In our previous blog post(s) we covered the top 6 comparisons between ocean and river cruises. Yet, we also mentioned sea cruises as bringing “the best of both worlds” in terms of overall experience. To show you how, we’ve listed the top 3 standout points where small ship sea cruising delivers just that.
Sea cruise vessels are comprised of small ships and mega yachts made ideal for island-hopping. Spanning over 3-4 decks, the maximum onboard capacity usually hovers between 40-60 passengers total. The small number of passengers and close knit surroundings hark back to the intimacy of river vessels.
However, sailing the sea itself offers the feeling of openness similar to cruising the ocean blue. One thing to be aware of that you may only experience when small ship sailing the seas: motion sickness. While it rarely gets to that point, those with sensitivity are recommended to come prepared with dramamine or other remedies just in case.
The small size of sea vessels allow them to be docked closer to each port of call, eliminating unnecessary time to get to town. This gives passengers the opportunity to explore each stop further. Often times daily destinations include small islands that can be covered entirely in the same day (before moving on to the next!) The more culturally immersive aspect can be equated with river cruise itineraries.
While there may be city tours included, sea cruise itineraries also include plenty of free time to enjoy onboard amenities or the panoramic views of crystal waters combined with coastal scenery. This gives the more laid-back atmosphere that ocean cruises provide. Additionally, the difference in demographic may add to the change in vibe. River cruises tend to be popular with travelers with an average age of 55, while sea cruises tend to play to a younger crowd with some family-friendly options as well. (Especially those cruises in warmer climates which allow for swim stops along the sand!)
In terms of cost, this is where sea cruises align with river cruises more so than ocean cruises. While there may be similarities in laid-back ambience and sailing on the seas, the average cost of a 7-day ocean cruise can start as low as $75 per person / per day. Much like their river cruise cousins, sea cruises (with itineraries between 7-15 days) average about $200-$500 per person / per day or roughly $1500-$3000 total.
With that being said, the inclusions in the sea cruise itinerary make the cost worthwhile. Not only are most meals plus drink package included, but daily tours entail exploring old-world city centers, examining natural plant/wildlife, and connecting with local communities by experiencing traditions firsthand. (These opportunities may be offered on some ocean cruises too, but each coming at an additional cost, ultimately tightening the gap in total price difference when compared to sea cruise counterparts.)
There you have it, the “Top 3 of the Sea!” Of course, there are plenty more points that make each cruise experience unique (with more info in our past Cruise 101 blogs) but hopefully we’ve given you a basic idea of what to expect onboard. Looking to peruse a sample itinerary from a sea cruise? Check out our Fabulous Fiji and Amazing Adriatic cruises!