Cruising has over the last several decades played a major role in the tourism industry with millions of tourist using this service to travel worldwide. Cruise ship operates in roundabout courses where they pick passengers from their original port, travel them to other destinations across the globe and then return them to their original port. Unlike ocean liners that transport passengers from one port to another. The ocean liners are built specifically for purposes of ferrying passengers where they do not get to the same port for a long time.
Cruising was initiated in the mid twentieth century across the Atlantic Ocean where crossing the ocean took more than four days. This led to the development of luxurious services across the vessels to increase their competitive advantage against other ocean liners (Lynn 2006, p95). The vessels provided entertainment services, fine dining and movie theatres among others. The transport business offered by the ocean liner crashed in the 1960s with the invention of passenger aircrafts.
Most travelers shifted from using ocean liners to planes for their transport services. In the 1980s the cruising services started gaining popularity and this saw the increase of cruise vessels. The cruising sector grew at an average rate of eight per cent per annum. The first cruise vessels were small in size but current times have seen the dramatic increase in the size of the vessels to become the worlds largest passenger vessels. This period saw the development of fly cruise options, increased ship capacities, variable cruise durations and price options.
The fly cruise option is the most attractive feature of cruise holidays where travelers are able to travel to their destination and get the chance to spend some time exploring surrounding cities (Dowling 2006, p341). This allows them to interact with different cultures. Most cruise vessels operated the Caribbean island, Mexico and Alaska and were later adopted all over the world. Some countries such as the Antarctica have adopted cruising as the only mode of travel due to their climate making the vessels the main tourist attraction.
Present day vessels are much more like floating five star hotels with complete hospitality staff and the regular ships crew. There are several types of cruise vessels which mainly depend on their purpose and navigation ability. There is the river/barge cruise vessel which are smaller vessels compared to the large cruise liners. These vessels take different forms where they can be high-tech vessels or paddleboats. The vessels carry up to four hundred and fifty passengers hence offering an opportunity to mingle with other passengers and try different occupations like fishing among others.
These cruise vessels are a common phenomenon across American rivers like the Mississippi. The sailing or yachting cruises are smaller vessels with a capacity of under 150 passengers. The passengers can help in different chores such as preparing breakfast and preparing lecture halls. These vessels are mostly involved in shore based outings for example eco-tourism. However these vessels are mostly technologically advanced with computer aided controls that keep the vessel relatively level. Large cruise liners accommodate a large number of passengers around 1500.
These vessels offer the passenger a number of luxurious facilities like the swimming pool and Jacuzzis among others. Due to the large number of passengers, these vessels have large social facilities to cater for the passengers. The vessels are used by tourists who visit major tourist attractions around the globe. The large size of these vessels makes it almost impossible to dock in every destination they arrive. These vessels also have a large workforce which ensures the comfort of the passengers. The workforce is diversified to be able to relate with the different cultures of the travelers (Fairplay 2004, p87).