How Long Do Most Cruises Last?

Seven-day cruises are the industry standard.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 28 March 2014
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The time most cruises last is highly variable. Typically the most popular cruise length is a seven-day long cruise, but there are many other varieties worth considering when you want to take a cruise, and many different lengths that will help you plan the cruise that best fits with your schedule.

Many people cite that the shortest cruises are three days long. This is in fact inaccurate. There are numerous cruises that are day length, or are dinner cruises. It's perhaps arguable that most cruises last a day or shorter, since popularity of single day cruises or dinner or brunch cruises tend to be very high. These shortest of cruises tend not to be taken into account when considering how long most cruises last.

The next shortest cruise is usually three days in length, and people may choose these as either part of a vacation or just alone. Some people argue that most cruises last, or at least should last longer, especially for a person who takes a few days adjustment to being on a cruise ship. If you do tend to get seasick, or tend to start off seasick and off balance at the beginning of a cruise, you may want to consider a longer cruise so that you’ll have more time to enjoy activities once you adjust to being on a ship.


As mentioned, most cruises last about seven days, but there are also five and four day cruises. Some cruises may have a specific time length, but allow you to exit the cruise earlier from various ports of call to return home or enjoy the sights of a particular port. Though seven-day cruises are popular, the time most cruises last for the most popular type can vary too. There are a number of cruises that are ten to fourteen days in length, and if people want to cruise a considerable distance or see more on a cruise they may prefer a longer cruise than can be taken in a week.

For those who really want to live the sea life, you can spend up to a third of a year on a cruise and travel around the world. Others prefer to take a long cruise across the Atlantic Ocean, perhaps from New York to England or France, since they don’t like to fly. Typically though, you’ll find most people prefer a cruise that doesn’t take up quite so much time, especially if you’re not an independently wealthy person who can’t afford to take a third of year off of work to “see the world.”

If you’re not sure how you’ll react to a seven-day cruise, it’s a good idea to get some experience aboard a cruise ship first. Seven days on a cruise may seem interminable if you spend it horribly sick to your stomach. You might start out by taking a day cruise or dinner cruise, or even a three-day cruise vacation to see how you do before committing to the expense of a longer trip.


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