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A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship
Passenger ship
A passenger ship is a ship whose primary function is to carry passengers. The category does not include cargo vessels which have accommodations for limited numbers of passengers, such as the ubiquitous twelve-passenger freighters once common on the seas in which the transport of passengers is...

 used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way. Transportation is not the prime purpose, as cruise ships operate mostly on routes that return passengers to their originating port, so the ports of call are usually in a specified region of a continent.

In contrast, dedicated transport oriented ocean liner
Ocean liner
An ocean liner is a ship designed to transport people from one seaport to another along regular long-distance maritime routes according to a schedule. Liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes .Cargo vessels running to a schedule are sometimes referred to as...

s do "line voyages" and typically transport passengers from one point to another, rather than on round trips. Traditionally, an ocean liner for the transoceanic trade will be built to a higher standard than a typical cruise ship, including high freeboard
Freeboard (nautical)
In sailing and boating, freeboardmeans the distance from the waterline to the upper deck level, measured at the lowest point of sheer where water can enter the boat or ship...

 and stronger plating to withstand rough seas and adverse conditions encountered in the open ocean, such as the North Atlantic. Ocean liners also usually have larger capacities for fuel, victuals, and other stores for consumption on long voyages, compared to dedicated cruise ships.

Although often luxurious, ocean liners had characteristics that made them unsuitable for cruising, such as high fuel consumption, deep draught that prevented them from entering shallow ports, enclosed weatherproof decks that were not appropriate for tropical weather, and cabins designed to maximize passenger numbers rather than comfort (few if any private verandas, a high proportion of windowless suites). The modern cruise ships, while sacrificing qualities of seaworthiness, have added amenities to cater to tourists, and recent vessels have been described as "balcony-laden floating condominiums".

The lines between ocean liners and cruise ships have blurred, particularly with respect to deployment, although the differences in construction remain. Larger cruise ships have also engaged in longer trips such as transocean voyages which may not lead back to the same port for months (longer round trips). Some former ocean liners operate as cruise ships, such as MS Marco Polo
MS Marco Polo
MS Marco Polo is a cruise ship owned by Global Maritime, under charter to UK-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages, having been previously operated by Transocean Tours, Germany. She was built in 1965 by Mathias-Thesen Werft, East Germany as MS Alexandr Pushkin for the Soviet Union's Baltic Shipping Company...

 and MS Mona Lisa, however this number is ever decreasing. The only dedicated transatlantic ocean liner in operation as a liner, as of February 2010, is the Queen Mary 2 of the Cunard
Cunard Line
Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival UK. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century...

 fleet, however she also has the amenities of contemporary cruise ships and sees significant service on cruises.

Cruising has become a major part of the tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 industry, accounting for U.S.$29.4 billion with over 19 million passengers carried worldwide in 2011. The industry's rapid growth has seen nine or more newly built ships catering to a North American clientele added every year since 2001, as well as others servicing Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an clientele. Smaller markets, such as the Asia-Pacific region, are generally serviced by older ships. These are displaced by new ships in the high growth areas.

The world's largest cruise ships are Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is a Norwegian and American cruise line brand based in Miami, Florida and owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.. With 42 ships in service under 5 different brands and one more under construction, it controls a 25.6% share of the world cruise market...

's MS Oasis of the Seas and its sister ship MS Allure of the Seas.

History


Early years


The first vessel
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

 built exclusively for this purpose was the Prinzessin Victoria Luise
Prinzessin Victoria Luise
Prinzessin Victoria Luise was a passenger ship of the Hamburg-America Line of some . She is credited with having been the first purpose-built cruise ship...

, designed by Albert Ballin
Albert Ballin
Albert Ballin was a German businessman. He was born into a modest Jewish family of Hamburg with origins in Denmark.- Business :...

, general manager of Hamburg-America Line. The ship was completed in 1900.

The practice of cruising grew gradually out of the tradition of transatlantic crossings, which never took fewer than four days. In the competition for passengers, ocean liners added luxuries — the Titanic being the most famous example — such as fine dining and well-appointed staterooms.

In the late 19th century, Albert Ballin
Albert Ballin
Albert Ballin was a German businessman. He was born into a modest Jewish family of Hamburg with origins in Denmark.- Business :...

