A cruise ship is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages. Recent cruise ships have amenities to cater to the needs of the tourists such as shuffleboard, deck chairs, casino, spa, fitness center, shops, library, restaurant, lounge, gyms, clubs, swimming pools etc. And they are now described as “balcony-laden floating condominiums”. The world’s largest cruise ship is “Royal Caribbean International MS Allure of the Seas”.
One classification is by size where you have the large, medium and small size cruise ships. Then they are the specific cruises catering to a special interest such as adventure and expeditions. Some of the cruises are on rivers and canals and these are the river cruises.
Large cruise ships: These ships have best facilities and luxuries. It is so large that it can provide accommodation to nearly 2000 and more passengers. The main advantage is they are least affected by the rough weathers. And the disadvantage is that it will take longer time to find your way around the ship. It also can accommodate ice skating rinks and rock climbing walls.
Midsized cruise ships: It can carry nearly 500-1200 passengers and it will be able to access smaller sized docks and has no disadvantages.
Small cruise ships: They are also known as “boutique ships”. It carries around 50-200 passengers. They give quality service to the guests and food is cooked on order. The disadvantage is it can’t be stable in rough weathers. The main advantage is you can find your way much easily and the journey will give good experience and satisfaction. You will have a sense of intimacy and sense of exclusiveness.
Mega cruise ship: It can carry more than 3000 passengers. They are new class of cruise vessel. It is the largest and most sophisticated cruise ship in the world providing world class services and serving around 5000 passengers.
Mainstream cruise ship: It is the most popular and common type of cruise ship and it can carry around 850-3000 passengers. It has world class amenities like that of a standard resort feature that include restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs, discos, shopping areas, theaters, galleries, museums, libraries, casinos, gyms, spas, swimming pools and sporting facilities.
Ocean cruise ship: It is built in such a way that its structure can resist and withstand harsh conditions of ocean voyages. Its design is more solid.
Adventure cruise ship: They are designed in such a way that they can travel to even remote destinations that are inaccessible and are well equipped. They are smaller than mainstream vessels and have luxury features.
Expedition cruise ships: These ships are designed in such a way that the customers can experience remote destinations like Arctic and Antarctic regions or coastal areas. They are specially designed ships or adapted research or icebreaker vessels. It even has inflatable motor boats and helicopters for expedition trips.
River cruise ship: It is smaller than seagoing ships and it carries only few hundred people. They are designed to navigate inland waterways, rivers etc. They cover long distances and navigate during night. The atmosphere on the ship is comfortable, relaxing and magical. They are more intimate than the ocean going vessels and they can accommodate 60 to 250 passengers. It includes lounge, bar, dining room, deck etc. They navigate on major rivers, lakes, large canals of Europe, Nile and Russia.
Freighter cruise ships: It has well furnished cabins with lots of facilities including a lounge, upholstered furniture, library, pool and good deck space. The freighter cruises range in duration from 30 to 75 days. It carries very less passengers.
Barge cruises: They operate on rivers, canals and waterways of Europe, France, Germany, Holland and the British Isles. They are small and midsized floating hotels and they travel shorter distances than the river ships. They can accommodate around 50 passengers. It has a champagne reception, cabin, private bathroom, lunch dinner, meals etc.