River Ship Line #: Tauck
Taucks nine river ships specialize in navigating Northern Europe, with itineraries that highlight the castles of Germanys Rhine River or explore Paris and Monets gardens at Giverny on a Seine cruise. Special departures throughout the year welcome multigenerational family groups, including young childrena unique offering among river cruise lines.
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.
Large Ship Line #: Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises currently sails around the world with a fleet of 14 ships, ranging in size from its petite Xpedition-class vessels, which carry 16 to 100 passengers, to its large 2,800- to 3,100-passenger Solstice class and 2,900-passenger Edge class, which debuted in late 2018 with Celebrity Edge, an edgy ship designed to appeal to a non-cruising clientele with innovations like Eden, a three-story hybrid experiential restaurant, craft cocktail lounge, and performance venue; and Le Petit Chef at Le Grand Bistro, a dinner restaurant that features a 4D animation projected on your plate throughout the course of your meal. Celebrity Edge will be joined by three sister ships in the next five years, starting with Celebrity Apex as soon as this year.
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How To Choose A Cruise Line
We recommend that you first ground yourself with our easy trip planning tips, Trip Planning: Steps to Choose the Best Vacation, which lists questions youll want to answer before deciding on a cruise line. Answering key questions like, Who will be traveling with me?, and When can I take my trip, and for how long? can significantly narrow down your choices and point you in the right directionwhether youre researching online cruise reviews or chatting with a travel agent.
What Is The Best Month To Cruise Alaska
The best month to visit Alaska depends on what you hope to experience during your trip.
- Do you want as much sun and daylight as possible? Then book a June or July cruise.
- Would you like to see lots of wildlife? Then purchase a May, August, or September cruise as these months feature young animal families and migrations.
- Do you want to get into the interior and see Denali National Park or the Yukon? Then select July or August.
- Are you chasing bright tree foliage? Then book a cruise at the end of August or in September.
- Would you like to avoid mosquitoes? Then May and September are the best months for your cruise.
- Are northern lights on the itinerary? Then your trip will be in September or October. Would you like to fish for salmon? Then select any summer or shoulder month.
The good news is that no matter which month you choose, your Alaskan cruise will reward you with incredible experiences and memories that last a lifetime.
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Frequently Asked Questions About River Cruises
What is river cruising?
Its a form of leisure boat travel along inland waterways most popularly along the worlds major rivers, including the Mississippi, Danube, Rhine, Volga and Yangtze. River cruise boats are smaller than ocean liners to maneuver smaller waterways and can carry up to 250 guests. This reduced capacity makes the whole experience of river cruising more intimate than typical ocean cruising.
Are river ships different from other cruise ships?
River ships are much smaller in size compared to giant ocean liners, so they cater to fewer guests. It is easier to get to know some of the other travelers on a river ship. Also, because rivers are shallow, river cruises tend to be smoother sailing than ocean liners.
How long does a typical river cruise last?
River cruises are typically just over a week in length and include several port stops during each passage. Instead of spending many days at sea, you will spend less time sailing on a river cruise and can expect to awaken each day in a new port.
What are some amenities found on river cruises?
Ocean liners often sail with amenities such as pools, fitness centers, casinos, entertainment venues and so on. River ships tend to have fewer onboard amenities and instead offer educational, cultural or culinary experiences to keep things lively on board.
What can I expect a river cruise to include?
Whats the best season for a river cruise?
What should I pack for a river cruise?
What type of person enjoys a river cruise?
River Ship Line #: Delfin Amazon Cruises
Sailing the Amazon River in Peru isnt quite like other river journeysits a blissful escape into the wilderness, where you might be surrounded by pink dolphins or piranhas at any given moment. Delfin, the first Relais & Chateaux cruise line, makes the journey incredibly comfortable, offering boutique hotellike accommodations aboard its three rustic-luxe ships. And, as part of the Relais & Chateaux family, the cuisine is spectacular, incorporating regional dishes made with local ingredients.
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Large Ship Line #: Disney Cruise Line
If theres one thing Disney Cruise Line does well, its hospitality. The company has taken every lesson its learned from its parks and resort operations and implemented that into its four cruise ships, the 2,400-passenger Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, and the 4,000-passenger Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. The ships are designed for families through and throughthere are numerous themed activities every day, from meet-and-greets to full-blown parties with Disney charactersbut there are plenty of adults-only areas that provide a respite from little ones. That said, the ships are not over-the-top when it comes to Disney decor. In fact, theyre quite elegant, taking design inspiration from early-20th-century ocean liners and sporting Art Deco and Art Nouveau aesthetics. The four ships currently sail the Caribbean ; Alaska; Europe; the Pacific Coast; and the Panama Canal. Three more ships are scheduled to be added to the fleet between 2022 and 2023.