, director of the Hamburg-America Line, was the first to send his transatlantic ships out on long southern cruises during the worst of the winter season of the North Atlantic. Other companies followed suit. Some of them built specialized ships designed for easy transformation between summer crossings and winter cruising.

Jet age impact on Cruising


With the advent of large passenger jet aircraft in the 1960s, intercontinental travelers largely switched from ships to planes, sending the ocean liner
Ocean liner
An ocean liner is a ship designed to transport people from one seaport to another along regular long-distance maritime routes according to a schedule. Liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes .Cargo vessels running to a schedule are sometimes referred to as...

 trade into a slow decline. Certain characteristics of older ocean liners made them unsuitable for cruising duties, such as high fuel consumption, deep draught preventing them from entering shallow ports, and cabins (often windowless) designed to maximize passenger numbers rather than comfort. Ocean liner services aimed at passengers ceased in 1986, with the notable exception of transatlantic crossings operated by the Cunard Line
Cunard Line
Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival UK. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century...

, catering to the niche market
Niche market
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focusing; therefore the market niche defines the specific product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact...

 who appreciated the several days at sea away from civilization.

In comparison to liner crossings, cruising voyages gained popularity; slowly at first but at an increased rate from the 1980s onwards. Initially the fledgling industry was serviced primarily by small redundant liners, and even the first purpose built cruise ships were small. This changed after the success of the SS Norway
SS France (1961)
SS France was a Compagnie Générale Transatlantique ocean liner, constructed by the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard at Saint-Nazaire, France, and put into service in February 1962...

 (originally the ocean liner SS France, which was converted to cruising duties) as the Caribbean's first "super-ship".

Contemporary cruise ships built in the late 1980s and beyond, such as Sovereign-class which broke the size record held for decades by Norway, show characteristics of size and strength once reserved for ocean liners—some have undertaken regular scheduled transatlantic crossings. The Sovereigns were the first modern "megaships" to be built, they also were the first series of cruise ships to include a multi-story atrium with glass elevators. They also had a single deck devoted entirely to cabins with private balconies instead of oceanview cabins. Other cruise lines soon launched ships with similar attributes, such as the Fantasy class and Crown Princess. As the veranda
Verandah
A veranda or verandah is a roofed opened gallery or porch. It is also described as an open pillared gallery, generally roofed, built around a central structure...

 suites were particularly lucrative for cruise lines, something which was lacking in older ocean liners, recent cruise ships have been designed to maximize such amenities and have been described as "balcony-laden floating condominiums".

There have been nine or more newly-built cruise ships added every year since 2001, all at 100,000 tonnes or greater. The only comparable ocean liner to be completed in recent years has been Cunard Line
Cunard Line
Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival UK. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century...

's Queen Mary 2
RMS Queen Mary 2
RMS Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic ocean liner. She was the first major ocean liner built since in 1969, the vessel she succeeded as flagship of the Cunard Line....

in 2004. Following the retirement of her running mate the Queen Elizabeth 2
RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
Queen Elizabeth 2, often referred to simply as the QE2, is an ocean liner that was operated by Cunard from 1969 to 2008. Following her retirement from cruising, she is now owned by Istithmar...

in November 2008, Queen Mary 2 is the only liner operating on transatlantic routes, though she also sees significant service on cruise routes.

Amenities


Until 1975-1980, cruises offered shuffleboard
Shuffleboard
Shuffleboard, more precisely deck shuffleboard, and also known as shuffle-board, shovelboard, shovel-board and shove-board [archaic], is a game in which players use broom-shaped paddles to push weighted pucks, sending them gliding down a narrow and elongated court, with the purpose of...

, deck chairs, "drinks with umbrellas and little else for a few hundred passengers." After 1980, they offered increasing amenities. As of 2010, city-sized ships have dozens of amenities.

21st century


Luxury cruises are often centered around the Caribbean, Alaska, and Mexico. For certain destinations such as the Arctic and Antarctica, cruise ships are the most common way to visit. The largest passenger cruise ships are the Oasis class vessels owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is a Norwegian and American cruise line brand based in Miami, Florida and owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.. With 42 ships in service under 5 different brands and one more under construction, it controls a 25.6% share of the world cruise market...

