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Voyage vs. Cruise: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 10, 2023
A voyage is a long journey involving travel, often by sea or in space, while a cruise is a leisurely journey on a ship, primarily for enjoyment and relaxation.

Key Differences

A voyage refers to a journey, typically long and often involving travel by sea or space, and can be for various purposes like exploration, trade, or migration. A cruise, however, is specifically a leisure journey on a ship, designed for relaxation, entertainment, and enjoyment.
Historically, voyages were significant for exploration, discovery, or commercial purposes. Modern voyages continue in forms like space exploration or scientific expeditions. Cruises, in contemporary terms, are associated with vacationing, offering various amenities and activities on board.
Voyages often imply a longer duration and can be one-way or round trips to specific destinations for a purpose. Cruises typically involve round trips with no particular destination in mind, focusing instead on the experience of the journey itself.
On a voyage, the focus is less on luxury and more on the journey’s purpose, with accommodations varying based on the type of voyage. Cruises emphasize luxurious accommodations, dining, and entertainment options, catering to leisure and comfort.
Voyages carry a connotation of adventure, discovery, or challenge, and are often undertaken for specific goals or reasons. Cruises are perceived as a form of vacation or leisure activity, offering relaxation and entertainment.

Comparison Chart


Travel for exploration, trade, or other specific reasons
Leisurely travel for enjoyment and relaxation


Historical and modern contexts of exploration and discovery
Modern context of vacationing and leisure

Duration and Focus

Longer duration, focused on destination or purpose
Round trips focusing on the journey and experience


Functional, varying based on type and purpose
Luxurious, with emphasis on comfort and amenities


Associated with adventure and challenge
Seen as a form of relaxation and entertainment

Voyage and Cruise Definitions


Voyage refers to an extended travel for a specific purpose.
Their scientific voyage took them to remote Arctic regions.


Cruise is a leisurely journey by ship, often for vacation.
They enjoyed a Caribbean cruise last summer.


Voyage implies a journey of some length and purpose.
The novel details the protagonist's voyage of self-discovery.


Cruise implies a vacation involving sea travel with stops at various places.
On their cruise, they visited several tropical islands.


Voyage denotes an adventurous or lengthy travel.
Her first space voyage was a groundbreaking achievement.


Cruise refers to traveling by sea for pleasure.
The couple celebrated their anniversary with a Mediterranean cruise.


Voyage can mean a significant trip or exploration.
They embarked on a voyage to study marine life.


Cruise can mean a leisure trip on a cruise ship with various amenities.
The family enjoyed the onboard entertainment during their cruise.


Voyage is a long journey, especially by sea or in space.
The sailor recounted tales from his transatlantic voyage.


Cruise denotes a holiday spent traveling on a ship or boat.
She booked a cruise to explore the Norwegian fjords.


A long journey to a foreign or distant place, especially by sea.


To sail from place to place, as for pleasure or reconnaissance.


Often voyages The events of a journey of exploration or discovery considered as material for a narrative.


To go or move along, especially in an unhurried or unconcerned fashion
"A car, a long closed car that maybe was a Packard, came slowly down the street, and ... cruised close to the curb" (Carson McCullers).


What is the primary purpose of a cruise?

The primary purpose of a cruise is leisurely travel for enjoyment and relaxation.

Are cruises typically luxurious?

Cruises often offer luxurious amenities and are focused on comfort.

Do voyages always involve sea travel?

While commonly associated with sea travel, voyages can also occur in space or across land.

Can families go on cruises?

Yes, cruises are family-friendly and often have activities for all ages.

Can a voyage be for scientific purposes?

Yes, voyages can be undertaken for scientific research and exploration.

What might someone discover on a voyage?

Voyages can lead to discoveries in areas like science, geography, or personal insights.

Are historical explorations considered voyages?

Yes, historical explorations by sea were significant voyages.

Do cruises have specific destinations?

Cruises may stop at various destinations, but the journey itself is the primary focus.

What defines a voyage?

A voyage is defined as a long journey, particularly by sea or in space.

Is a cruise considered a good vacation option?

Yes, cruises are popular as vacation options due to their leisurely nature and amenities.

Are cruises environmentally friendly?

The environmental impact of cruises is a topic of debate and varies by cruise line.

How do cruises cater to different interests?

Cruises offer a variety of themes and activities catering to diverse interests.

What kind of accommodations are on a voyage?

Accommodations on a voyage vary based on its purpose, from functional to luxurious.

Can a voyage change one’s perspective?

Often, voyages, especially exploratory or personal ones, can change perspectives.

How has cruising evolved over time?

Cruising has evolved to become more focused on diverse experiences and luxury.

Can voyages be dangerous?

Some voyages, especially in harsh environments, can involve risks.

What is the historical significance of voyages?

Voyages have historically been significant for trade, exploration, and cultural exchange.

Are there educational cruises?

Yes, some cruises focus on education and learning experiences.

Do people live on ships during long voyages?

Yes, on long voyages, people live onboard for the duration of the journey.

What activities are available on a cruise?

Cruises offer activities like dining, entertainment, sports, and shore excursions.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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