A cruise represents a unique opportunity to escape life’s stresses on land. It’ll offer you a chance to see a variety of different places, as well as enjoy a variety of onboard entertainment. There are different types of cruise experiences for every type of traveller.
On a cruise ship, you might be transported to far-flung, exotic destinations. Or, you might take the opportunity to explore the UK’s famous coastline: cruises from Southampton are enormously popular, and offer something for just about everyone.
What is a cruise?
Before we go any further, it’s worth thinking about what a cruise actually is. There’s no fixed definition, which means there’s an opportunity for confusion and disappointment. Generally speaking, you can think of a cruise ship as distinct from the kind of ocean liner that takes you from one port to another. A cruise ship will generally take you on a round trip for pleasure, and deposit you back at the same port you left from.
You may not think a cruise is for you however there are several types of cruise experiences. Which type fits you?
Cruising has earned a reputation as an activity for retirees – but the market for family cruises is buoyant. Family-friendly cruises tend to favour onboard activities that will cater to children – with ball pits, bumper cars and climbing walls being popular. The destinations might also be selected with families in mind.
Ocean cruises are among the most popular. This is where you’ll find the largest and most fully-featured cruise ships, which basically function as massive floating hotels – or even shopping malls. Expect a rich variety of amenities and distractions, and an experience that lasts for several weeks, or more.
If you’ve always wanted to tour down one of the world’s more famous rivers, be it the Nile, the Danube, or the Yangtze, then a river cruise ship is an excellent way to do it. The ships are smaller, and the focus tends to be on what’s outside of the ship rather than what’s onboard. For sightseers who prefer a more tranquil experience, the river cruise makes a lot of sense.
Adventure and Luxury
When selecting a cruise, you’ll pick between two competing objectives. Do you want to relax, or are you looking for stimulation? An adventure cruise will tend to favour off-vessel activities. You might be going snorkelling one day or kayaking the next. You could also be watching hippos along the Zambezie in Victoria Falls.
On a luxury cruise, on the other hand, you might be spending more time enjoying the finer things, and generally taking it easy on board.
Of course, it’s perfectly possible to get a little bit of both into your cruise experience. You might be on an adventure in the mornings, and live the high life in the evenings!
Cruise and Stay
Finally, on this list of different cruise experiences, we should mention ‘Cruise and Stay’ trips. These allow you to end your cruise with a stay in a particular destination. You can think of it as combining a cruise and a regular city break into a single trip.
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