.

Organization




Cruise ships are organized much like floating hotels, with a complete hospitality staff in addition to the usual ship's crew. It is not uncommon for the most luxurious ships to have more crew and staff than passengers.

Dining


Dining on almost all cruise ships is included in the cruise price, except on no-frills lines such as EasyCruise
EasyCruise
EasyCruise is an enterprise of Greek ferry operator Hellenic Seaways, sold to them in August 2009 for £9 million by founder and Cypriot/British business man, Stelios Haji-Ioannou. EasyCruise launched their first cruise ship EasyCruiseOne in 2005...

.

Traditionally, the ships' restaurants organize two dinner services per day and passengers are allocated a set dining time for the entire cruise, but a recent trend is to allow diners to dine whenever they want. Cunard Line
Cunard Line
Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival UK. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century...

 ships maintain the class tradition of ocean liner
Ocean liner
An ocean liner is a ship designed to transport people from one seaport to another along regular long-distance maritime routes according to a schedule. Liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes .Cargo vessels running to a schedule are sometimes referred to as...

s and have separate dining rooms for different types of suites, while Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises is a cruise line founded in 1988 by the Greek Chandris Group. In 1997, Celebrity Cruises Ltd. merged with Royal Caribbean International to become Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which operates Celebrity, Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Club Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises and CDF...

 and Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises is a British-American owned cruise line, based in Santa Clarita, California in the United States. Previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises PLC, the company is now one of ten cruise ship brands operated by Carnival Corporation & PLC and accounts for approximately 19% share...

 have a standard dining room and "upgrade" specialty restaurants that require pre-booking and cover charges.

Besides the dining room, modern cruise ships also usually feature one or more casual buffet-style eateries, often open 24 hours and with menus that vary throughout the day to provide meals ranging from breakfast to late-night snacks. Ships also feature numerous bars and nightclubs for passenger entertainment; the majority of cruise lines do not include alcoholic beverages in their fares and passengers are expected to pay for drinks as they consume them. Most cruise lines also prohibit passengers from bringing aboard and consuming their own alcohol (alcohol purchased duty-free is sealed and only returned to passengers when they disembark) while on-board the ship.

There is often a central galley
Galley (kitchen)
The galley is the compartment of a ship, train or aircraft where food is cooked and prepared. It can also refer to a land based kitchen on a naval base or a particular formed household kitchen.-Ship's kitchen:...

 responsible for serving all major restaurants aboard the ship, though specialty restaurants may have their own separate galleys.

As with any vessel, adequate provisioning
Provisioning (cruise ship)
Cruise ships consume vast amounts of food every day; as an example, the following is a list of supplies provisioned on board the Celebrity cruise ship Constellation for an average 7 day cruise.*24,236 pounds of beef*5,040 pounds of lamb*7,216 pounds of pork...

 is crucial, especially on a cruise ship serving several thousand meals at each seating. For example, passengers and crew on the Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is a Norwegian and American cruise line brand based in Miami, Florida and owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.. With 42 ships in service under 5 different brands and one more under construction, it controls a 25.6% share of the world cruise market...

 ship Mariner of the Seas
Mariner of the Seas
MS Mariner of the Seas is one of five Voyager-class cruise ships from Royal Caribbean International; it is one of the largest in its fleet and among the largest passenger ships in the world. It was constructed at Aker Finnyards in Turku, Finland and had her maiden voyage in 2003. Currently the ship...

consume 20,000 pounds (9,000 kg) of beef, 28,000 eggs, 8,000 gallons (30,000 L) of ice cream, and 18,000 slices of pizza in a week. Normally, a cruise ship stocks up at its home port
Home port
A vessel's home port is the port at which it is based, which may not be the same as its port of registry shown on its registration documents and lettered on the stern of the ship's hull...

, however they also have special arrangements with designated suppliers at ports of call if required.

