Sailing Vessels And Yachts
These types of cruise ships include yachts, sail-assisted ships, and dual-purpose cargo ships. This category is also known as specialty lines and is perfect for travelers who seek a more intimate experience without breaking the bank and people who enjoy an educational type of vacation. Its especially popular in Mediterranean countries like Italy, Greece, and Turkey, especially nowadays when the Global Pandemic has seriously affected the way we function.
How many of these types of cruise ships did you know about?Did you learn something new from this list? Let us know in the comments!
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Your Options For Shore Excursions Depended On Your Vaccination Status
Before the pandemic, passengers could choose to go on Carnival-affiliated excursions, book their own excursion through an independent operator, or roam freely through the port city.
For the cruise I went on, passengers had different options depending on whether they were vaccinated or not.
Excursions for vaccinated passengers were similar to excursions before the pandemic. You could choose from any of Carnival’s excursions, an independent tour operator, or explore independently.
For unvaccinated cruisers, things looked drastically different. Unvaccinated people had a smaller pool of “bubble tours” to choose from and they could not leave the port area.
While the excursions were similar to pre-pandemic adventures, some passengers told Insider that there were a few hiccups. I heard stories about both boats and taxis breaking down.
In Roatán, Honduras, I went on a kayaking and snorkeling tour guided by Roger Miranda, and in Cozumel, I went scuba diving. Both of my tour guides were thrilled to welcome tourists back and we had no issues.
What Is The Longest Cruise You Can Take
The Longest Cruise in the World Takes Seafarers to 59 Countries Over 245 Days. A Viking vessel in Saint Kitts, one of the stops on the cruise lines Ultimate World Cruise. The longest continuous cruise on the planet wont take you around the world in 80 days, but it promises to get the job done in about eight months.
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Small Ship Line #1: Hapag
German company Hapag-Lloyd is not just in the shipping business: its building a luxury expedition cruise empire, too. Though it currently only has two ships in its fleet, the MS Europa and MS Europa 2, the line has impressed its customers with suite-style cabins, impressive itineraries across all seven continents, and extremely polished service thats anything but stuffy. Hapag-Lloyds budding empire will expand with three new expedition ships scheduled to launch in 2021.
River Ship Line #: Viking River Cruises
Parent company Viking Cruises has expanded feverishly in recent years, with more than 60 river ships and six ocean vessels in its fleet. Under Viking River Cruises, the company’s riverboats explore familiar waters like the Danube and Rhône in Europe, as well as faraway itineraries on the Volga in Russia, and the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. Viking River Cruises also includes complimentary Wi-Fi and select shore excursions in its prices, and its Culture Curriculum offers experiential learning through events like regional wine tastings and menus that rotate seasonally.
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The Muster Drill Was Another Element Of The Cruise That Was Drastically Different
Before a cruise departs from its home port, every passenger goes to a muster station, where they learn about safety procedures for emergencies.
On a pre-pandemic cruise, the muster drill takes up a significant portion of the afternoon. This time, it took just a few minutes.
Instead of going through safety procedures in person, Carnival Cruises released a safety video. The video was playing on TVs when guests arrived at their rooms and it was also available on Carnival’s HUB App.
In theory, passengers watch the video and visit their muster station where a crew member shows guests how to wear a life jacket.
I missed the memo to watch the safety video and no one on the ship verified that I had watched it. When I arrived at my muster station, I joined five other people, and we watched the vest demonstration.
The whole process was smooth and took less than two minutes, but I thought it could have been a bit more thorough since I missed some of the information from the video.
River Ship Line #: Aqua Expeditions
Aqua Expeditions has three river ships: Aria Amazon and Aqua Nera, which sail the Peruvian Amazon, and Aqua Mekong, which traverses the Mekong between Cambodia and Vietnam. Guests sailing aboard these modern, luxurious vessels will partake in daily excursions that introduce them to both the ecology and the culture of their destinations. Aqua also operates the expedition ship Aqua Blu, which sails through Indonesia.
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Although Some Ports Felt Deserted The Workers At Every Port Told Insider They Were Thrilled To Have Tourists Back
I noticed the most COVID-related restrictions while exploring the ports. Outside of every store were signs reminding customers to wear their masks and social distance.
Everywhere I looked, I saw hand sanitizer and sinks, and many workers stood outside stores to spray sanitizer before you stepped into their store.
According to employees at shops and businesses at the ports that spoke with Insider, the vaccine and testing requirements varied from port to port. In Belize, for example, one souvenir shop owner told me that every person working inside the port was required to be fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, in Cozumel, workers had regular testing. One worker said he hadn’t been vaccinated but that he was tested before coming back to work and would continue to be tested on a weekly basis.
Many shops remained closed, so some areas of the ports felt deserted. The port workers told Insider that before the pandemic, they would expect two to three cruises arriving every day versus once a week.
