport arenas.
These are the cruise types you all know and love: the Carnival cruise, the Disney cruise, the Royal Caribbean cruise. They house thousands of people and aim to cater to every one of them. They are often the least expensive of the bunch, and provide much more cost-effective flexibility than others. For example, your cruise price tag changes dramatically depending on the stateroom you choose. There are a variety of inclusive restaurants to suit every palate, as well as optional fine-dining upgrades for those seeking a little more. With a host of onboard activities and roster of on and off-board events, ocean cruises have a little something for everyone.