Other on-board facilities


Most modern cruise ships feature the following facilities:
  • Casino - Only open when the ship is at sea
  • Spa
  • Fitness center
  • Shops - Only open when ship is at sea
  • Library
  • Theatre with Broadway style shows
  • Cinema
  • Indoor and/or outdoor swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Buffet restaurant
  • Lounges
  • Gym
  • Clubs


Some ships have bowling alleys, ice skating rinks, rock climbing walls, miniature golf courses, video arcades, basketball courts, or tennis courts.

Crew


Crew are usually hired on four to six month contracts that are renewed frequently, based upon feedback from passengers. There are no paid vacations or pensions. Crew members do not have any expenses while onboard as food and accommodation are included, and this makes a cruise ship career financially attractive enough to compensate for lack of employment benefits.

Living arrangements vary by cruise line, but mostly by shipboard position. Senior officers are assigned single cabins. In general two employees share a cabin with a shower, commode and a television set. There are a set of facilities for the crew, separate from that of passengers, such as a fitness center, a crew recreation room (simply crew bar), mess hall, and a crew deck with a swimming pool.

Ship naming


Older cruise ships have had multiple owners. Since each cruise line
Cruise line
A cruise line is a company that operates cruise ships. Cruise lines have a dual character; they are partly in the transportation business, and partly in the leisure entertainment business, a duality that carries down into the ships themselves, which have both a crew headed by the ship's captain,...

 has its own livery
Livery
A livery is a uniform, insignia or symbol adorning, in a non-military context, a person, an object or a vehicle that denotes a relationship between the wearer of the livery and an individual or corporate body. Often, elements of the heraldry relating to the individual or corporate body feature in...

 and often a naming theme (for instance, ships of the Holland America Line
Holland America Line
The Holland America Line is a cruise shipping company. It was founded in 1873 as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company , a shipping and passenger line. Headquartered in Rotterdam and providing service to the Americas, it became known as Holland America Line...

 have names ending in "-dam", e.g. MS Statendam
MS Statendam
MS Statendam is a cruise ship of the Holland America Line. She is the fifth ship to carry the name Statendam for NASM/Holland America Line...

, and Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is a Norwegian and American cruise line brand based in Miami, Florida and owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.. With 42 ships in service under 5 different brands and one more under construction, it controls a 25.6% share of the world cruise market...

's ships' names all end with "of the Seas", e.g. MS Freedom of the Seas
MS Freedom of the Seas
MS Freedom of the Seas is a cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. It is the namesake of Royal Caribbean's Freedom class cruise ships, and can accommodate 3,634 passengers and 1,300 crew on fifteen passenger decks...

, ships of Cunard Line
Cunard Line
Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival UK. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century...

 have the title of "Queen", e.g. RMS Queen Mary 2
RMS Queen Mary 2
RMS Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic ocean liner. She was the first major ocean liner built since in 1969, the vessel she succeeded as flagship of the Cunard Line....

), it is usual for the transfer of ownership to entail a refitting and a name change. Some ships have had a dozen or more identities.

Cruise ships utilization


Due to slower speed and reduced seaworthiness, as well as being largely introduced after several major wars, cruise ships have never been used as troop transport vessels. By contrast, ocean liner
Ocean liner
An ocean liner is a ship designed to transport people from one seaport to another along regular long-distance maritime routes according to a schedule. Liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes .Cargo vessels running to a schedule are sometimes referred to as...

s were often seen as the pride of their country and used to rival liners of other nations, and have been requisitioned during both World Wars to transport soldiers and serve as hospital ships.

Cruise ships and former liners often find employment in applications other than those for which they were built. A shortage of hotel accommodation for the 2004 Summer Olympics
2004 Summer Olympics
The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece from August 13 to August 29, 2004 with the motto Welcome Home. 10,625 athletes competed, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team...

 led to a plan to moor a number of cruise ships in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 to provide tourist accommodation.

On September 1, 2005, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders...

 (FEMA) contracted three Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Cruise Lines is a British-American owned cruise line, based in Doral, Florida, a suburb of Miami in the United States. Originally an independent company founded in 1972 by Ted Arison, the company is now one of eleven cruise ship brands owned and operated by Carnival Corporation & plc...

 vessels to house Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 evacuees.

