At first glance, one may appear to think that ocean liners and cruise ships were one and the same. Both marine services have the same basic look to them, carry the same basic things and follow a certain route back and forth. Actually, most of the similarities stop there. When looking into it, these two kinds of ships couldn’t be more different, down to vessel parts and how well they’re made.
To start, ocean liners, which came well before standard cruise ships, are built a little more sturdy that cruise ships. Not typically used for leisure, but instead for the transportation of goods and people, ocean liners need to have stronger plating and specialized parts and equipment to go against rough seas and poor weather conditions. Cruise ships are typically found in regions with modest, easily predictable climates, so they are not required to have such a high density plating on their ship. Ocean liners also typically have greater parts of vessel cargo, including a higher capacity storage for fuel and food stock than most cruise ships do. Cruise vessel parts, while not unsafe or dangerous, are not meant for long, potentially dangerous journeys that ocean liners are.
Another difference between these marine services is what they are used for and the routes they take in order to get there.. An ocean liner is part of a type of offshore vessels which are used to, as mention above, transport goods and people. Therefore, their path tends to go in a relatively straight line, point A to point B. In contrast to that, cruise ships typically return to their original docking port after spending some time on the ocean in order to start the same process over again. A cruise ship’s purpose is for pleasure, with the ship’s amenities and any destinations are part of the experience. For cruise liners, their purpose is strictly transportation. In comparison, an ocean liner’s journey is, for the most part, much longer and covers a much greater distance than a cruise ship.
However, that isn’t to say the line between the two marine services has no become somewhat blurred over the years. Some former ocean liners were converted into cruise ships, like the Marco Polo and the Mona Lisa. So far, the only transatlantic ship in operation as an ocean liner is The Queen Mary 2 of Cunard fleet. She has on board many of the amenities of traditional cruise ships, but is nonetheless considered an ocean liner. The line between the two ships can be a little tricky to spot with these exceptions. However, once you take into consideration the make of the ship, as well as it’s purpose, distinguishing between the two becomes an easy task.