The cruise industry in 2015 is undergoing a rapid period of change in a bid to attract new-to-cruise customers. 22 new ships are set to brace the seas and rivers of the world this year and it’s worth taking a step back and trying to comprehend the state of the industry. This week, GoCruise Franchise takes a look at the many different categories of cruise ship and how Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ship, Allure of the Seas, compares to other vessels already in operation.
Before talking about Royal Caribbean’s and the world’s largest cruise ship; it is worth understanding a Megaship. A Megaship is a vessel with a capacity generally greater than 3,000 and most large cruise lines have at least one in their fleet. To put things into perspective, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas has a whopping capacity of 8,680 (6,000 passengers and 2,680 crew). These statistics depict just how much of a record breaker this ship really is:
And these records are set to be broken, as details have been released this week of Royal Caribbean's third Oasis-Class ship: Harmony of the Seas, which is due to launch in 2016. More details are set to be announced in the coming weeks, but it is set to be slightly longer and slightly wider than it's sister ships: Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
Comparatively, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 measures 345 metres long but accommodates far fewer passengers. Despite being 147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower, the Cunard vessel can only accommodate 2,620 passengers. This means that despite the sheer size of the vessel, it does not fall under the category of Megaship.
Instead, it is regarded as a Mainstream Cruise Ship – the most common and well-known type of cruise ship, equipped to suit the majority of passenger’s needs. Cunard operates Ocean Cruise Ships, which are able to withstand the conditions of the world’s oceans and can carry passengers safely across the Atlantic and Pacific.
In terms of ship size, there are two remaining categories of note including Mid-Sized Ships, able to accommodate 950-1,999 passengers, and Small Ships which are able to accommodate 1-949 passengers. Many small category ships are immensely popular with customers for being able to offer a higher ratio of crew to passengers, more personal space and more luxury amenities.
Silversea’s Silver Whisper is classed as a small, luxury cruise ship and it appeals to consumers wanting opulent facilities and an opportunity to visit ports generally inaccessible to the larger ships. Despite being smaller, it is still 15 metres longer than the Statue of Liberty if it were to be laid down. At 28,260 tonnes – its weight is equivalent to 175 Boeing 747 jumbo jets and is able to achieve a max speed of 20 knots (23mph).
Adventure Cruise Ships provide a completely alternative travelling experience for passengers and, due to their size, are able to take you to more remote locations. These cruise ships also offer something alternative, such as Star Clippers and Windstar which are able to provide unique, traditional wind-sailing experiences.
For those wanting to sail somewhere completely off the beaten track - such as the Arctic, Antarctica, Greenland and the southern tip of South America – there are Expedition Cruise Ships. These ships are specifically designed by specialist companies to offer exclusive experiences for passengers. There are a handful of providers who currently operate these itineraries including Poseidon Expeditions, Quark Expeditions and Hurtigruten.
Some Expedition cruise ships can even take travellers to the North Pole. Ice Breaker Ships are so powerful that they can cut through the ice-covered waters to take passengers to the top of the world.
Finally, there are River Cruise Ships which only have a capacity for no more than a few hundred passengers and are often specifically designed to seamlessly navigate the rivers of the world. River Cruise Ships are increasing in popularity worldwide, with itineraries now being provided in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and Southern Africa. Popular providers include AmaWaterways, American Queen Steamboat Company and Amazon Nature Tours.
Hopefully, this blog has helped to break down the cruise industry and will help categorise each ship with the type of experience it can provide. If you love cruising and want a flexible career in an industry that you love and enjoy, why not enquire about becoming a GoCruise Specialist? If you have any questions, our dedicated team at GoCruise Franchise are ready to answer any enquiries you may have. Contact us via the Freephone Number above or complete an Online Enquiry Form.