Popular Cruise Lines

by Female Abroad

After I had decided on a cruise, the next thing I wanted to look at was the different cruise lines that would interest me and then from there decide on a location. I know most people decide on the location first but with there being so many different cruise lines, this means that they might offer places I haven't even considered before.

Also, since there are a so many different cruise lines I thought it might be helpful to break them down and share my knowledge from the industry as well as what I found out while researching. Keep in mind that different itineraries and times of year will cater towards different demographics, the "Known for" below are their target audience but it does not mean that you cannot take a trip with the cruise line if you do not match their demographics.


These ships will be smaller, a higher cost, but will include almost everything (alcohol, tips, excursions). Due to the smaller ship size they are able to get into ports that the larger ships cannot get into.

Azamara (also known as Azamara Club Cruises)

Known for: an active older crowd of mostly couples

Crystal Cruises

Known for: older couples and older families

Also does river cruises

Oceania Cruises

Known for: couples

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Known for: educated couples

Seabourn Cruise Lines

Known for: exotic locations for older couples

Silverseas Cruises

Known for: older couples wanting luxury (walk in closets, marble bathrooms with a tub and shower, etc)


Not as low priced as the "Low End" ships but not as high as the luxury. These ships usually specialize in something that will draw a certain clientele (usually food, spa, or entertainment options). Again, prices will typically just include your stateroom with meals but you will usually have less buffets and more a la cart

Celebrity Cruises

Known for: an 50+ age and families with older children

Disney Cruises

Known for: family

Also does river cruises that are family friendly (usually charters the AmaWater way vessels) via "Adventures by Disney"

Budget Friendly

These ships will be big but due to the number of people that can travel on them the cost will be lower. Price will typically just include your stateroom and buffets for food.

Carnival Cruise Lines

Known for: families due to their drop-off baby sitting that starts at the age of 2 as well as drunk adults (check the itinerary)

Costa Cruises

Known for: international families and couples

Holland America

Known for: older clientele

MSC Cruises

Known for: families (kids under 11 sail free in the same cabin as their parents)

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Known for: families

Princess Cruises

Known for: couples and families

Royal Caribbean International (RCI)

Known for: families and couples


These lines know in the industry for more specific items.


Known for: the Queen Mary (now a hotel in Long Beach, CA) & Queen Mary 2 for Trans-Atlantic trips

Clientele is: usually people who hate flying, history buffs, older couples, and families

Sea Dream Yacht Club

Known for: making you feel like you are on your own private yacht (with 95 crew and 112 guests)

Clientele is: usually people that own their own boats, wealthier 50+ couples

Windstar Cruises

Known for: sailing ships

Clientele is: people interested in sailing, wanting to relax and don't need a lot of entertainment options, usually people that own their own boats, wealthier 50+ couples

Hebridean Cruise
Known for: wealthy, well educated, older couples that want to see Scotland on a ship that Queen Elizabeth II used

Lindblad Expeditions
Known for: pricy multi-generational cruises with ships that go to special locations and regularly partners with National Geographic

River Cruises

Due to the size of the river cruise boats these are going to be small (even smaller than the luxury boats), cost more, and cater towards couples / pairs that are mature adults. One thing to note with river vessels is that there are not a lot of port spaces so they will dock beside each other and depending on how many boats wide this park job is, you may have to cross over another ship before you get to port. Also, since these ships are smaller and have popular itineraries, they sell out very fast!


Known for: being one of the oldest operating tour companies in the USA also known for showing the experienced traveller the world from a different perspective

Aqua Expeditions

Known for: traveling the Amazon and Asian with environmental preservation / local experiences

Viking Cruises

Known for: being award winning, catering towards more active adults

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Known for having the beds in the stateroom face the window (ie. lie in bed and watch the world go by)

Ama Waterways

Known for: being voted the Best River Cruise Line in 2018 and partnering with Disney


Known for: being more family friendly than the other lines

Pandaw River Cruises

Known for: getting off the grid in Southeast Asia

Avalon Waterways

Known for: being more catered to Western tastes and their food that gets a local flair from the cities you are travelling


Known for: the largest river cruise in Europe, it is French so food is a highlight

American Cruise Lines

Known for: modern river boats that travel along well known rivers in the USA & single travellers

Emerald Waterways

Known for: premium service

If you are wanting to compare cruise lines, get more information, or you don't see a line you were looking for here, check out this website for more information. I found it very helpful while on my hunt.