Cruising refers to the act of going on a trip on a cruise ship, which is simply a ship for going on relaxation voyages. The voyages can last for a few days at sea or take years. The types of boats that are used for cruising include both boats using power and sail for operation, multihulls, and monohulls. However, due to the expensiveness of operating and purchasing power cruise ships, sail cruise ships are dominant. On average, a cruise ship can have a length of anywhere between 33 and 50 feet although they can be smaller or much bigger such as for mega cruise ships. Some people who go on cruise ships are enthusiasts who are willing to spend even a decade at sea exploring the world. However, for most people, cruising is a leisure experience that is done during a break off work or perhaps a school trip in the case of children.
Types of Cruising
There are two types of cruising in the world namely blue-water and coastal cruising. The former is a lot more dangerous than the latter. The reason why blue-water cruising is more dangerous is that it happens in the deep seas where there is no help within immediate reach should it be needed. On the other hand, coastal cruising is much safer as it happens within 14 miles off the coast of a nation. Most countries in the world that have a coastal line usually claim 14 miles of the sea from its coast as part of its borders. Regardless of the types of cruise, there are several kinds of preparations that have to be done in order to ensure the safety of the passengers. These tests include things like studying weather reports and warnings, studying charts, navigation books, and other things. In addition, the vessel has to be examined by qualified technicians and adequately supplied with supplies such as water, food, and fuel.
Life On a Cruise Ship
Passengers on a cruise ship, especially on large cruise ships, get to experience life as if they were on the land itself. Everything is sorted out and organized for their comfort. In fact, most cruise ships have more crew than passengers so that there is a constant supply of fresh crew for serving the passengers. A passenger will have access to the basic amenities such as food and accommodation. Other onboard facilities include things like casinos, fitness centers, buffet restaurants, sports amenities, infirmaries and morgues, and many other things.
Countries that Love Cruising
Data from 2016 shows that the United States has the highest number of people who went on cruise ships, about 11.5 million, while China is a distant second with only 2.1 people in the same year. Germany is third with about 2.0 million people while the United Kingdom and Australia are fourth and fifth with 1.9 million and 1.3 million people respectively. Closing the top ten are Brazil and Spain with only half a million people each.
More Americans have now taken to going on cruise ships after retirement or if they wish to take a break from the usual hustle and bustle of life. In fact, data from 2012 shows that around 17 million Americans went on a cruise of some sort, which shows that the figure in 2016 is actually a drop. One of the reasons why cruises are so popular is the relatively lower cost involved. Even though the costs vary with different companies offering different services, the average cruise ship costs around $100 a day. This price includes accommodation, food, entertainment, and transportation from one port to another. In a month, this equates to about $3,000, which is lower than what most people pay in rent or mortgages every month. In some cases, passengers can get a huge bargain where they will spend between $50 and $75 per day. These sorts of bargains are mostly available to customers who book a cruise far in advance or to people who are regulars on cruise ships. The regulars can use their loyalty points to get better rates or get some rewards within the cruise, which may include upgrades or other free rewards.
Another reason why cruises are so popular in the US is their flexibility. There are cruises that last for as short as one week or a month to several years. This flexibility means that people are able to organize themselves in advance depending on their schedules. In the case of people who have large families, they can use loyalty points in order to reduce the financial strain. Surveys also show that a reasonable number of elderly people would be open to retiring in the sea, especially if they get good offers.
Looking at China, the future of cruising does not look that bright, which is in stark contrast to the expanding economy. In 2017, the figure increased slightly to 2.8 million travelers from the 2.1 million of 2016. However, despite the desire of the Chinese government to improve the sector, the number of people going on cruises is projected to decrease by at least 14.3% in 2018. This decrease has now forced cruise operator to start pulling out from the country. The reason for this decline includes things like strict Chinese regulations, tourism bans, poor relations with South Korea, and other things. An example of a negative Chinese regulation is one that does not allow cruise companies to sell goods directly to Chinese consumers, which has left cruise companies in a bad financial situation. Another possible reason for the decline is that people are slowly getting out of traditional cruise ships where everything is preplanned. Instead, people are now leaning towards independent planning where they get to enjoy themselves as much as they want.
Spain is one of the countries with the highest numbers of tourists in the world. However, these tourists do not necessarily get there via the sea. The low number of cruise ship travelers to Spain can be attributed to the anti-tourist protests in some parts of the country. These protests are aimed at cruise companies for the pollution they case to the sea. This trend has also been observed in Italy.