Types of Cruises

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Want to learn about the common types of cruises, bust some industry jargon and perhaps be inspired for your next vacation?

Then you’ll love our handy guide to the different types of cruises available in the industry and through Cruise1st.co.uk.   Not only with this guide help you bust the industry jargon, it will also show you the sheer variety of different cruises on offer, and hopefully help you find the type of cruise holiday you’re looking for! Let’s begin!

No-fly Cruises:

No-fly cruises simply means there is no flying involved before your cruise holiday, and that you’ll leave from the UK.

This type of cruise is a popular choice for those who dislike airport hassle and flying. No-fly cruises typically leave from Southampton, Dover, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Liverpool, Harwich, Tilbury and Leith, meaning whether you’re in the North or the South of the UK, there’s probably a port not too far from where you live!

Fly Cruises:

This type of cruise is opposite to the “no-fly” cruise explained above.  You’ll fly out to a destination at a regional airport, then join the ship before embarking on a journey across the oceans!  This gives holidaymakers access to exotic locations far away from the UK, but without having to spend days at sea getting there.  You might fly to Miami to tour the Bahamas onboard a Royal Caribbean ship, for example.

While it is possible to book your cruise holiday from any destination in the world, and then book your own flights to the outgoing destination separately, some cruise lines offer package deals with airfare, hotel stay and ship costs bundled in together.

Enrichment Cruises:

This type of cruise is ideal for travellers who don’t just want to sit back in relax in the sunshine, but who fancy something a little more… well… enriching!

Enrichment cruises vary from ship to ship, but you’re likely to to courses that are endorsed by famous names, high brow institutes or big brands.  Enrichment cruises typically have speakers, tour guides and teachers at hand to help you glean as much information from your holiday as you can.

You can either learn a new skill, attend a lecture or find out more about a particular culture with an enrichment cruise!

Best cruise lines for enrichment cruises: Crystal Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line.

Food & Wine Cruises:

Eat, drink and be merry on a special food and wine cruise, which most of the major lines run throughout the year.

Typically, on this type of cruise, guests will get to learn about a particular cuisine, attend a dinner, sample food and wine, learn about how wine is made and, attend tasting sessions, attend a lecture on the different types of wine, and in some cases, even get a cooking lesson from a michelin-starred chef too.

Revered celebrity chefs and top wine connoisseurs have been known to make appearances on many food and wine themed cruises.

Dance Cruises:

Love to dance? Then this type of cruise is most definitely for you!

Most cruise lines offer ‘proper’ ballroom dancing and black tie dinners onboard their ships and for single ladies without a partner to dance with, you’ll be pleased to know that Cunard Line, Crystal Cruises and Holland America Line each offer ‘dance hosts’ on their ships.

Many cruise operators also host special themed cruises focussed around dancing, such as the unmissable “Strictly Come Dancing” cruises with P&O throughout 2013 and 2014, which feature judge Craig Revel Horwood and some of the professional dancers from the show.

Luxury Cruises:

Some people prefer to cruise on luxury lines, which are typically smaller in size and have a focus on high quality service.  Some lines have ‘boutique’ ships in their fleet too, which are both intimate and friendly. At Cruise1st.co.uk, we work with a couple of luxury liners:  Cunard offer elegant cruising, while Azamara offer 6* cruising on their small, boutique ships.

Mini Cruises:

Mini cruises are short breaks consisting of two to five nights.  They’re a fabulous way to pack in a number of destinations and fantastic experiences into a very short amount of time.  With a mini cruise, there’s no need to worry about timetables, airport checkins, luggage or tickets.  They’re a simple, hassle-free getaway for couples who fancy an indulgent long weekend relaxing at sea!

Here at Cruise1st, a number of lines offer mini cruises: P&O, Cunard and Royal Caribbean are the prominent names that spring to mind.

Entertainment & Party Cruises:

If casinos, great bars and tasty food are your thing, Carnival Cruise line is where it’s at!  Enjoy water slides, sweet shops, karaoke, clubbing, mini golf, stage shows, deck parties, pool parties and arcades with this fabulously fun fleet.

If high adrenaline rushes are your thing, Royal Caribbean’s ships might interest you.  Many ships now feature ice skating rinks, energetic dance classes, competitive table tennis, rock climbing, zip liners and the company’s signature super surf simulator “FlowRider”.

Royal Caribbean also features high octane Broadway performances at sea on their ships – unmissable if you love going to the theatre!

Themed Cruises:

If you have a particular hobby or interest, a themed cruise might be for you.  Indulge in your passion (such as golf, crafting, art or even gardening) whilst relaxing in sunnier climes and exploring your hobby in fabulous new locations.  This special type of cruise gives guests the opportunity to learn about the topics they love from hand-selected experts from the field.

One example is the “Quilt Retreat at Sea” cruises who have various 2013 departures with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.  There are a variety of destinations to choose from, with quilting fans being able to partake in group events, including competitions, during their stay on the ship, in-between visiting fabulous locations and partaking in excursions.  Materials are even included in the price and in this instance, Quilt Retreat at Sea will even find you a fellow quilting-loving buddy to travel with if you wish to share a room with a like minded person to keep costs down!

Aside from quilting-themed cruises there are also special mystery cruises, art themed cruises, astronomy cruises, fitness themed cruises and more!

Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Mike Burton

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About Author

Martin Bowe

Martin has worked in the travel industry for the past 12 years, starting as a tour operator selling luxury 5* holidays and becoming a cruise specialist for Cruise 1st in 2008.

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