Search for your ideal Cruise
Where would you like to go?
Departure dates
Cruise type
Cruise line
Credit: Shutterstock

How fast do cruise ships go? Amazing cruising facts and figures

Author: Susan Johnson

Published on:

Updated on:

How fast do cruise ships go? Is a question many are left pondering when examining the gargantuan vessels. What is the maximum speed of a ship in the sea? We find out.

Cruise ships are truly awe-inspiring. From their size to the number of people who jump onboard every year, cruise ships are modern marvels.

They are more than just floating resorts. In fact, there exist several cruise ships that work like small cities – but how fast do cruise ships go?

Regardless of how seasoned a cruise-ship passenger you are, there are likely few facts you don’t know about.

From the maximum speed of ships in the sea to morgues located below deck, here are some fantastic facts about cruise ships.

Related articles

1. Cruise ships travel at an average speed of 20 knots

So, how fast so cruise ships go? Well, the average speed of a cruise ship in the sea is between 20 knots which equals 23 miles per hour.

A ship’s speed depends on several factors, from the engine’s capabilities to the conditions at sea.

- READ MORE: How to book your perfect cruise -

2. The largest cruise ship is the length of four football fields

So, which is the biggest cruise ship in the world? Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas is currently the largest cruise ship in the world (until Wonder of the Seas launches in the Spring).

It comprises 18 decks, 2,759 staterooms, 22 dining venues, 24 swimming pools, and a park that is home to over 20,700 plants.

The cruise ship also features the latest technology in the form of robot bartenders. Additionally, there is an ice-skating rink, a ninth-floor zip line and a 92-foot-tall water slide.

The ship was introduced to the world in 2018. It is around 1,188 feet long, which translates to the length of four football fields, or twice the height of the Washington Monument.

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas is currently the largest cruise ship in the world. Credit: Royal Caribbean

3. The Titanic was just a fraction of the size of modern cruise ships

Yes in Seven Spielberg’s blockbuster it looked huge, but if you think the Titanic was actually gigantic, you are wrong.

Compared to modern cruise ships, the Titanic falls short in various aspects, ranging from its size to accommodations.

- READ MORE: How do cruise excursions work? -

For instance, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is nearly five times more spacious than the Titanic.

What’s more, it can accommodate 5,400 guests when the Titanic could only accommodate 2,229.

Oasis of the Seas is a large and bright cruise ship packed with fun activities. Credit: Royal Caribbean

4. Most cruise ships have a fake funnel (sometimes, two or three)

Funnels were invented in the steamship days of ocean liners serving the purpose of expelling smoke and fumes from the lower decks.

While they are still necessary, they are not needed as much as in the past.Experts say the modern ship requires just one funnel. However, most cruise ships have two to four, simply for aesthetic purposes.

- READ MORE: What is a cabin on a cruise ship? -

5. Some cruise ships are designed for permanent residents

If you wish to spend your entire life at sea, you can live your dream aboard The World.

A luxury ocean liner, it offers permanent residence to 165 guests. Residents can enjoy sailing to nearly all corners of the world.

Old cruise ships needed funnels. Pictured - HMS Lusitania at New York dock in 1907. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Crew members have a secret set of codewords

Much like doctors, soldiers, and other professionals, crew members also have secret codewords they use while communicating with each other.

According to Brandon Presser, a former Royal Caribbean cruise ship director, a “30-30” means the crew demands maintenance to clean up the mess.

- READ MORE: Jane McDonald reveals 'shocking' behaviour of crew -

“PVI” means public vomiting incident, “Kilo” means all personnel is to report to their emergency posts, “Bravo” is a fire, and Alpha” refers to a medical emergency.

Most recent articles