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On Deck Blog

It’s A Cruise SHIP, Not Liner Or Boat!

Is it a boat, is it a liner, or is it a ferry? No it’s a cruise SHIP!

We spend plenty of time watching cruise ships departing Southampton, and regularly have to bite our tongue when we hear people say “that’s a big boat.” Most cruise enthusiasts will probably agree that it is so annoying when you hear people incorrectly describe a cruise ship.

And the media are just as bad at this petty annoyance. How many times have you read  “a once-in-a-lifetime trip on the luxury cruise liner” in a newspaper article about a Carnival cruise or similar brand? Three things wrong with this description. Firstly, why does it have to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip? I’m sure many of you reading this have been on more than one cruise. Secondly, yes all cruise ships have a degree of luxury compared to most land-based holidays, but not all cruise lines can be called a luxury brand. Would you say Thomson Cruises offers the same level of service and attention to detail as Seabourn, or Regent Seven Seas? No, of course not, and the large price difference is a big clue. Finally, it’s a cruise SHIP, not an ocean liner – and there is a difference!

So what are the differences?

A Boat

As a general rule, a boat is considered a small vessel. A boat could be carried by another ship, whereas a boat can not carry a ship. A small fishing vessel or a cruise ship tender would be considered a boat.

A Ferry

A ferry is designed to get you from A to B and usually carries cargo, such as cars and lorries. Although some ships offer some cruise ship-style facilities, such as interior, window, and balcony cabins, in addition to a swimming pool, shops, and theatre, they are in essence a means of transportation, rather than a holiday destination in itself.

An Ocean Liner

Unlike cruise ships, ocean liners are designed to traverse the long distance across the Atlantic, quickly, smoothly and in luxury. Usually sailing direct, rather than visiting places along the way like a cruise ship. Today the only real ocean liner that isn’t now scrapped or laid up as a floating hotel, and that still regularly makes transatlantic crossings, is Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. Ocean liners have a thicker, and longer bow, ideal for plowing through the rough waves of the oceans.

A Cruise Ship

A cruise ship is a vessel designed for pleasure. It serves no other purpose than to transport passengers to multiple destinations, before usually returning them to the same port they boarded from. Cruise ships are usually a destination within themselves, offering various recreational facilities, pools, bars, and restaurants.

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Jordan Bailey
21-year-old travel journalist, Jordan, has been reporting on cruise news since 2011. Since taking his first voyage on board Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas in 2009, Jordan has now been on over 50 cruises. He currently studies Journalism at Southampton Solent University.
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