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  • Lindsey Markwood

What is better Expedition Cruising vs. Ocean Cruising For Your Family Vacation

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

There are three types of cruising: ocean cruising (which is what most people think of), expedition cruising, and river cruising. All three offer amazing opportunities to explore the world with your family, however they differ significantly in their itineraries, onboard experiences, and the type of travelers they attract. In this article, lets delve into the similarities and differences between expedition and ocean cruising for your next family vacation. Just a note: Stay tuned for future articles that include river cruising.

Wonder of the Seas Cruise ship. You see Johnny Rockets to the left, Playmakers to the right. In front you see the Ultimate Abyss and the Aqua Theater
View of Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas from the Boardwalk



Destinations and Itineraries

Expedition Cruising: This type of cruising is perfect for those who want to explore. Expedition cruises can take your family on thrilling journeys to off-the-beaten-path gems that larger ships cannot reach. When you think of expedition cruising most families think of going somewhere with a beautiful icy landscape like Antarctica, Alaska, and the Artic Circle. However, it also includes the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon Rainforest, and more. Itineraries and excursions can be more flexible.


Ocean Cruising: This type of cruising is the most popular with cruise travelers. Itineraries will vary from 2 days to half a year or longer. Most are weeklong. Ocean cruises dock at (or near) the most popular cruise city ports around the world. Most first-time cruisers in the United States will take their first cruise in the Caribbean or Bahamas. There are also cruises to Australia, Europe, Asia, South America, Mediterranean, Hawaii, and Alaska. Depending on the size of the cruise ship, will depend on which specific ports the cruise will visit.


Onboard Experience

Expedition Cruising: Small ships are what you will find with expedition cruises. Expedition cruise ships are more cozy and intimate compared to most ocean cruises. They typically have experts onboard to teach guests about the wildlife they can encounter. The priority with expedition cruises is the destination, rather than the onboard experiences. Most expedition cruises are geared towards adults, but there are some that are perfect for families. Markwood Magic can help you find which cruise is right for you. Click here for a cruise quote.


Ocean Cruising: Cruising on an ocean cruise can be like you are onboard a floating city with some of the larger ships! Ocean cruises are like mini-vacation towns at sea. Ships can have ice skating rinks, roller coasters, laser tags, a central park, and more. With a vast array of activities, pools, theaters, and kids' clubs, they can be ideal for multigenerational families and skip gen as they offer a lot to do for all ages.


Wildlife and Nature Encounters

Expedition Cruising: If you want an opportunity to get close to wildlife and nature then an expedition cruise is perfect. What can you see? Anything from Penguins in Antarctica to a blue footed boddy in the Galapagos. Your family can truly feel the thrill of encountering nature's finest.

Ocean Cruising: While ocean cruises offer some wildlife excursions, they're offer more opportunity to immerse yourself in different cultures and experience things onboard. They typically offer more excursions at a port compared to expedition cruising for all activity levels.


So there you have it, travelers! Both expedition and ocean cruising offer epic adventures for you and your family. If you're up for bucket list trips, wildlife encounters, and immersive learning experiences, expedition cruising will blow your mind. On the other hand, if you're seeking a jam-packed vacation with diverse activities, cultural escapades, and iconic destinations, ocean cruising is your ticket to happiness.


No matter which you choose, you will come away with a ton of new family memories created. Ready to start planning? Click here for a price quote.




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