Oceanliner vs Cruise Ship: Difference and Comparison

Oceanliner and Cruise ship are two different kinds of journeys and voyages done in the sea. Oceanliners are much tougher, while Cruise ships are much more luxurious and pleasurable.

Oceanliners are done in very hardcore weather, while Cruise ships stay much more closer to the coat.

Oceanliners go through a more difficult journey through extreme weather and for a longer time which can even be years of sailing.

These journeys are made in much stronger ships and across a large expanse of open ocean. They take longer duration voyages which can even of years and years. 

Cruise ships are mainly travelling for the luxury and pleasure of the people. These kinds of ships carry people from one port to another and also stay near the coasts.

These kinds of ships are less stronger and differently built. The looks are much more important for this ship rather than strength due to its difference in need.

Key Takeaways

  1. An ocean liner is a large, passenger-carrying vessel designed for transportation across the ocean, while a cruise ship is a passenger ship designed for leisure voyages.
  2. Ocean liners are faster than cruise ships.
  3. Cruise ships offer more amenities and activities than ocean liners.

Oceanliner vs Cruise Ship

An ocean liner is a large, ocean-going vessel designed to transport passengers and cargo across long distances, on a regular schedule. A cruise ship is a passenger ship that is designed specifically for recreational voyages. Cruise ships are smaller than ocean liners but are more luxurious and offer a wider range of amenities.

Oceanliner vs Cruise Ship

Oceanliners have longer bows which help them to protect themselves from high waves in the open and vast ocean. They also have a very strong hull which is much thicker, which ensure protection in harsh weather.

The speed of the ocean liner is much higher due to its time limit and the need of maintaining scheduled time.

Cruise ships have shorter size bow when compared and less strong hull as it doesn’t go much deep into the open ocean.

It stays near to the coast when compared to Ocean liner, thus also having less speed. It moves from port to port, ensuring high pleasure and also comes across fewer weather difficulties.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonOceanlinerCruise Ship
SpeedOcean liners have much more high speed around 30 knots. Cruise ships have less speed when compared to ocean liners around 21 knots on average.
Hull strengthOcean liner has very strong hull which protects them from high waves and bad weather. Cruise ships don’t have much strong hull like Ocean liner.
Path of travellingOcean liners travel through much more open and dangerous routes with bad weathers. Cruise ships travel much more closer to the coast and see less weather problem.
QuantityThere are only a few oceanliners presents nowadays. There are more than 300 cruise ships present today which travels from country to country and many other places.
ExampleSS Great Britain Prinzessin Victoria Luise of German Empire

What is Oceanliner?

Oceanliners are designed to travel from one point to another with passengers or cargo or mail. These kinds of ships travel at a scheduled time and in a proper long route.

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The routes of these ships are very long and through the deep sea and oceans. These ships experience high waves and extreme weather.

Oceanliners are not made for luxury and have very high speed while travelling mainly around 30 knots. An example of an ocean liner is the RMS Queen Mary 2, which travel on transatlantic voyages.

This is the only ocean liner that still travels in transatlantic voyages. This is the flagship of the Cunard Line.

The ocean liners were more famous during the 1800s and 1900s. 

Oceanliners are now not present in great amounts like before days during its golden age.

Only one ocean liner is present today, which travels in transatlantic voyages every day from the United Kingdom to the United States of America. Due to less profit in Ocean liners, they are not built anymore. 

Ocean liners are differently built ships are used to cross oceans or seas at a particular scheduled time. These are built for passengers to travel in time a very long distance like from England to the United States.

These are not for fun or luxury but rather for serious travelling of a great distance of an ocean.

What is Cruise Ship?

Cruise ships came into the scene after a great deal of time. It was developed from the idea of an Oceanliner.

The idea of luxury and pleasure was added to this travelling in ships. In a Cruse ship, the first thing that was kept in mind was pleasure and fun. 

People use cruise ships to travel from one port to another for fun and great luxury. The need of travelling long distances is not the point in Cruise ships, and the seeds of these ships are not much faster like Ocean liners.

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They travel much more closer to the coast and not in a deep ocean. The ships are also built differently.

The cruise ships are built much more luxuriously, keeping in mind all kinds of pleasures. Few cruise ships nowadays even have all kinds of facilities that hotels have.

It can be said as a floating hotel. It is much more costly to travel on a cruise ship because of their luxurious facilities.

These kinds of ships have shorter hulls, and the thickness is also lesser when compared to ocean liners.

These kinds of ships don’t face many weather difficulties as they travel in a pleasurable way and much more closer to the coast and not through the mid-ocean.

The travelling paths of these ships are more like fun travelling and not to cover just the distance in time like Ocean liner.

Main Differences Between Oceanliner and Cruise Ship

  1. Ocean liners are serious travelling ships used to cover distances in a given time, while Cruise ships are used for fun travelling with all kinds of pleasure.
  2. Ocean liners have different kinds of ship structures like strong hulls to encounter high waves, while Cruise ships are made in a way that they contain all kinds of luxurious items.
  3. Ocean liners travel through mid oceans for a long time and in a given schedule, while Cruise ships travel near the coast at a much slower speed.
  4. Ocean liners are the first travelling ships, while from them, the idea of Cruise ships arrived as the idea of pleasure and fun was added to it.
  5. Ocean liners are getting extinct nowadays as only one ocean liner is present in today’s world, and the manufacturing of ocean liners have stopped while Cruise ships are growing day by day as more than 300 cruise ships are present in today’s world.
Difference Between Oceanliner and Cruise Ship


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-349-02548-0_5
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/ec0b0c21f48b247e23ffc863f1fe9c46/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750
  3. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10584609.1986.9962798
  4. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2007JC004154

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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10 thoughts on “Oceanliner vs Cruise Ship: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The delineation of the transition from ocean liners to cruise ships is impeccably captured in this article. The detailed analysis of their functionalities and purposes was truly captivating.

    • This article presented a fascinating narrative about the evolution and differences of ocean liners and cruise ships. The depth of knowledge conveyed here is remarkable.

  2. The extensive details about hull strength, speed, and paths of traveling for both ocean liners and cruise ships provided a comprehensive understanding of their differences. Great read!

    • The explanations on the structural differences and the historical context between these two types of ships were particularly fascinating. This article was a wonderful learning opportunity.

    • The analogy of ocean liners as serious, long-distance travelers and cruise ships as pleasure-oriented vessels was described so vividly in this piece. It’s a highly informative read.

  3. The historical perspective on ocean liners and cruise ships was very enlightening. It’s interesting to see how these two types of ships have evolved over time.

  4. The thorough comparison and contrast between ocean liners and cruise ships were brilliantly articulated, showcasing the significance of these two distinct types of vessels. Well done!

  5. The comparison table provided a clear and concise breakdown of the key differences between ocean liners and cruise ships. I appreciate the details presented in this article.

    • The ocean liner’s role as a serious mode of travel versus the cruise ship’s focus on luxury and entertainment makes for an intriguing contrast. This article has enriched my knowledge on this topic.

  6. The overview of the historical significance of ocean liners and their decline in the modern era provided valuable insights. I thoroughly enjoyed the depth of the information presented in this piece.


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