Cruise ships Attractions & Activities - The Best Holiday Destinations for 2020
This article is a travel topic.
The upper deck of a typical cruise ship
Cruise ships are a means of travel with some substantial benefits... and drawbacks. Some people love them, and some people hate them, but they're worthy of consideration, especially if you find other modes of travel too difficult or inconvenient. They make it easy to visit several places in a single trip without the need to re-pack your belongings and sit in a car/train/bus/plane to travel to each one; your hotel room comes along with you, and even provides the transportation. You may go to bed in Cabo San Lucas and wake up in Puerto Vallarta, which is a great convenience, but can also make it easy to lose a sense of where you are.
Conversely, seeing several islands or cities in a region can help you decide if and where you'd want to visit later for a longer time. Typical itineraries also limit the time you can spend in each place, usually just a short day of activities or sightseeing. They may also include one or more days at sea: paradise if you enjoy a relaxing day by the pool, but frustrating if you prefer more active exploration. Nonetheless, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks for enough people to support a growing industry.
Today you can visit every continent on earth, including Antarctica, by cruise ship. The most exotic itineraries, such as the Galapagos Islands, are best visited by small expedition vessels. While these cruises are expensive, you'll be traveling with expert guides.
As you may note already, this article focuses on ocean cruising and ships. A parallel article (to be developed) would focus on river boat and barge canal cruising. River boats and barges offer more in-depth, close-up looks at many countries in their interiors. For travel on smaller vessels, see Cruising on small craft.
Carnival Corporation is the giant in the ocean cruise industry. It owns Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Holland America, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises and Seabourn Cruises. The other major cruise lines are Royal Caribbean International, which owns Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises, Oceania Cruises and P&O, which caters to the British market, and Norwegian Cruise Lines, which caters primarily to passengers on the United States' east coast with year round sailings from New York City and Miami.
The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Cruise ships