Clarification on 'ferry routes' vs 'cruise ship route'

Hi there,

I am wondering if the community can clarify the use of the ‘route=ferry’ vs ‘attraction=boat_ride’ for cruise ships.

I ask specifically in relation to the multiple routes in the sea around SE Asia which I understand is a politically sensitive area (see attached pic). For example, the current openstreetmap (as of 29th Oct 2023) shows multiple ‘ferry’ routes in this area, however a search for purchasing tickets for these routes brings up no results in 2023. There are ‘cruise ships’ listed as operating these routes (occasionally), the dates for 2023 which can be found here: But they are clearly cruise ships and not regular passanger/car ferries.

According to the guidelines here: Ferries - OpenStreetMap Wiki it states:

Touristical boat trips

Touristical boat trips (where one always boards and unboards at the same spot) should not be tagged as a ferry, but with attraction=boat_ride instead.

But this is unclear - because for cruise ships there is an expectation that you may unboard at a different place, but the final destination is the same as the start. Should these routes be marked as ‘route=ferry’ or ‘attraction=boat_ride’ or perhaps even something else?

Again, I am seeking clarification due to the potentially political conflict with this - some actors may have a motivation to mark these routes as ‘regular ferry routes’ in order to stake a political claim to certain pieces of land.

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