For many people, a cruise is the ultimate holiday experience. It’s a fantastic way to explore a handful of must-visit destinations with ease, with all of your needs catered for aboard your ship – aka, your floating hotel.
If setting sail is something you’ve always liked the sound of, one of the biggest decisions you need to make is which type of cruise to book. You could board a larger liner and take to the seas; or, stick to a smaller vessel and traverse a network of winding waterways on a river cruise.
Here’s some useful information to help you decide which type of cruise is best for you:
Forget floating hotels; most ocean liners are floating cities, complete with theatres, cinemas, shopping malls, fitness centres, and a myriad of restaurants – you could try a new one every day! This extensive range of excellent facilities will mean you’ll never get bored when sailing between ports or spending days at sea. There’s a buzz about larger ships that simply can’t be matched by their smaller counterparts. So, if you like to be at the heart of the action, an ocean cruise may very well be for you.
One potential drawback to travelling on a seafaring vessel is that you’re likely to experience rough waters at least once during your trip. Meaning, if you’re prone to motion sickness, you may be best sticking to a river cruise.
Generally speaking, you have to pay extra for excursions on a typical ocean cruise – they aren’t cheap either, so costs can soon add up. Meanwhile, river cruise itineraries tend to include some excursions as part of the cruise fare, but terms vary between ships, so it’s always worth checking beforehand.
If you prefer holidays with a personal touch, a river cruise won’t disappoint. The humble river boat has a real ‘home from home’ feel, with space to accommodate around 150-200 people. This means you’re more likely to bump into the same people, make good friends, and get the chance to meet the captain. On some ships, the staff make a special effort to learn your name and even your favourite tipple!
Due to their size, ocean liners almost always dock in large, busy ports, and you have to wait for a tender to shore. Riverboats, on the other hand, are able to transport guests to the smaller ports a short distance away from the town or city – more practical, and more pleasing on the eye!
Yet, size can also be one of the cons of river boats, especially if you feel claustrophobic in smaller spaces. It also means that the entertainment is more limited, and you’re restricted as to where you can eat, and at what time.
Whichever cruise you choose, be sure to choose the right travel insurance for your holiday. Find your perfect plan with Medical Travel Compared, which will help you to explore a range of insurers, some of which provide cover for pre-existing medical conditions.