Some love them, some hate them: Ocean cruises

28 Jul

Traveling in style

Palma today, Barcelona tomorrow, Marseille the day after — and all this without the hassle of packing suitcases. Cruise tourists appreciate the comfort that comes with this kind of holiday. They can explore vibrant cities during the day, enjoy a cocktail at their favorite bar in the evening and then always fall into the same bed. Nowhere is traveling more stress-free than on a cruise ship.


Much to offer

It's an old cliche that cruises are boring and only attract pensioners. In fact, ocean liner holidays are also extremely popular with younger people. Cruise ships offer varied activities for all ages. From sports and wellness to various entertainment shows, there is something for everyone.


Join an expedition

Those who want to avoid crowded ocean liners may consider an expedition. This is not only a more personal and environmentally friendly option than conventional cruises, but also lets you explore remote regions like Antarctica. Just know that expeditions are much more expensive than a typical cruises.

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Cruise holidays offer plenty of bang for the buck

Many ocean liner holidays are all-inclusive deals, leaving little to be desired. Food and drink are usually part of package, and flights are often included as well. This is one reason cruise holidays are so popular with vacationers. But all this comes at a price.


Environmental pollution

While cruise holidays are good value for money, they come with a major hidden cost: environmental pollution. Most ships run on heavy fuel oil, which is highly toxic. However, some operators are already switching to cleaner alternatives such as liquefied petroleum gas and marine diesel.


Health hazard

In port, docked cruise ships usually switch from burning heavy fuel oil to marine diesel to power their systems. Yet this variety of diesel is much dirtier than conventional car diesel, presenting a health risk to nearby residents and tourists alike.



A single cruise ship can accommodate a few thousand guests. If several such vessels dock at popular tourist destinations, such places can become overrun. This is especially problematic in small, frequently visited towns like Venice and Dubrovnik.


Rich profits, poorly paid crew

Almost all cruise ships fly so-called "flags of convenience." By registering ships in countries such as Italy, Malta or the Bahamas, cruise lines save taxes and earn greater profits. However, these rarely trickle down to crew members. In many cases, cruise ship personnel do not even earn the German minimum wage.


Industry comeback after the pandemic

After a two-year coronavirus hiatus, the cruise industry is getting back into full swing. Big operators are eager to welcome luxury-loving holidaymakers back aboard.


Author Felix Schlagwein

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