Growing up, my grandmother would talk about beautiful cruises she went on and my parents would join their friends once in a while for a cruise holiday. In my mind, I pictured cruises for either retirees, older couples, or for families only. I pictured large boats with casinos, basketball courts, and day trips to tropical islands. It never had much appeal in mind, but recently I started hearing friends – my age – talking about their amazing experiences on cruises. I figured it might be time to rethink my preconceptions of cruise travel. To my surprise, there are many different kinds of cruises and there are unique travel opportunities for all kinds of people.
If you’re looking to get your feet wet with cruises and want a shorter trip (8-12 days or so), exploring Europe via river cruises may be your best bet. Imagine travelling along the Rhine River or the Danube. Along the way, you’ll be surrounded by picturesque landscape, historic castles, beautiful countryside, and thick forests – to name just a few options! You’ll find river cruises to enjoy in Holland, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, and more. It’s certainly a different take on the typical large cruise ships out on the ocean water, but you’ll still get that same luxury hotel feel with heated swimming pools, great food, and world class amenities. Prices can be less than 1,000 Euro per person, which makes it an affordable vacation getaway for many of us.
Get ready to explore the far corners of the world on a cruise line around the world. These are for travellers who have a passion to visit faraway lands and discovery different kinds of cultures, scenes, and people. As wonderful as it sounds, it is however a commitment in terms of time and money. These types of cruises will take you racing around the seas on a voyage to all the different continents of the globe. For 180 days, this will certainly make you feel like a true world explorer – but it requires some deep pockets as well. According to USA Today, “As of 2010, the price of a world cruise starts at approximately $14,000 per person, and may exceed a quarter of a million dollars.”
For those who don’t want to dig deep in their pockets and don’t desire the luxury typically associated with passenger cruises, there are cargo/freighter cruises! You don’t need to work with the crew, but this certainly proves to be a unique experience on the sea travelling on a freighter ship! For those who want to travel by sea and are happy with a (small) pool, sunbathing deck, library, and board games to play with passengers, the cargo cruise might be for you! The cost is certainly more attractive. According the USA Today, “pricing is usually around $100 a day, which generally adds up to be more expensive than flying but much less than [traditional passenger ship] cruising.”