Friday, 5 May 2017

What types of cruising are right for you?


The ABC’s of Ocean Cruising


Ocean cruising has seen a dramatic increase in popularity with passenger numbers nearly doubling in the last 10 years. While it’s fairly common to hear cruise ships rated similarly to hotels, in terms of five star ratings, in truth they fall into four distinct categories: luxury, niche, premium and mass market.
At Depth Travel, we are committed to delivering truly unforgettable experiences. For our clients, we know what each person is different and their holiday ought to be as well. Which is why, picking the right category is the first step to an exceptional experience in ocean cruising.

Luxury Cruise Ships
These luxury liners of the sea tend to be very small. Typically, they accommodate no more than 1500 passengers and will be on a fully inclusive or semi inclusive arrangement.

A fully inclusive arrangement provides for a complete meal and drinks package, including spirits,, onshore activities and, depending on the grade of cabin, butler service too. By providing a selection of activities, these luxury liners allow you to tailor your holiday to better suit you.

A semi inclusive arrangement is more limited than the above all-inclusive service. Alcohol may be limited to just beer and wine or may only include non alcoholic drinks and on board time may be less, which means no excursions are included. Of course, semi inclusive arrangements have an option to add on those extras that you may wish to prepay.

Cruiselines which fall into the category of Luxury would include, Happag Lloyd Oceania, Paul Gaugin, Ponant, Regent, Seabourn, Sea Dream, Silversea  and Windstar.


Niche Cruising 
Niche cruising is designed for a specific type of traveller. Whether adventure, archaeology or river cruising, Niche Cruising has a trip for you and a ship to make it happen.

Niche cruises operate all over the world. They can accommodate for groups as small as 10 to as large as 500. Niche Cruises can encompass a range of ships from the luxury to the basic and can include ships that have suites, balcony, oceanview and inside staterooms. In general, niche cruising will include excursions as by their very nature, these cruises are truly specialised.

Ships embarking on an adventure cruise for example are equipped to go into areas which may preclude the normal cruise ship such as the Arctic. Cruise ships entering this remote part of the world require special ice breaking capabilities.

Cruise lines included in this category include: Happag Lloyd, Hurtigruten, National Geographic Orion, Noble Caledonia Silversea, Swan Hellenic, Voyages of Antiquity, Voyages of Discovery and UN Cruises.


Premium Cruise Lines
Premium cruise lines offer a luxury quality but without the add ons. A great example of a cruise line in this category is Cunard. The Cunard ships are luxurious in terms of suites and staterooms but they generally do not include perks such as open bars, or free minbars in staterooms and speciality restaurants come at extra cost. Premium cruise lines also offer a great selection of shore excursions, in addition to your cruise fare. They do tend to vary in size and can accommodate anywhere from 600+ passengers to 3000+ passengers.

Cruise lines included in this category include: Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Holland America, P&O, International Princess, and Viking.














Mass Market Cruise lines
As the name suggest, Mass Market ships home the masses, accommodating a full house of 2000+ passengers. The designers behind these giants of the sea are relentless in their pursuit to prove ‘bigger is still better’. Presently, we are seeing ships capable of carrying 5000+ passengers.

Along with the desire to build ever bigger ships comes a need to be able to entertain those numbers, so cruise companies have had to get innovative. Royal Caribbean has been on the forefront of innovation and design for these mass liners . Not content with swimming pools and bingo groups, the Royal Caribbean have outdone themselves (and their competitors) with ice skating rinks, bumper car arenas, observation towers and water-ski simulators just to name a few. Traditionally ships in the category will also provide a number of different types of restaurants which again are charged extra to the cruise fare. Also a choice of popular excursions that can be booked on board or prior to boarding the ship.

Cruise lines included in this category include Carnival, Costa, Norwegian, P & O Australia, Royal Caribbean International and Star Cruises.

Contact Depth Travel to find out more or to book your next ocean getaway.