Choose Your Cruise Style
It may be the adventure of a lifetime exploring the ice shelves of the Arctic, or five-star luxury cruising the sun-drenched ports of the Mediterranean. It might be the realisation of a life’s dream cruising around the world, or a 12-night meander along one of Europe or Asia’s most stunning rivers. Cruise styles are as varied as the ships and river ships that provide them. Just about every taste is catered for, with the added advantage of a schedule that means there is a cruise available somewhere around the world every day of the year. Which cruise style suits you?
Cruising the world’s oceans
Some people simply crave seeing nothing but ocean surrounding them. If this is a feeling you can relate to, then you might have the heart of an ocean cruiser.
Ocean cruises are the mainstay of the cruise experience, with countless worldwide itineraries offered on ships of varying sizes. Some specialise in the family experience, others cater specifically for luxury travellers, while many offer a combination of both. Some of the biggest ships, such as Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, are literally floating resort cities offering accommodation for more than 5,000. So-called mid-sized ships, such as Holland America’s Oosterdam, have room for about 2,000. Small ships, such as Celebrity Xpedition cruising the Galapagos, may accommodate fewer than 100.
With a whole range of ocean cruises that can be suitable for families, singles, or any other type of traveller, you are guaranteed to find a cruise that ticks all the boxes.
What to Expect?
An ocean cruise has it all: stops at exotic destinations worldwide, offers plenty of downtime to enjoy the sights of the sea or simply socialise, and opportunities to learn and do new things. Ocean ships tend to be bigger than river cruise ships with bigger entertainment facilities, spacious cabins & more dining options to choose from. Onboard facilities include – but are not limited to – casinos, pools, saunas, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, kids clubs and entertainment centres, while activities range from 4D movies, destination-based lectures and fitness and cooking classes to dining with the captain and indulging in lavish spa treatments.
The most difficult part of ocean cruising is choosing which one to take. Do you want to shop for a bargain in Singapore, listen to the steel drums of the Caribbean, marvel at centuries-old European architecture or laze on a white-sand beach on an Asian island? With the right ocean cruise, you can do it all.
Why choose an ocean cruise?
- A different sight and port nearly every day: Ocean cruises can touch every continent of the world, and onshore excursions and visits are extensive and educational.
- Showbiz: Entertainment is world-class, with shows, live music, themed parties, comedy shows and nightclubs on offer.
- Cuisine: From casual dining and buffets to specialty restaurants and themed nights, your tastebuds will also be taken on a global tour.
- Only unpack once: No other kind of holiday allows you to visit different countries with the convenience of only unpacking once.
Best Ocean Cruise Lines:
Royal Caribbean International, P&O Australia, Carnival Australia, & Princess Cruises are all popular cruise lines sailing from Australia year round to destinations including New Zealand, the South Pacific, Asia, Hawaii & around Australia. Other popular ocean liners include Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Disney & Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Take a ride down the lazy river
If you love the idea of exotic locations with an intimate touch, you might be a river cruiser.
This cruiser gets right to the heart of each destination, visiting many historic villages, cities and landmarks – whether it’s the fairytale castles and picturesque cities, towns and landscapes of the Danube and the Rhine, the splendour of Paris on the Seine, the majesty of St Petersburg and Moscow via the Volga River network, or more exotic destinations along the Yangtze, the Nile, the Mekong, Amazon and Mississippi.
Enjoy the best of cruise service with excellent accommodation, cuisine and entertainment on specially tailored river craft that provide for a more boutique cruise experience than their ocean-going sisters; most cater for fewer than 200 passengers in suite-like staterooms. The views are spectacular, with a change of scene hour by hour as you meander along, enjoying some of the smoothest sailing around.
Different river ships and lines offer facilities catering to different needs and personalities, with varying levels of luxury and cabin amenity. In the main, however, river cruising appeals to adults who err towards all-inclusive travel delivering a relatively sophisticated cultural experience. Few river cruise lines cater for children.
What to expect?
A range of accommodation from entry-level cabins to suites, a good level of service and a more intimate, small ship vibe is what you can expect on a river cruise. Don’t expect the continuous on-board entertainment, casinos or theatre shows you will find on an ocean cruise ship. River cruising is generally a far more subdued affair, where a piano bar may be as ritzy as it gets.
However it is the ports not the ship's facilities that are the key attractions on a river cruise. River cruising provide a unique way of seeing a country’s interior, stopping at major and minor ports and offering a combination of world-famous sights and lesser-known experiences off the beaten path. Often docking amongst the hustle and bustle of a city or town, you can almost step right from your vessel into the local attractions.
You’ll also be able to see much more than expanses of water between each port – while you slip down the river you will be treated to amazing views of the native landscape and structures.
Why Choose a River Cruise?
- Engagement: Embarking on a river cruise is about immersing yourself in your surroundings, which is easy to do because of the proximity of most river cruise ports and shore excursions.
- Divine dining: River cruise chefs take great pride in using – and showing off – produce that’s local to the area the ship is cruising in.
- Easy border crossings: Visas and border patrols are taken care of, so all you have to do is enjoy the journey while someone else sees to the finer details.
