Choosing Your Cruise Ship

A cruise ship is a passenger ship used for recreational and leisure voyages, in which the journey itself and the onboard amenities, attractions, activities and entertainment options are integrant part of the cruise experience.

Planning a cruise vacation can be a challenge for those who either haven’t traveled much or who haven’t taken an organized tour or vacation. How do you plan that first cruise? Family and friends often get together to discuss where they want to travel or vacation next. You might have heard cruise tales from and seen (or been subjected to) cruise vacation pictures taken by your family and friends, or read in magazines and the Web about how much fun (and economical) cruising can be. If you want to “take the plunge” and go on your first cruise, where do you start?

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, equipment and amenities of modern cruise ships 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.

These days, every continent and region on Earth can be visited onboard a cruise or recreational ship, including the most exotic, faraway places and secluded destinations.

In the same way, and along the last years, a good number of vessels managed by companies and organizations unrelated to the cruise industry have been redesigned or adapted to offer cruise services to passengers looking for unconventional experiences.

This section is dedicated to show the different types of vessels and ships designed to provide cruise and excursion services in seas, oceans, rivers and lakes all around the world.

The Biggies

The Biggest cruise ships can be broken down into 4 categories.

Mainstream Cruise Ships are the most common and popularly known type of cruise ship, marketed by most of the companies in the sector as floating resorts designed and equipped to suit the needs of the majority of cruise passengers. 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, shopping areas, theatres and cinemas, galleries and museums, libraries, casinos, personal care areas with gyms and spas, swimming pools and other sport facilities.

Mega cruise ships are able to accommodate more than 5,000 persons, and they are currently the largest and some of the more sophisticated vessels in the world today.

Ocean cruise ships are built to the most exacting standards to withstand the harsh conditions of ocean voyages in long and world cruises.

Luxury cruise ships are equipped with the most sophisticated and technologically advanced nautical systems, high standard features and luxurious comforts.

Speciality Ships

If you’re looking for a more adventurous time you may find yourself on one of these ships.

Small Cruise Ships range from motor or sail powered yacht-like vessels to medium-sized classic cruise ships with a capacity up to a few hundred passengers onboard, offering more intimate and relaxing experiences than the larger mass-market vessels in less familiar destinations, designed to provide specific services or as the only way to navigate through waters, small inlets, ports or archipelagos that would not support larger vessels, providing the same level of comfort and the basic amenities as that of mainstream cruise vessels.

Adventure Cruise Ships are marketed to a very specific sector of clientele, adventure cruise ships are far smaller than mainstream vessels, usually sail powered and generally equipped with luxury features.

Expedition Cruise Ships include any number of specially designed ships, or adapted research or icebreaker vessels, operated by specialized companies to offer their customers an exclusive experience in remote destinations and waterways, such as the Arctic and Antarctic regions or coastal areas in ecological and biosphere reserves, in what can be seen more than private expeditions than conventional cruises onboard vessels with an adequate level of comfort, safety and services, which include inflatable motor boats and, sometimes, even helicopters for expedition trips and shore landings.

River Cruise Ship are 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 such as Amazon, Nile, Rhine, Siene, Volga, Mississippi, Yangtse, and many more in all the worl