To many people, ocean cruises and river cruises both fall squarely into the ‘cruising’ category, with little in the way of separation. While these two different methods of water travel might seem similar, they have far more differences than similarities.
From the size of the ship to the focus of the cruise, the differences between a river cruise and an ocean cruise are incredible. Read on to learn the four most important differences to consider before you book a cruise for your family this year.
1. Ocean cruises are all about the boat
Many ocean cruises spend days travelling from one destination to another, making the boat far more of an attraction than the destination itself. Because of this, most cruise ships have incredible facilities, ranging from swimming pools to casinos.
On a river cruise, the focus of the experience is different. With shorelines visible at all times, the focus of a river cruise is far less about the boat itself – which is always smaller than an oceangoing cruise ship – but the beautiful scenery out the window.
If incredible facilities, exotic casinos, and a luxurious onboard experience are what you’re looking for, an ocean cruise is sure to satisfy. However, if culture and scenery are your idea of a great holiday, a river cruise is more likely to suit your tastes.
2. River cruises are far more personal
Oceangoing cruise ships range from large to gigantic, boasting hundreds of rooms and facilities that make five-star hotels seem small. River cruise ships, on the other hand, tend to be smaller and more personal vessels.
Instead of giant dining halls, travellers on river cruise ships can enjoy a much more personal experience. Far from being a limiting factor, the smaller size of the ship is an excellent quality that enhances the experience of a European river cruise.
3. Ocean cruises can be rough and stormy
If you often feel seasick, an ocean cruise might not be for you. While ocean cruises frequently encounter stormy weather and serious waves, river cruises are largely protected from extreme weather by their surroundings.
While the ocean experience is certainly exhilarating, travellers seeking a blend of culture, natural beauty, and peaceful conditions will probably enjoy a river cruise more than a cruise on the ocean.
4. River cruises drop you right in the action
Even coastal destinations are often out of reach for oceangoing vessels. Due to the size of most cruise ships, many need to dock at ports that are far away from their destinations, forcing travellers into a long and boring coach journey.
This article was written by Shearings Holidays. From Cologne to Budapest, Danube river cruises with Shearings allow you to exit the ship right into your favourite European destinations.
Photo by motiqua on Flickr