In response to the shutdown of UK airspace due to the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull
Eyjafjallajökull
Eyjafjallajökull is one of the smaller ice caps of Iceland, situated to the north of Skógar and to the west of Mýrdalsjökull. The ice cap covers the caldera of a volcano with a summit elevation of . The volcano has erupted relatively frequently since the last glacial period, most recently in...

 volcano, the newly completed Celebrity Eclipse
Celebrity Eclipse
Celebrity Eclipse is a , operated by Celebrity Cruises. She is the sister ship of Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox, which entered service in November 2008 and July 2009, respectively. A fourth ship in the class, Celebrity Silhouette, she entered service in Fall 2011. She is the third...

was used to rescue 2000 British tourists stranded in Spain as "an act of goodwill" by the owners. The ship departed from Southampton for Bilbao on April 21, and returned on April 23.

Regional industries



The number of cruise tourists worldwide in 2005 was estimated at some 14 million. The main region for cruising was North America (70% of cruises), where the Caribbean islands were the most popular destinations.

Next was Continental Europe (13%), where the fastest growing segment is cruises in the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. The most visited Baltic ports are Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Stockholm and Helsinki.
The seaport of St. Petersburg, the main Baltic port of call, received 426,500 passengers during the 2009 cruise season.

According to 2010 CEMAR statistics the Mediterranean cruise market is going through a fast and fundamental change; Italy has won prime position as a destination for European cruises, and destination for the whole of the Mediterranean basin. The most visited ports in Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 are Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 (Spain), Civitavecchia
Civitavecchia
Civitavecchia is a town and comune of the province of Rome in the central Italian region of Lazio. A sea port on the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is located 80 kilometers west-north-west of Rome, across the Mignone river. The harbor is formed by two piers and a breakwater, on which is a lighthouse...

 (Italy), Palma (Spain) and Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 (Italy).

Caribbean cruising industry



The Caribbean cruising industry is a large and growing market, and the most popular. Cruising has grown from "an estimated 900,850 passengers in 1983 to 2.3 million passengers in 1993". Cruise lines operating in the Caribbean include Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is a Norwegian and American cruise line brand based in Miami, Florida and owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.. With 42 ships in service under 5 different brands and one more under construction, it controls a 25.6% share of the world cruise market...

, Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises is a British-American owned cruise line, based in Santa Clarita, California in the United States. Previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises PLC, the company is now one of ten cruise ship brands operated by Carnival Corporation & PLC and accounts for approximately 19% share...

, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises is a cruise line founded in 1988 by the Greek Chandris Group. In 1997, Celebrity Cruises Ltd. merged with Royal Caribbean International to become Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which operates Celebrity, Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Club Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises and CDF...

, Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line is an American cruise line company owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, a division of The Walt Disney Company and is headquartered in Celebration, Florida. The business is run by President Karl Holz. Disney Cruise Line operates the Disney Cruise Line Terminal,...

, Holland America, P&O
P&O Cruises
P&O Cruises is a British-American owned cruise line based at Carnival House in Southampton, England, and operated by Carnival UK. Originally a constituent of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, P&O Cruises is the oldest cruise line in the world, having operated the world's first...

, Cunard
Cunard Line
Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival UK. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century...

, Crystal Cruises
Crystal Cruises
Crystal Cruise Lines, most commonly seen as Crystal Cruises, is a Japanese luxury cruise line founded in 1988 and notable for its two medium-sized, high-end ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, which each hold about 1,000 guests. The line is a wholly owned subsidiary of the large Japanese...

, and Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is a company operating cruise ships, headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida. It began operations in 1966 under the name Norwegian Caribbean Line. The company is best known for its Freestyle Cruising concept, which means that there are no set times or...

. There are also smaller cruise lines that cater to a more intimate feeling among their guests. The three largest cruise operators are Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean International, and Star Cruises/Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Some of the American cruise lines in the Caribbean depart from ports in the United States, "nearly one-third of the cruises sailed out of Miami". Other cruise ships depart from Port Everglades
Port Everglades
Port Everglades is a port in Broward County, Florida. As one of South Florida's leading economic powerhouses, Port Everglades is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations. Already one of the three busiest cruise ports worldwide, Port Everglades is also one of Florida's leading...

