6 Different Type Of Cruises You Must Experience

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Today, you can take a cruise virtually anywhere in the world. From a classic Caribbean cruise to an adventurous Antarctica cruise, there’s no shortage of options. However, certain types of cruises are highly recommended that should be on every avid cruiser’s bucket list. These cruises include:

  • Adventure Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Luxury Cruises
  • Cruise-Tour Combination
  • Family Cruises
  • Themed Cruises

Keep reading to learn more about these six different types of cruises and which cruise lines offer them so that you can book your next vacation.

1. Adventure Cruises

First on our list of different types of cruises are adventure cruises. What makes adventure cruises unique is that it isn’t about the ship – it’s all about the destination. You can look forward to a new adventure at every port. A similar type of cruise is an Expedition Cruise, where you can look forward to exploring remote places.

Expedition Cruise
Photo Credit: stylefoto24 / Shutterstock

You can expect minimal time on the ship and more at your destination. You’ll participate in local experiences, try different foods, and have ample time for excursions. 

Adventure cruises are usually smaller ships with fewer passengers, and you’ll be sailing with like-minded individuals who will share the experience with you. With an adventure cruise, every day is a new adventure. 

Some common adventure cruise destinations include:

  • The Caribbean
  • Antarctica
  • Galapagos Islands
  • New Zealand Coast

2. River Cruises

Next, we have river cruises! A river cruise is a unique experience because, instead of taking you to the open sea, it takes you along inland waterways. This entails rivers, but it can also include canals and backwaters.

Viking River Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: xbrchx / Shutterstock

There are typically several port stops along the course of each passage. Cities that are often accessible on a river cruise include:

  • Paris
  • Berlin
  • Lisbon
  • Prague

What’s more, you can take a cruise on many of the world’s most famous rivers, including:

  • The Nile River
  • The Amazon River
  • The Danube River

What’s great about a river cruise is that, unlike with other cruises at open sea, you get to see the scenery all along the cruise. The ships are also usually smaller, meaning fewer passengers.

3. Luxury Cruises

Are you seeking the ultimate cruise experience with intimate and high-end service? Then you need to try a luxury cruise.

Luxury cruises usually occur on smaller cruise ships with less than 1000 passengers to ensure that each passenger is pampered, has access to the most elegant dining experience, and is provided with at least five-star service throughout the voyage. Here’s what else to look forward to on a luxury cruise:

Oceania Marina Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock
  • High-end bath products
  • Personalized stationery
  • Fine wine and spirits
  • Luxurious spa options

Several cruise lines are known for their luxury experiences. For example, Cunard is known for luxury and has several luxury cruise ships, including the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria. Oceania Cruises also offers a series of luxurious experiences on their vessels.

4. Cruise-Tour Combination

Cruise tours are a unique experience that offers you the benefits of a typical destination vacation and the experience of being on a cruise.

Also known as land and sea packages, you can look forward to all the cruise amenities, including a casino, live shows, and spa treatments. Once you disembark at the port, you’ll spend time on escorted tours and can stay in the city anywhere from one day to several nights.


What’s convenient about cruise tours is that all travel arrangements are already made for you, and you get to see a region of the world from both land and sea.

Several cruise lines offer cruise tour options, including Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, the latter of which offers an Alaska Cruise Tour! 

5. Family Cruises

Every family needs to take a cruise together at least once. It’s a memory that children will never forget!

Disney Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Maria Maarbes / Shutterstock.com

Taking a cruise as a couple and a family with children are two different experiences. However, family cruises offer a variety of entertainment for all ages, from water parks to live shows. Plus, many cruise ships have specific staterooms made especially for family travel. Some popular cruise lines that offer family cruises include:

6. Themed Cruises

Are you looking to have an unforgettable one-of-a-kind experience? A themed cruise checks off all of those boxes. A lot of work goes into creating themed cruises, and you’ll be surprised to learn the number of different types of cruises with themes. You’ll surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are just as into the cruise as you are!

Elvis Theme Cruise
Elvis Theme Cruise

Royal Caribbean, in particular, offers a variety of themed cruises throughout the year. Some upcoming ones include:

  • Star Trek
  • The 80’s Cruise
  • The Old School Cruise
  • Super Legends Cruise


What is the difference between adventure and expedition cruises?

Adventure cruises and expedition cruises are very similar in that they both have more of a focus on the destination than the experience on the ship itself. That said, expedition cruises put even less emphasis on the ship. In fact, some consider the ship as nothing more than a transportation vessel and mainly look forward to exploring the destinations.

What are the benefits of a river cruise?

One of the main benefits of a river cruise is that you’ll be able to see scenery throughout your voyage. This is great if you don’t like the idea of the open sea for long periods. Moreover, river cruises often make several stops at ports along the river, many of which are popular destinations, allowing you to explore more during your trip.

What type of cruise is best for first-time cruisers?

The best type of cruise for first-timers depends on your personality and travel preferences. If you want to relax and get pampered, you might choose a luxury cruise. If you’re open to exploring new places, an adventure cruise is your best choice.

Conclusion: There’s a Cruise Out There For You

With so many different types of cruises out there, you’re bound to find what matches what you want out of a vacation.

Read Also: What Is a Transatlantic Cruise?

Whether you’re looking to chill and enjoy your time on the ship or have an adventure at every port, most cruise lines offer a variety of options. Do your research to determine the best one for your perfect outing!

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