Discover The Best Cruise Ships
There are so many reasons to get excited about a Royal Caribbean® cruise. Choose from itineraries that take you to top-rated destinations, from sun-soaked Caribbean isles to ancient temples in Asia and everywhere in between. And make the most out of every moment at sea onboard the worlds;best cruise ships,;loaded from bow to stern with game-changing thrills, dazzling entertainment, next-level dining and activities for all kinds of adventure-seekers. No matter which;ship;you choose to sail on,;this is;a fleet filled with incredible feats.
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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.
Large Ship Line #: Royal Caribbean International
Though Royal Caribbean is perhaps best known for its mega-ships, it has quite a number of large ships, toothe 3,100-passenger Voyager-class ships, for instance, were once the worlds largest, until Royal Caribbean debuted the larger Freedom class and subsequently the Oasis class. Each class had its own series of firstsVoyager of the Seas was the first ship to have an ice rink and a rock-climbing wall, while Freedom of the Seas introduced the first FlowRider surf simulator at sea.
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Surprising Essentials To Take On Your Cruise
Its the ultimate all-inclusive trip: a cruise. Its part of the allure, really; with meals, refreshments, entertainment, and more all supplied courtesy of your floating palace, what do you really need to bring?
First-time cruisers may not realize it, but the answer is that you really do need to pack some critical cruise essentials in order to elevate your vacation from a fancy boat trip to all-time affair, in terms of adventure, relaxation and, of course convenience. So, before you walk the gangplank for the first time or next time, consider packing some or most of the following suggested items.
When Is The Best Time To Take A Cruise Vacation
More travelers are opting to go on a cruise. By 2020, its predicted there will be over 27 million cruise passengers. Cruises offer convenience for all travelers.
Most are all-inclusive, including food, lodging, activities, and excursions. There are also so many types of cruises that hit many different destinations. With the options available, anyone can find a cruise that will interest them.
While a cruise always seems like a great idea, there are certain times and seasons to embark on a cruise for the best experience.
When is the best time? This question isnt easy to answer there are so many factors that influence the time you cruise, and every cruise line and destination have different peak seasons. Here is the best time to take a cruise:
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Holland America Line 14 Day Great Alaskan Explorer
Explore scenic Vancouver before you board the Maasdam, the only Holland America Line ship outfitted with Zodiacs, for up close exploring on your cruise. Sail along Alaskas Inside Passage, with waterways, fjords, rainforests, and rugged coastline. Youll visit Ketchikan, Skagway, Anchorage, and Homer. Thrill to the blue ice of the Hubbard Glacier, pan for gold, meet Iditarod sled dogs, take helicopter tours over glaciers, kayak, zipline, and more with the company that has been cruising Alaska for more than 70 years.
Medium Ship Line #: Cunard
While Cunards Queen Mary 2 fits more than 2,600 passengersand a number of cats and dogson board, her sister ships, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria only have a capacity of about 2,000 passengers. Though theyre quite similar in layout, the QE and the QV differ in design. Both nod to the historic ocean liners of the early 20th century, but the QE takes on a bolder Art Deco vibe, while the QV features more subdued yet equally elegant decor. Guests on board both ships are likely to partake in afternoon tea before donning a glamorous gown for dinner.
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Medium Ship Line #: Holland America Line
Of Holland Americas 10 ships, eight of them fall into the medium-size category, carrying between 1,400 and 2,500 passengers. The refined ships sail to destinations across the world, but one of the most popular destinations for the cruise line is Alaska. When cruising resumes, we think you should check out the Noordam, which was refurbished in 2019, as it sails itineraries around the Japanese archipelago, China, and Southeast Asia.
Safety Tips For Your Cruise
Beau Prichard from USA Today;published a list of safety tips for beginners that are preparing for an upcoming cruise.; In the wake of the overturned Costa Concordia, and the crap-covered Carnival Triumph its important to pay closer attention to emergency measures AND general safety precautions when getting ready for your vacation aboard.; Remember these safety tips for your cruise and have;smoother sailing on your next vacation!
Carnival For Short Sailings And The Budget Conscious
As a line that caters specifically to first timers, many consider Carnival to be one of the best cruise lines for first time cruisers. A lot of that has to do with vacation value. If youve never tried cruising before, you may not feel comfortable spending what you normally would on a land vacation. If thats the case, Carnival is a great option offering some of the cheapest fares at sea. The line also offers tons of three to five-night cruises providing opportunities to save both dollar bills and precious vacation days as you dip your toes into this new form of travel.