 (in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, on the Atlantic coast. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 165,521. It is a principal city of the South Florida metropolitan area, which was home to 5,564,635 people at the 2010...

), Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral is a cruise, cargo and naval port in Brevard County, Florida, United States. It is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world with nearly 2.8 million multi-day cruise passengers passing through during 2010. As a deep water cargo port, it has a high volume of traffic. Over of bulk...

 (approximately 45 miles (72.4 km) east of Orlando
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

), New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Tampa
Port of Tampa
The Port of Tampa is located on the western coast or Suncoast of Florida, approximately 25 miles from open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The boundaries of the Port district includes parts of Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Bay, McKay Bay, Old Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough River.The port of Tampa is the...

, Galveston
Port of Galveston
The Port of Galveston is the port of the city of Galveston, Texas. It was established by a proclamation issued by the Congress of Mexico on October 17, 1825, while the land known today as Texas was still part of Mexico...

, New Orleans
Port of New Orleans
The Port of New Orleans is a port located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the 1st in the United States based on volume of cargo handled, second-largest in the state after the Port of South Louisiana, and 13th largest in the U.S. based on value of cargo...

, Cape Liberty
Cape Liberty Cruise Port
The Cape Liberty Cruise Port , sometimes called Port Liberty, in Bayonne, New Jersey is one of three trans-Atlantic passenger terminals in New York Harbor...

, Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Jacksonville, Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

, Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

, Mobile
Port of Mobile
The Port of Mobile, located in Mobile, Alabama, United States, is the only deep-water port in the state, and was the 9th largest by tonnage in the nation in 2008. It is located along the Mobile River where it empties into Mobile Bay...

, and San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan , officially Municipio de la Ciudad Capital San Juan Bautista , is the capital and most populous municipality in Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 395,326 making it the 46th-largest city under the jurisdiction of...

. Some UK cruise lines base their ships out of Barbados
Port of Bridgetown
The Port of Bridgetown , is a seaport in Bridgetown on the southwest coast of Barbados...

 for the Caribbean season, operating direct charter flights out of the UK and avoiding the sometimes lengthy delays at US immigration.

Cruises sailing in the Caribbean travel on itineraries depending on the port of departure and the length of the cruise. The busiest port of call is The Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

 with "1.8 million cruise-ship arrivals in 1994". This is because its short distance from Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 is very convenient for both short and long cruises. The next most popular ports of call were "the US Virgin Islands (1.2 million), St. Maarten (718,553), Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 (680,195), the Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory and overseas territory of the European Union located in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica...

 (599,387), and Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 (595,036)". Other ports of call include: Belize City
Belize City
Belize City is the largest city in the Central American nation of Belize. Unofficial estimates place the population of Belize City at 70,000 or more. It is located at the mouth of the Belize River on the coast of the Caribbean. The city is the country's principal port and its financial and...

, Costa Maya
Costa Maya
Costa Maya is a small tourist region in the municipality of Othón P. Blanco in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, the only state with Caribbean Sea. This municipality is close to Chetumal on the border with Belize, until recently British Honduras...

, Cozumel
Cozumel
Cozumel is an island in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, opposite Playa del Carmen, and close to the Yucatan Channel. Cozumel is one of the ten municipalities of the state of Quintana Roo...

, Antigua
Antigua
Antigua , also known as Waladli, is an island in the West Indies, in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region, the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua means "ancient" in Spanish and was named by Christopher Columbus after an icon in Seville Cathedral, Santa Maria de la...

, Aruba
Aruba
Aruba is a 33 km-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 27 km north of the coast of Venezuela and 130 km east of Guajira Peninsula...

, Grand Turk
Grand Turk
Grand Turk may refer to:* Grand Turk * Grand Turk Island* Cem, a Turkish prince made famous by his extended captivity in the West* an informal western name for the Great Sultan of the Turkish Ottoman dynasty...

, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

 and Key West
Key West, Florida
Key West is a city in Monroe County, Florida, United States. The city encompasses the island of Key West, the part of Stock Island north of U.S. 1 , Sigsbee Park , Fleming Key , and Sunset Key...

