Well over 300 cruise ships sail the world's oceans. Most of the ships are bread and butter ships, which - depending on the country of origin - are perfectly tailored to the needs of their passengers.
These include popular brands such as AIDA, Costa and Phoenix Reisen. For holidaymakers who are looking for something special, it is not an easy undertaking with the abundance of offers to choose a suitable ship. There are many choices and there are many things to consider before booking.
In the following we present different types of cruise ships: Megaliners with round-the-clock entertainment, premium and traditional ships, luxury liners as well as special forms such as sailing or expedition ships.
Mega ships - games, fun and pure entertainment on the water
Shipping companies such as Royal Caribbean International, MSC or Norwegian Cruise Line, to name just a few, offer an appealing selection, especially for large ships. These megaliners often look like small towns on the water. Passengers looking for entertainment, fun and action are in good hands on such a resort ship. Depending on the shipping company, it offers a variety of attractions such as gigantic water slides, bumper cars, roller coasters, climbing walls or zip-lining. Some ships score with on-board parks, surf simulators, roller rinks or ice skating rinks. Large spa areas with whirlpools, massages and beauty treatments are just as available as well-equipped fitness studios. Ball games, jogging courses, swimming pools, yoga are part of the standard program on these cruise ships.
The incomparable collection of restaurants, bars and lounges also speaks for the mega-ships. If you like, you can get to know new restaurants or bars every day.
The entertainment programs meet almost all requirements. Most of the guests do not want to miss the sometimes breathtaking shows. Where do ship passengers experience ice skating shows and water acrobatics on the high seas? Royal Caribbean International organizes it several times a day. Would you like to go to the Cirque de Soleil? This is what enthusiastic guests experienced on some MSC ships.
Oasis of the Seas - the first mega-cruise ship
What would the gigantic cruise ships be without their spacious on-board casinos? Royal Caribbeans proven Allure of the Seas owns a truly impressive casino that stands up to the comparison with well-known houses in Las Vegas. The fact is: Those looking for action, sport and entertainment are in good hands on the gigantic mega-liners.
Premium and Premium-plus ships
We don't want to forget the premium cruise ships from Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises or the German-speaking ships from TUI Cruises that stand out from the abundance of bread and butter cruise ships. All of these ships offer varied and unforgettable cruise experiences, but without meeting the megaliner standard.
Traditional and luxury ships
Traditional ships and luxury liners have long understood how to convince their guests with exquisite service, elegant fine dining and high comfort. Compared to the large ships, the ships look a little out of time. Its characteristics are pompous public areas, elegantly furnished restaurants and individual, personal care. In selected cabin categories, butler service is often included in the scope of services. The epitome of traditional ships are those Cunard ships, especially the Queen Mary 2. Gala evenings, captain's receptions and dinners, people in evening wear and grandiose balls in the magnificent dance hall are on the program. Jazz concerts, theater performances, a large planetarium as well as high tea parties and deck games are part of the standard program of the Queen Mary 2.
Queen Mary 2 in Hamburg
Cunard ships are seafaring classics. Seabourn Cruise Line's luxury ships are more like private yachts. The crew members spoil a maximum of 600 passengers by the line and thread. The furnishings of the suites with marble bathrooms, high-end sound systems and bed sheets of the highest thread count promise heavenly comfort, and exquisite menus created by star chefs pamper the stomach. Further contenders for the best service in the luxury category are the Silversea cruise ships, Regent and Oceania Cruises as well as the German luxury brand Hapag-Lloyd Cruises with the outstanding ships MS EUROPA and MS EUROPA 2. According to the Berlitz Cruises Guide, both ships are unique Ships in the 5-star-plus category.
Small, fine ships that guarantee personal experiences
Taking a cruise on a small ship also has its advantages. The service quality is high and the atmosphere on board is very familiar. Small ships stop in front of small islands and in low-traffic ports, while large ships remain closed. These destinations include the Greek islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen or Lofoten. With such small ships, reduced entertainment programs are to be accepted. Nothing changes in the first-class service. The cruise brands Crystal Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, for example, are available for such ships. Crystal advertises a yacht experience on the Crystal Esprit, a ship that is made for 62 guests. They all live in luxurious suites and enjoy personal butler service. Azamara Club Cruises, a company of the Royal Caribbean Group, operates three excellent and above all affordable ships in the 500-guest segment.
Azamara Journey - stands for small, fine cruise ships
Sailing cruises are intimate and extraordinary experiences. Sailing ships hold 20 to 200 passengers. The atmosphere differs significantly from the usual cruise ship. In this form of cruises, the focus is on travel, the sailing experience and nature. As reported by DIE WELT, guests primarily seek to enjoy the sea and the wind. If desired, guests are allowed to lend a hand and help out on board. Sea Cloud Cruises and Club Med are providers of sailing cruises at the highest level.
Club-Med 2 - more than a sailing ship
Expedition cruise ships
Expedition ships are small, agile and fit into any port. These ships are at home in extreme sailing areas such as the Antarctic, the Amazon and the Chilean fjords. Excursions of all kinds are undertaken with Zodiacs, small inflatable boats. On expedition trips, nature is the focus. Watching whales and rare animals or visiting glaciers are among the travel highlights. The ships hold between 50 and 500 passengers. The on-board program does not focus on entertainment but on edutainment. Editing introduces the passengers to the destinations and their peculiarities. Well-known and proven shipping companies in the expedition segment are Celebrity Cruises, with special ships deployed on the Galapagos Islands, Hurtigruten or Silversea Cruises with the Silver Explorer.
Expedition ships, especially for the German-speaking area, are offered by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, which is part of the TUI Group. The HANSEATIC nature and its sister ships take guests to remote areas of the world. The atmosphere on board the Hapag-Lloyd ships is personal and pleasant. Guests appreciate the small number of passengers, they enjoy culinary highlights and comfortable cabins or suites. Expedition trips are trips that nobody forgets easily. Another expedition ship is the World Voyager from nicko cruises. Among WORLD VOYAGER we report on our experiences with this extraordinary ship.
Choosing the right cruise ship is not easy given the variety. One thing is certain: with the extensive range on offer, anyone interested will find the ship of their dreams.