- Spectacular service: With smaller ships and fewer passengers, the attentive and courteous staff members on board a river cruise feel more like friends.
Best River Cruise Lines:
Cruise lines now operate on all of the world's major rivers but it's the cosmopolitan, classic cities of Europe, Russia and Asia that are the major highlights of a river cruise itinerary. Luxury cruise lines such as Viking Cruises, Uniworld & Avalon Waterways offer destination-focused itineraries throughout Europe & Asia with intimate settings & easy access to ports, where you can explore the historical cities & marvel at the spectacular scenery from your private cabin.
American Cruise Lines’ is a popular cruise line that explores the North American rivers. With passenger capacities ranging from 120 to 150, their ships provide an intimate cruising experience as you sail by incredible gorges, Mississippi sights, fascinating museums and friendly locals.
Indulge with five-star luxury
Are you all about having the best of everything? Maybe you believe that if you’re going to have a holiday, you have to do it right? You might be a luxury cruiser. While you can enjoy five-star service by booking a high-end suite on just about any ship, some cruise lines have tailored their entire offering to provide a whole-of-ship, all-inclusive luxury experience.
Those who appreciate the finer things in life and a first-class travel experience will undoubtedly enjoy cruising aboard a luxury cruise liner with a high staff-to-passenger ratio, flawless personalised service (often via a butler), spacious balcony cabins, first-class dining with multiple options, complimentary beverages, extra stateroom amenities and onboard enrichment programs are just a few of the inclusions. You may also get easier access to more exclusive ports, as well as being offered different shore activities. If you are looking for the real celebrity experience, you are absolutely in for a treat with a luxury cruise.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
Cuisine is creative, fine dining is a highlight and connoisseur wines and premium spirits take centre stage on luxury cruises. Luxury vessels can carry anywhere from 500 to 1,000 guests and sail to ports that are chosen based on what sophisticated travellers desire.
Cruise the Caribbean, Mediterranean, French Polynesia, the Baltic, North and South America, the South Pacific, South-East Asia – destinations are typically chosen based on what sophisticated travellers desire.
WHY CHOOSE A LUXURY CRUISE?
- Top-quality amenities: Luxury cruise liners offer a more luxurious experience with their spas, health clubs, pools, restaurants, lounges, entertainment and casinos.
- Shore excursions in style: Whether you are exploring the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska or sipping on a fine Chianti in Florence, luxury shore excursions are always designed around comfort and service – just like your onboard experience.
- Spacious elegance: Generally, accommodation on a luxury cruise will offer more space and more features. Some rooms feature in-room spas, private balconies, 24-hour butler service and flat-screen televisions.
- Fine dining at its best: Dining is understood to be an integral part of luxury cruising. Celebrated chefs design innovative menus, while the attentive staff members cater to every whim.
BEST LUXURY CRUISE LINES:
You will find a luxury cruise to suit on lines such as Silversea, Seabourn, Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas and Viking Cruises. These five cruise lines are also classified as "all-inclusive" which means that alcoholic drinks, specialty dining, gratuities, Wi-Fi, butler services and other onboard perks are all included in the cruise fare.
Cruises for the world’s adventurers
Adventure and small ship cruising are both about the journey and the destination, allowing you to venture to some of the most remote regions of the world. From the wilds of Alaska to the jungles of the Amazon, indulge your sense of discovery and quest for adventure on a specially tailored expedition ship that will deliver a cruise experience with a difference. Expect smaller vessels with fewer passengers on board than on the larger ocean-cruising liners, with numbers starting at fewer than 50 and climbing to about 500. Smaller ships are at an advantage as their size enables them to cruise to more shallow or narrow waterways, gaining access to unique destinations with an emphasis on natural wonder and wildlife.
What to expect
Adventure cruising doesn’t mean roughing it. Some lines, Silversea to the Galapagos for example, combine adventure with luxury appointments and amenities. Expect a lot of zipping around in inflatable boats to get to the most inaccessible spots and – depending on the destination – it pays to check the level of fitness required before you book.
Onshore excursion options are plentiful with this type of cruise, as travelling to destinations that are off the beaten track is essentially about exploring diverse ecological terrains and cultural wonders. Many adventure and small ships have inflatable Zodiacs that transport passengers into the depths of the environment that is being explored. Traversing spectacular icebergs and watching wildlife, camping out on an ice-shelf or snorkelling with sea lions in the Galápagos Islands are just a few of the options available with adventure and small ship cruising.
The high standard of service will also come with onboard scientific experts who will help you interpret and get the most from your adventure cruise experience.
Why Choose an Adventure Cruise?
- Off-the-beaten track destinations: Accessing fascinating places allows you to discover and learn more about your destination.
- Onboard experts: Specialist guides assist in making your cruise as wondrous as possible, with informative lectures, interactive classes and in-depth briefings all part of the inclusions.
- Responsible travel: Responsible travel is demonstrated by hiring local guides and working with local businesses.
- Discover the wild in comfort: Amenities often include state-of-the-art equipment, such as satellite navigation, medical facilities, gourmet cuisine and comfortable cabins.