Types of Cruises
To most people, a "cruise ship" implies a big white ocean liner loaded with all the pleasures of paradise.
On the following pages we have outlined the different types of cruise ships in the industry. We will cover jobs and information for applicants interested in the big ocean liners as well as the smaller boats. Discover the main differences between large and small cruise ships and learn about the different types of cruises that exist by region.
Expand your cruise ship industry job search as you learn about:
- Large ocean liners
- Small cruise ships
- Alaska cruises
- Caribbean cruise ships
- European cruises
- Specialty cruises like eco-cruising
Large Cruise Ships
Large cruise ships are the big ocean liners you see in posters and are some of the most popular ships in the industry. When you talk about cruise ships with the general public, they will probably think of an ocean liner. These large passenger vessels can hold thousands of passengers at a time, in addition to hundreds of crewmembers. While large cruise ships vary in the exact number of passengers and crew, you can always expect to find: modern facilities, incredible amenities and hundreds of people enjoying the height of luxury.
Entry-level employees who work on large cruise ships will normally have only a few responsibilities. Although responsibilities will change from time to time, the jobs on a large ship tend to be more specialized than on smaller vessels.
Small Cruise Ships
Small cruise ships can vary extensively when it comes to size. They can range from ships carrying less than 500 passengers to yachts that hold a maximum of 10 people.
Small cruise ships are becoming increasingly popular because small ships can access some of the more remote locations that ocean cruise liners are too big to reach. Additionally, passengers on small cruise ships tend to enjoy a more intimate relationship with the crew and the ships activities.
Job hunters should keep in mind that finding work on a smaller ship can be difficult. Because there are fewer positions available on a small ship, and jobs tend to go to applicants with boating experience, finding an entry-level position can be difficult. That isn't to say it's impossible. However, because small ship crewmembers have more responsibilities, they tend to be hired based on a number of different skills. For instance, a worker on a small ship can hold a naturalist job while serving as the captain too. Others will be deckhands, who also help sail the ship, in addition to performing ship maintenance.
Here is a list of some popular, small cruise ship lines:
- American Cruise Lines
- Cruise West
- Lindblad Expeditions
- Quark Expeditions
- Maple Leaf Adventures
- American Safari Cruises
- BC Ferries
- Captain Cook Ferries
- Discovery World Cruises
- International Expeditions
Keep in mind there are many others in the industry. If you're interested in gaining work experience on a boat and care less about cruising and more about the open seas, consider working on an Alaskan fishing boat. These boats set sail with new hires each year. Take some time and explore jobs in the Alaska fishing industry for more information.