Medium Ship Line #: Viking Ocean Cruises
Originally a river cruise line, Viking has launched six ocean-going vessels since 2015, the most recent being the brand-new Viking Jupiter, whose maiden voyage took place in February 2019. The ships are nearly identical, carrying 930 passengers each, housed in balcony staterooms. Though not all-inclusive, Viking Ocean guests do receive one free excursion in each port , beer and wine with lunch and dinner, and an unlimited Wi-Fi connection.
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Small Ship Line #1: Seadream Yacht Club
Sailing through the Caribbean, around Europe, or across the Atlantic on either of SeaDreams two 112-passenger yachts means quickly getting to know your fellow guests. Facilities on the six decks include a pool, whirlpool, and casino, but the real highlight is the watersports marina that can be lowered down to the waves for easy ocean swimming, kayaking, and more. The ships often overnight in port, allowing guests the opportunity to experience the local nightlife before taking off for their next destination. In 2021, SeaDream will launch a 110-cabin luxury expedition yacht, SeaDream Innovation, that will sail to all seven continents.
Because Of The Vaccine Requirement Few Kids Were Spotted Throughout The Ship
Many of the unvaccinated passengers on the ship were children under 12 who were too young to receive a vaccine.
Supervised children’s programs were put on hold in an effort to minimize the risk for children spreading COVID-19, according to Carnival’s website.
The teen club, arcade, and other kid-centric places on the ship were still open.
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Small Ship Cruise Lines
In addition to the larger cruise lines, which sail largest new cruise ships in the world, there are several companies that feature smaller ships. Most of the vessels carry less than 500 passengers and specialize in providing passengers individualized attention in a luxurious setting. They also differ from their larger cruise line counterparts in that they tour smaller waterways, including rivers and lakes. However, their destinations are just as exotic, such as the Amazon River, the Yangtze River in China, Greenland, Africa, and the Sea of Cortés. Some of the most popular smaller cruise ship lines include:
- Abercrombie & Kent International, Inc.
- American Canadian Caribbean Line
- American Cruise Lines
- KD River Cruises of Europe
- Peter Deilmann Cruises
- Windstar Cruises
Medium Ship Line #1: Msc Cruises
Showing up for the third time on our list, MSC Cruises is clearly beloved by many! The Swiss cruise line has just four medium-size shipsthe Lirica classwhich accommodate between 2,000 and 2,600 passengers. Theyre also the oldest ships in the fleet, though they each underwent refurbishment as part of MSCs Renaissance program to modernize interiors and expand their size. The line is known for its Mediterranean inspirationthough its fleet sails far beyond the region, calling at ports all over the worldso youll find delicious Italian food on board no matter where your ship is taking you. MSC sailings are quite lively, especially at night, with many guests partying at nightclubs into the late hours.
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As The Cruise Came To An End Debarkation Day Lacked Custom Forms
Due to weather, the Carnival Vista arrived back in Galveston, Texas, more than an hour and a half later than its scheduled arrival time.
This caused a stressful debarkation process for cruisers trying to catch flights back home. I nearly missed my flight, and you could feel the frustration in the air as we stood in 90-degree heat waiting to get on a bus to the airport.
However, the disembarkation process went as usual: passengers were able to exit the ship based on their cabin location.
Guests were required to wear masks in the Galveston port area and on the shuttle bus to the airport, but they were quickly forgotten in the heat.
The other difference compared to pre-pandemic cruising was that every guest no longer needed to fill out a customs form. Instead, only those who had exceeded a spending amount had to declare and fill out forms.
Costa Cruises Italian Vibes Worldwide
For a true European feel with all the delicious cuisine, rich history, and luxurious culture of Italy, cruisers cant go wrong with Costa Cruises. This line sails more than a dozen ships throughout the Mediterranean and on different itineraries worldwide, bringing its understated elegance far past its Italian origins.
While Costa Cruises generally hosts fewer young cruisers and caters more to an adult audience, there are still childrens programs and a variety of activities suitable for all ages onboard, as well as more unique experiences such as small onboard dairies featuring luxurious cheeses.
Adventurous passengers will especially enjoy the tailored shore tours and multinational focus of Costa Cruises, and this is an ideal line for anyone interested in a rich, multifaceted cruise vacation.
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Some Passengers Said They Felt Like The Entertainment Was Lacking On The Ship Compared To Pre
This was only my second cruise, and truthfully, I don’t remember the entertainment. While I had little to compare it to, a handful of experienced cruisers told me that they felt like the entertainment lacked.
There were two main shows during the cruise, one was rock-and-roll themed and the other incorporated songs from popular movies. Each show was performed twice.
On a typical cruise, experienced passengers told me they would expect a show every night the cruise was at sea.
At these shows, there was no social distancing. The maskless entertainers were required to stay five feet apart from guests.
