When it comes to cruising, there are two main types of cruises available: river cruising and ocean cruising. I love them both, as they each offer unique experiences and advantages – but there are some key differences that set them apart:

River Cruising

River cruising is a popular choice for travelers who want a more intimate and immersive experience.

River cruises typically take place on smaller vessels that can navigate narrow waterways and stop in smaller ports and towns.

This means that river cruises often offer a more culturally-rich experience, with opportunities to explore historic landmarks, sample local cuisine, and interact with locals.

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Ocean Cruising

On the other hand, ocean cruising is all about scale and luxury.

Ocean cruise ships are massive, with hundreds or even thousands of passengers, and offer all the amenities and entertainment you could want.

Ocean cruises typically travel longer distances and visit larger ports and destinations, offering more options for shore excursions and activities.

The Scenery

One of the biggest differences between river and ocean cruising is the scenery.

River cruises typically offer breathtaking views of riverside landscapes, such as quaint towns, lush vineyards, and majestic castles.

Ocean cruises, on the other hand, offer vast ocean views, with endless horizons and the occasional glimpse of a distant landmass.

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Atmosphere on Board

Another key difference is the atmosphere on board.

River cruises are typically more laid-back and casual, with a focus on relaxation and cultural experiences.

Ocean cruises, on the other hand, are often more lively and energetic, with a wide range of activities and entertainment options.


When it comes to dining, both types of cruises offer excellent cuisine, but there are some differences.

River cruises often feature local and regional cuisine, while ocean cruises typically offer a wider range of international options.

Additionally, river cruises usually have open seating, allowing passengers to sit wherever they want, while ocean cruises often have assigned seating.

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The Price

Finally, the price is a major factor when choosing between river and ocean cruising.

River cruises are often more expensive per night, but may include more amenities and activities.

Ocean cruises may be a better value for those looking for a wider range of activities and entertainment options.

In Summary

In summary, river and ocean cruising offer distinct experiences, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Those looking for a more intimate, culturally-rich experience may prefer a river cruise, while those looking for a more luxurious, entertainment-focused trip may opt for an ocean cruise.

Either way, both offer an incredible opportunity to explore the world and make unforgettable memories!

Which do you prefer?

Leave your comment below about your experiences with each.