Five types of cruises you should experience at least once in your life

Whether you are a believer or have not yet joined the cult, there really is a cruising style suitable for all types of travellers.

Not sure which one is for you? There’s only one thing you can do and that’s book the following five cruise styles to find out what you love.

To help you out, we’ve even outlined the pros and cons of each to consider.

READ MORE: Why a cruise is the perfect homecoming for international travel

There is a style of cruising suitable for all types of travelers. (CNN)

river cruise

River cruises have seen a huge boom in popularity since COVID-19 and for good reason: smaller ships are used to navigate narrow waterways, and fewer passengers are on board, meaning you’re less likely to take surgeries. This is not the only advantage; river cruises visit a multitude of destinations in one voyage, with ships usually traveling at night so you can spend a full day in each port you visit. Luckily, as there’s often land on either side of you as you navigate, the scenery often changes too, so there’s always something new to see.

In contrast, ships are designed to take advantage of ports rather than onboard facilities, so you won’t usually find the kind of facilities and entertainment options traditionally found on larger liners.

Perfect for: Older couples wanting to see the best of the world with minimal travel hassle.

Panoramic River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest Christmas Cruise
Panoramic river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. (Scenic)

Mega ocean cruise

At the opposite end of the cruise spectrum, mega-liners can typically carry more than 5,000 guests and feature the kind of amenities that put many amusement parks to shame: movie theaters, go-kart tracks, skydiving simulators, skating rinks. , laser tag, thrills and roller coasters. Day spas, multiple pools, and kids’ clubs are common features, as is an endless array of restaurants, bars and casual dining, shopping, and entertainment at onboard theaters. With a multitude of activities available at any time of the night and day, you will never have the chance to get bored (not even on multi-day cruises at sea)

The wrong side? Few are truly all-inclusive, and buying extra extras like drink packages and Wi-Fi can drive prices up pretty quickly. They can also be crowded with long queues for drinks, burgers, or when boarding or disembarking at ports.

Perfect for: Families and groups of friends

READ MORE: How the pandemic has changed travel in Europe

MSC Virtuosa cruise ship
Mega-ocean liners can typically carry over 5,000 guests and have plenty of amenities. (MSC)

expedition cruise

Similar to ocean cruising, the main difference here is that cruises are on smaller ships, travel to more distant destinations such as Antarctica, arctic Norway and the Galapagos, and the emphasis is on excursions down. Depending on the destination chosen, these will themselves be wilder (expect lots of sea kayaking, glacier hiking, snowmobiling and nature viewing).

On board, the facilities are somewhat different from a “bells and whistles” liner; While the variety on offer varies greatly depending on which cruise line you book, expect limited dining and entertainment options, but plenty of lessons and lectures from wildlife experts, historians and park rangers.

Perfect for: Adventurers looking to explore new corners of the globe

READ MORE: Five things to do in South Africa – that aren’t Table Mountain

A Holland America Line cruise ship sailing in Glacier Bay National Park. (Getty)

luxury cruise

There is no one particular type of cruise that falls into this category; you can have luxury river cruises, luxury liners and luxury yachts. What they offer (aside from a big hole in your back pocket) is VIP service, finer dining, and higher quality amenities. Typically all-inclusive, these cruises tend to include private butlers, larger staterooms, upscale restaurants with world-class chefs and, depending on the ship, helicopter and private car transfers.

On the other hand, if you want to enjoy a luxury cruise with the little ones, it can be difficult to find one suitable for all members of the family, since most lack the attractions often found on traditional family cruises. lines.

Perfect for: Couples celebrating a special occasion like a milestone birthday or anniversary

family cruise

You can’t miss a family-friendly cruise ship; in port, they can be spotted by the wealth of brightly colored thrill rides and other attractions looming from the upper deck. Family cruises (traditionally on larger liners) offer a wide range of programs, attractions and kids’ clubs for all ages to keep every member of the family entertained. Expect plenty of restaurants (including the much-loved buffet), casual eateries, game rooms, multiple pools, and plenty of complaints every time you try to get your kids off the ship once you’re in port .

disney cruises are coming to australia and new zealand 2023

Disney Cruise Line is coming to Australia and New Zealand in 2023

READ MORE: All adults-only areas on a Disney Cruise

This brings us to the downside: these ships are NOISY and essentially designed to make life on board so enjoyable that it becomes preferable to anything available ashore. Many activities (games in the living room, for example) can be chargeable, so you’ll also need to keep an eye out for ever-increasing costs. Note that some cruises will have a minimum age requirement for babies and toddlers participating in the kids’ club, so be sure to check before booking.

Mega cruise liners and family cruises go hand in hand, although the majority of the latter operating in and around Australian waters are a bit smaller.

Perfect for: children and adults

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