Cruise 101: River vs Ocean Pt. 2

Continuing with our Cruise 101 countdown, here’s the second half of our list to keep in mind when comparing and or selecting a river vs. ocean cruise that best fits your vacation needs.


4. Travel & Time (Distance & Duration)

Wanna have weekend getaway? Ocean cruising may be best for those with limited vacation time for a short term trip. Average itineraries are anywhere from 2-5 days and many ships sail straight out of the states keeping air travel at a domestic level.

Looking to prolong your stay? If you have extra travel time to spare on sailing, a river cruise combines that experience with in-depth historical and cultural insights on journeys averaging 7-12 days. Since river cruise getaways can be found globally, international travel may be a factor to keep in mind as well, so be prepared to have a valid passport!


4. Cruise Cost

Now: the costs of cruising! At first glance ocean cruises seem considerably cheaper than their river-faring counterparts. On average, weeklong domestic* ocean cruises can be advertised for as little as $75pp per day. However, that is simply the base price and does not include extra “perks” or experiences like cabin upgrades, drink packages, specialty restaurants, shore excursions which must be purchased at an additional cost.

So while the initial price of $525pp may be appealing, the final sum may be closer to the total average of $1500-$3000pp. The average weeklong European river cruise can start at $200-$500pp per day, but often includes most – if not all – meals and shore excursions plus drink package too.

Flights must be taken into account as well, where keeping things domestic may help maintain lower costs on ocean cruises. Even so, the inclusions on the river itineraries may ultimately give you more bang for your buck while providing unique international experiences to check off your travel bucket list.


Whether its cruising the open ocean or navigating the intricate inner-waterways of the world, we highly recommend seizing the chance to sail on whichever cruise you choose. Still looking for an immersive itinerary in an intimate setting? Then a small ship sea cruise might offer the best of both…with island vibes to boot! We’ll be covering that in next week’s blog, so be sure to check back then:)

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