Cross the ocean on a cruise

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Ocean crossings are a great way to get out and explore the world without the hassle of hauling your bags behind you. Take a relaxed voyage from one continent to the other in comfort and style; you can avoid long queues and congested airports and instead enjoy the pleasure of gourmet dishes, a comfortable bed and attentive service.

Ocean crossings are as much about the journey as the destination – on board travelling is all about exploration, and instead of a new port every day you can expect only a handful of stops and then lots of time for R&R.

What to expect

Unlike cruises in more popular destinations, ocean crossings are not as frequent and depending on the cruise line will only happen a few times a year. The largest cruise lines will offer a handful of ocean crossing cruises during the year while they are repositioning; the newer and larger ships will often spend a portion of the year sailing the Mediterranean before moving to the Caribbean, offering a rare – and discounted – opportunity for an ocean crossing.

Cruise lines like Cunard offer ocean crossings between Southampton and New York more regularly, but still only sail once or twice a month. If you’re interested in an ocean crossing it’s a good idea to plan ahead and be flexible with dates if possible.

The majority of your time will be spent at sea where you can take advantage of the amenities on board to help you relax and stay entertained. From lectures to workshops, performances and aerobics classes, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue your interests, try new things and meet new people. For more of what to expect, articles like the Telegraph’s guide to Transatlantic cruises offer a good overview.

Transatlantic and Transpacific cruises

When it comes to ocean crossing, Transatlantic and Transpacific cruises are two of the most popular itineraries with travellers. Although the destinations are very different, both are similar in style and structure with several days at a time spent at sea and fewer port stops along the journey.

Transatlantic crossings: Transatlantic cruises most commonly go between the United Kingdom and North America. Arguably the most famous ship along this route is Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, which ferries between New York City and Southampton. If you’d like to travel further into Europe, look for a transatlantic route from the eastern coast of the United States to the western Mediterranean.

Transpacific crossings: Transpacific cruises tend to be a little longer and involve more travel for tourists leaving from the United Kingdom as they typically depart from the west coast of the United States. You can cruise from Hawaii to Australia, stopping at several exotic destinations along the way, or choose a Transpacific route that departs from Asia and sails all the way to the crisp waters of Alaska.

Finding a cruise line

When choosing a cruise line, decide on your budget and take into consideration the ports of call and length of time at sea as you make your decision. Websites like Cruise Deals make it easy to explore what’s on offer from the top cruise lines. You can also find a similar service on Travel Supermarket, which lets you compare deals and options against one another to find the best price.

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