Cruise vs Campervan – Best Ways To Travel

Cruising and campervanning are two of the fastest growing travel industries in North America. Research shows that there are more that 7 million Recreational Vehicles (RVs) in the USA, 1 for ever 12 households, and plenty more are renting rather than buying. Meanwhile, cruising has seen a boom in the economic downturn as people seek low-cost package deals. Let’s weigh up the pros and cons of travelling by cruise or campervan…


Cruise ships have long been the province of elderly travellers but cruise liners such as Norwegian Epic are increasingly marketing towards younger travelers with plenty of single cabins and late night parties.

With an all-inclusive vacation, you never having to worry about hotels, food and drink prices, or checking in and out. What’s more, you can travel on itineraries as varied as North America to Hawaii cruises and the highlights of Scandinavia. Cruising is also a particularly cost-effective way to travel to many places, as holidays spent island-hopping can soon add up if you buy individual flights.

Nonetheless, the lack of flexibility can be frustrating for people who are used to travelling at will. Although you may get to see many exotic destinations, the brevity of the shore-excursions can also make the visits seem superficial.


Image by eGuide Travel, used under Creative Comms license:




The flexibility of a campervan vacation is endlessly rewarding. The ability to stop, sleep and eat whenever and wherever you want is unrivaled. As with cruising, you cut out the hassle of booking hotels, buses and trains – all you need worry about is having enough gas in the engine. If the fancy takes you, you can decide to go hiking, fishing or sleeping under the stars at a moment’s notice. The pleasure of finding world-class vacation destinations in your own backyard is also exhilarating; North America, after all, has one of the most diverse landscapes in the world.

However one problem for campervanners the world over is keeping the kids happy on the long journeys. Away from the pools and games arcades of hotel resorts or cruise liners, there is bound to be a repetitive soundtrack of “are we there yet?”. The cramped space can also be an issue, but with the whole of nature on your doorstep, claustrophobia cannot last for long.


Image by Kelvyn Skee, used under Creative Comms license:



In truth, the two modes of travel both have their perks and downsides and it really depends on what you’re looking for from a holiday. If you enjoy the hassle-free feeling of being ferried wherever you want to go then cruising might be for you but if the independent life appeals, then find yourself a road-worthy vehicle and hit the track…

Rosanna McGraw is a freelance travel journalist based in the US who writes on everything from guided coach tours in South America to the best road trip itineraries on home soil. She enjoys exploring and reviewing different modes of travel.


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