Did you know that the first passenger cruise ships in the 19th century brought cows onboard to provide guests with fresh milk?
Today, you won’t find cows on these ships, but you’ll still encounter countless people enjoying their vacation on the high seas.
Cruise ships and ocean liners are used for long-distance sea travel, but a few crucial distinctions set them apart. Continue reading to learn about the significant differences between a cruise ship vs ocean liner.
The main functions of a cruise ship vs ocean liner
Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, their primary functions differ greatly.
So what is a cruise ship? These luxury passenger vessels are designed for leisure activities and vacations, often making several stops at various ports. They have multiple destinations and tend to embark on shorter voyages than ocean liners.
While ocean liners may sometimes be used as passenger ships, they are more often used as cargo ships. They can carry large quantities of goods, pallets, and containers to various destinations.
Ocean liners are a form of practical transportation, taking cargo and passengers from A to B. They tend to travel longer distances than cruise ships.
Physical and Design Differences
An ocean liner will cross large spans of oceans, so it must be able to handle more challenging weather conditions. Therefore, it rests lower in the water than a cruise ship and has a pointed bow that provides more protection against bigger waves.
Due to the rigorous nature of the heavy seas, ocean liners usually have a stronger hull than cruise ships. The steel will be several inches thicker, helping to support the heavier weight onboard. Cruises use a standard thickness because they’re used for pleasure voyages closer to the coast.
Cruise ships rest higher in the water and are not as aerodynamic. While ocean liners can continue through a storm, cruise ship captains must slow down and navigate around it because their vessels are not well-equipped to handle bad weather.
There are many types of cruise ships, and, unlike ocean liners with the main focus on transportation, the experience of the journey is equally important as the destination. They’re designed for leisure and thousands of passengers, so cruises are often luxurious and fun.
Cruises will offer guests a range of restaurants, bars, swimming pools, entertainment, and activities. And there’s plenty of competition when it comes to the best carnival cruise ship.
The onboard experience on an ocean liner can vary depending on the vessel, the cost to board, and its purpose for travel.
An ocean liner moves quicker through the water because it must stay on schedule to reach its destination. On a cruise ship, guests are in no rush to get away from the amenities and the lifestyle onboard.
Cruise ships travel at an average speed of 18 to 22 knots, or 20 to 25 miles per hour. The only ocean liner still in service is the Queen Mary 2, which travels at 30 knots, or 35 mph.
Cruise Ship vs Ocean Liner: There’s No Competition
Cruise ships continue to attract passengers worldwide, and many modern vessels can do everything an ocean liner can. People love them because they provide a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere onboard.
Meanwhile, no ocean liners have been built since the Queen Mary 2 in 2003.
If you’re planning a cruise, make sure to check out our blog so you know what to pack for a cruise.