Carnival also provides more options for cruise departure points in the US than any other cruise line. Youll find Carnival cruises leaving from 18 different embarkation ports in 11 different states! When you can drive to your cruise instead of flying, this leads to significant savings, especially for families. While Carnival would not be considered a luxury cruise line, all those savings dont mean you wont enjoy some awesome onboard amenities. Calling their fleet The Fun Ships, Carnival boasts its own set of noteworthy experiences including the first roller coaster at sea and restaurants created by some of the biggest names in cuisine like Emeril Lagasse and Guy Fieri.
Advantages Of Visiting Alaska In August
- Warm weather, with temperatures between 45-65 degrees and 18 hours of daylight.
- Abundant fishing opportunities, as halibut, northern pike, rainbow trout, and salmon are all in season.
- Numerous cruise and land tour packages on offer, giving you access to the breathtaking fall foliage of the Last Frontier.
- As for wildlife, August is peak migration season for songbirds and youll see numerous caribou, bears, beavers, orca, and loons on your adventure.
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Why Its Important To Pick The Right Line For You
Weve long said that no matter what type of cruise youre taking, its important to do a little bit of research or work with a travel advisor to make sure that you wind up with a vacation thats going to be a great fit. Yes, you can jump on just about any cruise ship and have an amazing time.
And yes, the basics of a cruise will be the same on most lines. But the devil, as they say, is in the details.
With that in mind, were going to look at each of the major cruise lines and give you an idea of what they have to offer adult travelers.
From restaurants perfect for date nights to a ship on which no one under the age of 18 is allowed, weve got all kinds of options for you to consider.
Think of this as a Beginners Guide to Adult Cruising.; Lets dive in, looking at what they each offer, in no particular order.
Keep in mind that in some cases, well be speaking about what a cruise line specializes in generalities. Not all of the mentioned restaurants or amenities will necessarily be available on every ship in the lines fleet.
Wander The Botanical Gardens
In the heart of the city, you can find the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens, part of the Natural History Museum. This 10-hectare garden is well-known for its complex of historical glasshouses dating back to 1874.
The garden is free to visit and those that come here will not be left disappointed as it is home to the largest collection of living plants. It has over 13,000 species of plants, which include 600 species of Danish plants, 1,100 species of perennial plants, 1,100 species of annual plants as well as plants from mountainous areas in Central and Southern Europe.
There are 27 glasshouses at the Botanical Garden, but the main glasshouse is the old Palm House. The cast-iron spiral stairs leading to a walkway at the top are a classic feature.
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What To Know Before Buying A River Cruise
A river cruise is just what it sounds like, a smaller-scale cruise along inland waterways throughout Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, Vietnam and many other locations. Sailing along narrow waterways means stopping at more destinations than you would on a typical ocean cruise, with easier docking and more picturesque shoreline views along the way. River cruises can be a great way to cover a lot of ground in Europe and Asia.
If you prefer to stay closer to home, there are abundant offerings for U.S. river cruises along the Mississippi, Columbia and Snake Rivers in Oregon and Washington, and Alaskan river cruises.
What has propelled the boom in river cruises are the unique cultural, historical and culinary themes offered by many river cruise lines. Some river cruises focus on wine or art from a region, others on cooking or cultural lessons.
How To Pick A Cruise Line
Sitting down to pick the right cruise for your next vacation is like going to a speed-dating event. You can’t take all day getting to know someone, but you need to figure out whether your personalities match. In cruise parlance, that translates to the fact there are tons of lines from which to choose — but who’s got the time to winnow out the mismatches?
While cruise lines try to persuade travelers they can offer an all-things-to-all-people onboard experience, we’re increasingly seeing them carve out distinctive lifestyle niches. Still, picking the perfect ship — like choosing the perfect love match — is tricky. Even the same line can offer different experiences based on the age and size of a ship and the destination and time of year you’re sailing.
Which line best matches your personality? Here’s a cheat sheet to get you started. We recommend reading reviews, asking questions on our message boards and chatting with knowledgeable travel agents to further narrow down the choices.
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Finding The Best Cruise Deals
Ever wonder how to find the best cruise deals? ;There are a lot of great resources out there, and we picked from some of our favorites to bring you a list of tips. According to the Cruise Lines International Association between 2003 and 2013, demand for cruising worldwide increased 77 percent, from 12 million to 21.3 million passengers. The CLIA says that Florida remains;the center of cruising in the United States, with its five cruise ports accounting for nearly 62 percent of all U.S. embarkations. ;Following Florida, are California, Texas, and New York .