Singles Or Solo Cruises
If you’re looking to cruise alone, there are several options available. Some cruise liners offer single-occupancy cabins, and some don’t charge a solo supplement, while others facilitate cruise groups for solo travellers. Look for liners that offer solo services such as organised activities like craft, dance and language classes and catch-ups that allow you to meet other singles onboard.
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Different Destinations Different Rules
The new protocols outlined by NCL are another example of how cruise lines have been heavily affected by the considerable variations in travel and entry requirements that are in place worldwide.
A few weeks ago, the Bahamas and USVI changed their protocols which prompted most cruise lines to switch to do fully vaccinated cruises only, barring some limited exceptions. The UK has had a ban on international cruises until recently, and the many changes inside the United States coming from the CDC have been well documented.
So far, Norwegian Cruise Line had managed not to change, or make only minor changes, to their onboard policies due to their 100% vaccination requirement that has always been part of the cruise lines protocols.
At the very least, it means that guests can enjoy their vacation with relative peace of mind. With 100% of the guests fully vaccinated at least two weeks before the cruises start and tested three times, the chances of catching COVID-19 become relatively negligible.
The 3,963-passenger Norwegian Breakawayrestarted operations from New York on September 26 and was the first in the fleet to resume from the Big Apple. In-store for the guests is a cruise where all outlets are open fully, no social distancing is necessary, masks are not required, and all buffets, restaurants, and bars are open as usual.
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Small Ship Line #1: American Cruise Lines
American Cruise Lines has the unique distinction of operating not only old-school paddlewheelers in the United States, but also contemporary river ships. And they dont just sail on the Mississippiyou can also explore the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest, too. Beyond that, the 13-strong fleet also has oceangoing vessels that explore the coasts surrounding the entire country, from New England to Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico.
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River Ship Line #: Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours
Scenics 15 luxurious river ships sail waters across Europe and Asia, from the Danube in Germany to the Irrawaddy in Myanmar to the Volga in Russia. Each voyage is completely all-inclusivetransfers, excursions, all food and beverage , and gratuities are covered in the ratemaking for a truly relaxing and stress-free experience. And did we mention theres butler service for every cabin?
River Ship Line #: American Queen Steamboat Company
If nostalgias the name of your game, book a trip with the American Queen Steamboat Company, whose four paddlewheelers sail the Mississippi, Columbia, Snake, Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers. These are leisurely sailings: most are nine days long, with some outliers like the 15- or 16-day journey from Minneapolis to New Orleans.
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A Few Days Before The Trip I Checked Into The Cruise Just Like I Would For A Flight
A week or so before sailing, cruise passengers were able to check in for the cruise, which was similar to checking in for a flight. During the check-in process, passengers opted for an arrival time.
This was one of the dozens of new changes passengers would experience on the first cruise since the pandemic.
The check-in process also involved filling out a few forms, including accepting a “COVID-19 risk,” where passengers acknowledged that they could come in contact with COVID-19.
After that, I was all set until embarkation day.
Pcr Testing 96 Hours Prior To Departure
Bermuda requires all guests entering the country by cruise ship to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 96-hours before their cruise. This test is on top of the other testing that Norwegian Cruise Line already requires and a letter has already been sent out with the details to travel agents and guests.
Once guests have taken the PCR test, they should register on the Bermuda Tourism website. The negative test result from the PCR test should be uploaded to the Bermuda Tourism website within 72 hours before sailing.
Thats not all though. When guests register, they are also required to pay $75 for each person in their travel party. Therefore, a family of four traveling together onboard Norwegian Breakaway will be required to pay an additional $300 to the Bermuda authorities.
Once registration and payments have been made, the submissions will be assessed. Once successful, guests will be issued a travel authority number, which passengers must present at the terminal before boarding.
Once guests arrive in the terminal, they will also get an Antigen test and be required to undergo a further PCR swab test inside the terminal as part of the Bermuda pre-arrival requirements. The results will then be processed by an outside lab the following day, and the results will be sent to the ship.
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Large Ship #: Msc Cruises
Nearly half of MSCs fleetnamely those ships in the Musica and Fantasia classesfalls into the large cruise category, with its newer builds firmly taking a bigger is better stance. The eight large vessels primarily sail in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, though they do offer itineraries in North and South America, Asia, and Northern Europe, too. The family-friendly ships skew on the upscale side, and theyre known for their incredibly international crowds.
Carnival The Fun Ships
Carnival Cruise Lines are a very popular choice for the budget conscious traveler first and foremost. Taking that into consideration, you should clearly expect to find many young adults who are taking in their first cruise but need to watch their spending. The affordable pricing offered by Carnival also makes this a popular choice for young families who want to enjoy the fun and family activities offered as well as having the opportunity for mom and dad to slip away for some grown-up entertainment. The ships offer a wide array of family and child-friendly activities from Dr. Seuss for the youngsters to huge water park-like adventures for the teens. Carnival is also a popular choice for family reunions and large groups who want to travel on a fun ship but also need to mind a budget.
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