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Ocean Cruise and River Cruise: What’s the Difference?


You may think that being on a boat for vacation is the same no matter where you do it, but there’s more to it than simply the vessel you’re on. River cruising has become quite popular recently, and many more people are exploring this cruising experience.

What is the distinction between a river cruise and an ocean cruise? Are there legal differences you should be aware of? Here is what you need to know about river cruises versus the ocean cruises you may be more familiar with to help you decide if it’s something you want to try.

Key Differences

One of the biggest differences between ocean cruises and river cruises is – obviously – the waters they travel

The Biggest Differences between River Cruises and Ocean Cruises

Picture a cruise ship. Whether this ship is going to the Bahamas, Europe, or Alaska, the cruise ship you are picturing is most likely on the ocean. Because that’s our collective cultural image of what a cruise is. Sailing on the high seas to distant shores.

If you’re tired of this type of cruise, though, there’s another option: the river cruise. In recent years, more and more people are opting for this alternative, and river cruising has quickly gained in popularity.

River cruises and ocean cruises are very similar, but the following differences could have a big impact on your next onboard trip.


Cabins on river cruises are smaller. A river is significantly smaller than the ocean, and so