. It is also worthy to note that these figures are from 1994 and highly outdated, so although the same ports are at the forefront today, the figures are very different. St. Thomas
Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Saint Thomas is an island in the Caribbean Sea and with the islands of Saint John, Saint Croix, and Water Island a county and constituent district of the United States Virgin Islands , an unincorporated territory of the United States. Located on the island is the territorial capital and port of...

 in the US Virgin Islands is particularly popular with US passengers because they get a second duty-free allowance to use on goods purchased there.

Shipyards


The construction market for cruise ships is dominated by three European
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 companies and one Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n company:
  • STX Europe of Norway with two shipyards:
    • STX Europe (the former Aker Yards
      Aker Yards
      STX Europe AS, formerly Aker Yards ASA, a subsidiary of the South Korean industrial chaebol STX Corporation, is the largest shipbuilding group in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. With headquarters in Oslo, Norway, STX Europe operates 15 shipyards in Brazil, Finland, France, Norway,...

      /Kvaerner Masa-Yards/Wärtsilä
      Wärtsilä
      Wärtsilä is a Finnish corporation which manufactures and services power sources and other equipment in the marine and energy markets. The core products of Wärtsilä include large combustion engines...

      , Valmet
      Valmet
      ' was a Finnish state-owned conglomerate. Valmet was formed in 1951, when the state of Finland decided to group their various factories working on war reparations to the Soviet Union under one company...

       and Rauma Shipyards) in Finland.
    • Aker Yards France (Chantiers de l'Atlantique
      Chantiers de l'Atlantique
      Chantiers de l'Atlantique is part of the South Korean STX Shipbuilding Group and one of the world's largest shipyards, based in Saint-Nazaire, France...

      ) in France.
  • Fincantieri
    Fincantieri
    Fincantieri - Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. is a shipbuilding company based in Trieste, Italy. It was formed in 1959 and is the largest shipbuilder in the Mediterranean, and one of the largest in Europe...

     of Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

    .
  • Meyer Werft
    Meyer Werft
    The Meyer Werft is one of the remaining large German shipyards, headquartered in Papenburg. Since 1997, it has been part of the Meyer Neptun Group together with Neptun Werft in Rostock.-History:...

     of Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    .
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
    , or MHI, is a Japanese company. It is one of the core companies of Mitsubishi Group.-History:In 1870 Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of Mitsubishi took a lease of Government-owned Nagasaki Shipyard. He named it Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, and started the shipbuilding business on a full scale...

     of Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    .

A large number of cruise ships have been built by other shipyards, but no other individual yard has reached the large numbers of built ships achieved by the four above. A handful of old ocean liner
Ocean liner
An ocean liner is a ship designed to transport people from one seaport to another along regular long-distance maritime routes according to a schedule. Liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes .Cargo vessels running to a schedule are sometimes referred to as...

s also remain in service as cruise ships. Despite the dominance of United States-based cruise ship operators and American clients in the industry, only one ship built in the United States, The Emerald
SS The Emerald
SS The Emerald is a cruise ship owned by the Cyprus-based shipping company Louis Cruise Lines. She was built in 1958 by the Northrop Grumman Shipyard in Gulfport, Mississipi, USA for Grace Lines as SS Santa Rosa...

, is still sailing.

Norovirus


Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in developed countries and is so widespread that only the common cold is reported more frequently. Symptoms usually last between 1 and 3 days and generally resolve without treatment or long term consequences. The incubation period of the virus averages about 24 hours.

The estimated likelihood of contracting gastroenteritis from any cause on an average 7-day cruise is less than 1%. In 2009, during which more than 13 million people took a cruise, there were nine reported norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships. Outbreak investigations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown that transmission among cruise ship passengers is primarily person-to-person; potable water supplies have not been implicated. In 2009, ships undergoing unannounced inspections in U.S. ports received an average CDC Vessel Sanitation Program score of approximately 97 out of a total possible 100 points. The minimum passing inspection score is 85. Collaboration with the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program and the development of Outbreak Prevention and Response Plans have helped to generally decrease the incidence of norovirus outbreaks on ships.

