Holidays

Can a cruise ship capsize or sink? Dangers of luxury holidays at sea REVEALED | Cruise | Travel

Though cruise holidays are built with relaxation in mind, the journey isn’t always smooth. 

There are many obstacles cruise ships can face out in the open ocean, but thankfully the industry has contingency plans for all of them. 

With rigorous safety standards across the board, cruise ships are some of the safest places to spend your hard-earned holiday. 

The chances of your cruise ship capsizing or sinking are infinitesimally rare. 

According to the New York Times, only 16 ships have sunk since 1980. 

Many experts agree that wind alone cannot cause a cruise ship to capsize, but waves caused by extreme wind feasibly could. 

Professional ship manager Neill Conroy from the Nautical Institute said: “By itself, no wind can cause any ship to capsize. However, the waves induced by a strong wind that lasts for an extended period can certainly cause a small ship to capsize, if the waves strike the ship broadside (or nearly so) under the right circumstances.”

But the chances of this happening are almost impossible due to the weather routing technology on board. 

Mr Conroy said: “Cruise ships are much bigger, and have continuous contact with weather routing services to keep them safe. 

“While they hate doing it, they will cancel a port visit if weather dictates. You have nothing to be worried about.”

A rogue wave could also cause a cruise ship to capsize. 

This type of wave is defined as greater than twice the size of surrounding waves, which comes often unexpectedly from a direction other than prevailing wind and waves. 

A rogue wave is an extremely rare occurrence but can prove extremely dangerous to cruise ships in the open ocean. 

In 2007 a Holland America cruise ship was hit by a 12m rogue wave near Cape Horn. 

The ship withstood the giant wave but 40 people were injured with some needing hospital treatment. 

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