An Ocean Liner cruise – how it differs to a cruise ship

A cruise on board a ship is a vacation sailing not that far from the shore and calling from port to port. An ocean liner cruise is a grand voyage – a crossing from point A to point B over vast open waters. Think of endless horizons, misty mornings, and bright moons. The whole idea of a journey on an ocean liner is poetic.

There can come a time when, after many memorable vacations with your favorite cruise line, you may want a change. Even after sailing on the biggest, fastest, and most modern cruise ships, you may find yourself looking for something different.

And for everyone who loves the concept of a cruise vacation, there is an ocean liner that will give you a whole new transatlantic crossing experience.

It gives you a different type of vacation, much like switching from cruise ships to ultra-luxury cruise ships. One that is equally as fantastic. And perhaps even more thrilling.

What is the difference between an ocean liner and a cruise ship?

It’s all in the design. Modern cruise ships are designed to cruise relatively close to the shore between ports of call. In contrast, an ocean liner’s sleek design, robust hull, pointed bow, and high freeboard are designed to transport passengers over the high ocean waves, especially in bad weather and rough seas.

Ocean liners also have an enormous capacity to store fuel, food, and other necessities needed on a long voyage. And while there are modern cruise lines that make transatlantic crossings – repositioning cruises – cruise ships rely on coming into ports of call to replenish their supplies.

Much like floating hotels, these leisurely voyages get you across long distances in style.

Which cruise line offers a cruise on an ocean liner?

RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only ocean liner at sea. As the flagship of the Cunard line, which is part of maritime history, it regularly sails between Southampton, Southern England, and New York. It also offers a world cruise each year.

Queen Mary 2 has a capacity for around 2600 guests. And Cunard has long been associated with British elegance and style. And you will find this reflected in the design and decor on board. This ocean liner is excellent for singles, couples, and families.

Facilities on board are those you would expect from a modern ocean liner, offering everything from a library to a planetarium, wine experiences to afternoon teas, and children’s activities to sports events. And then there are the legendary gala evenings.

What can I expect on board the RMS Queen Mary 2 ocean liner?

As you cross the Atlantic Ocean, the Queen Mary 2 passenger ship and its sister ship Queen Elizabeth is a very different experience from most cruise ships.

Most transatlantic voyages are seven nights without any port stops. Intercontinental travel gives you many days at sea. In the summer, you will most often have tranquil, calm waters. But things can change on the high seas. If you think you will suffer from seasickness on the open ocean, pack the remedy that works best for you.

For dining, you will mostly be in one of the main dining rooms for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Menus are varied, all of a high standard, and served in elegant surroundings. You won’t be disappointed.

The dress code is smart to formal every evening. During the day, however, casual attire, the same as on any other cruise line, is accepted. Most of today’s cruise ships are very relaxed regarding dress codes, but Cunard is more formal. If you do not enjoy this onboard experience, this may not be the cruise for you.

And Cunard still has the traditional gala evening on board, which is very popular with guests. So pack your finest and join in this formel, fun evening.

There are music, dance, theater, and broadway-style productions on board. Be entertained all day by performers, singers, musicians, acrobats, and stand-up comedians.

Ballroom dancing lessons and quiz events are common, and there is always a packed itinerary of activities to keep you occupied each day. Alternatively, many guests use the week to switch off entirely and relax in one of the many lounges and quiet areas around the ship.

Known as being more adult-orientated, Cunard does, however, have good facilities for children. Various play zones and children’s clubs keep the younger family members entertained. All this is included in the price of your cruise.

There are many ways to enjoy sporting events on board. There is table tennis, paddle tennis, golf putting, and a pool area. And if you want to catch your favorite sport on TV, you can also see major sporting events. Tune into the Premier League, Formula 1, Wimbledon tennis, or the Ryder Cup for golf fans.

What is the route of the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary 2?

Best known for her Eastbound and Westbound transatlantic route between Southampton and New York, The Queen Mary 2 offers a 7-night crossing each month.

There is also an extension of the westbound trip from Southampton to New York – you can continue to Fort Lauderdale in Florida for three more nights.

For a more extended cruise, choose 2, 3, or 4 weeks and sail from New York to the Caribbean. The itinerary includes St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Curaçao, and Barbados.

One-week cruises to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords are also available. And shorter trips to France and Germany also depart from Cunard’s home port, Southampton.

What is included in the price on board Queen Mary 2?

Included in your price when booking a cruise on this grand ocean liner is:

  • Your accommodation in your chosen cabin choice
  • All of your dining, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You eat in the main dining room, the Golden Lion Pub, the King’s Court, or the Lido.
  • Join in entertainment onboard – guest speakers, daily activities, and sports events. There is also a library for children in the kids club to enjoy.

Sign up for more information

For more information about RMS Queen Mary 2 ocean liner and cruises from Cunard, sign up for their newsletter here.

Meet the author: Sarah has created and booked hundreds of travel itineraries for thousands of customers during a career in the travel industry that spans 20 years. Having worked hand in hand with cruise lines, hotels, airlines and tour operators worldwide, she offers inspiring & detailed insights in the world of travel and tourism.

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