Legionnaires' disease


Other pathogens which can colonise pools and spas including those on cruise ships include Legionella
Legionella
Legionella is a pathogenic Gram negative bacterium, including species that cause legionellosis or Legionnaires' disease, most notably L. pneumophila. It may be readily visualized with a silver stain....

, the bacteriium which causes Legionnaires' disease. Legionella, and in particular the most virulent strain, Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, can cause infections when inhaled as an aerosol or aspirated. Individuals who are immunocompromised and those with pre-existing chronic respiratory and cardiac disease are more susceptible. Legionnaires' has been infrequently associated with cruise ships. The Cruise industry Vessel Sanitation Program has specific public health requirements to control and prevent Legionella.

Security


There have been several high profile incidents on cruise ships, including pirate attacks on Seabourn Spirit and MSC Melody
MSC Melody
MS MSC Melody is a cruise ship owned and operated by MSC Cruises. She was built in 1982 by the CNIM shipyard in La Seyne, France for Home Lines as MS Atlantic. Between 1988 and 1997 she sailed for Premier Cruise Line as MS StarShip Atlantic. In 1997 she entered service for MSC Cruises as MS Melody,...

.
As a result, cruise ships have implemented various security measures including LRAD
Long range acoustic device
The Long Range Acoustic Device is a distance hailing device and non-lethal crowd control weapon developed by LRAD Corporation to send messages, warnings, and harmful, pain inducing tones over longer distances than normal loudspeakers....

s to deter pirates, as well as CCTV, metal detectors and x-rays to prevent weapons and contraband onboard.

In addition to these measures, passengers are often given a personal identification card, which must be shown in order to get on or off the ship. This prevents people boarding who are not entitled to do so, and also ensures the ship's crew are aware of who is on the ship.

Environmental impact



"Cruise ships generate a number of waste streams that can result in discharges to the marine environment, including sewage, graywater, hazardous wastes, oily bilge water, ballast water, and solid waste. They also emit air pollutants to the air and water. These wastes, if not properly treated and disposed of, can be a significant source of pathogens, nutrients, and toxic substances with the potential to threaten human health and damage aquatic life. It is important, however, to keep these discharges in some perspective, because cruise ships represent a small — although highly visible — portion of the entire international shipping industry, and the waste streams described here are not unique to cruise ships. However, particular types of wastes, such as sewage, graywater, and solid waste, may be of greater concern for cruise ships relative to other seagoing vessels, because of the large numbers of passengers and crew that cruise ships carry and the large volumes of wastes that they produce. Further, because cruise ships tend to concentrate their activities in specific coastal areas and visit the same ports repeatedly (especially Florida, California, New York, Galveston, Seattle, and the waters of Alaska), their cumulative impact on a local scale could be significant, as can impacts of individual large-volume releases (either accidental or intentional)."

See also


  • List of cruise ships
  • List of cruise lines
  • List of ocean liners
  • Cruiseferry
    Cruiseferry
    A cruiseferry is a ship that combines the features of a cruise ship with a Ro-Pax ferry. Many passengers travel with the ships for the cruise experience, staying only a few hours at the destination port or not leaving the ship at all, while others use the ships as means of...

  • River cruise
    River cruise
    A River cruise is a voyage along inland waterways, often stopping at multiple ports along the way. Since cities and towns often grew up around rivers, river cruise ships frequently dock in the center of cities and towns.- Descriptions :...

  • Cruising (maritime)
    Cruising (maritime)
    Cruising by boat is a lifestyle that involves living for extended time on a boat while traveling from place to place for pleasure. Cruising generally refers to trips of a few days or more, and can extend to round-the-world voyages.- History :...

  • Ship location mapping service
    Sailwx
    Sailwx is an integrated maritime information service that aggregates worldwide ship locations into a single map. Weather conditions including ocean currents, wave height and tides are also available and can be integrated into ship location maps....

     of cruise ships and water vessels worldwide
  • Lido (swimming pool)
  • List of the world's largest cruise ships

Sources

  • Douglas Ward, Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships, published annually
  • Monarchs of the Sea: The Great Ocean Liners; Ulrich, Kurt; Tausir Parke; 1999; ISBN 1-86064-373-6

External links


Information on safety oversight, security, and complaints for ships of U.S. registry or visiting U.S. ports.