The changing shape of passenger ships

fred henderson
4th October 2005, 00:20
The publication of a photo of a modern cruise ship often provokes outrage from the more traditionally minded members. I feel that ships are working ladies and the job they are required to perform changes over time and as a result the appearance of the ships also changes. In the past liners were designed to carry (by order of volume) express freight and mail, emigrants and premium fare passengers. Today they only carry leisure trade passengers, who will not tolerate the primitive on board living conditions of the past. This inevitably changes the external appearance of the ships.
The critical comparative between passenger ships is net tonnage. Gross registered tonnage (GRT) is the measurement of the internal volume of a ship on the basis of 100 cubic feet being equal to 1 ton. Net tonnage is GRT less the space occupied by machinery, bunkers, crew accommodation and store rooms.
The Cunard Line Aquitania was 45,647 GRT, 21,998 tons net. She could carry a maximum of 3,263 passengers, two thirds of them emigrants. These figures provide an average of only 6.74 tons per passenger. As a result she had a low and sleek profile. Most of her passengers were crammed into lower deck dormitories.
When the Queen Mary was built her GRT was 81,235 tons and her net tonnage was 34,120. Her initial passenger capacity was 2139, producing 15.95 tons per passenger. After WW II her passenger capacity was reduced to 1,995, improving her net tonnage per passenger figure to 17.10 tons.
When Queen Elizabeth 2 was introduced her GRT was 65,863 and her net tonnage 38,244. She could carry 2005 passengers, giving 19.07 tons per passenger. After many rebuilds and reduction in passenger numbers, this figure is now 20.63 tons per passenger.
The Queen Mary 2 is 148,258 GRT and 98,720 net. Her maximum passenger load is 3,090, giving 31.95 tons per passenger. That is twice as much space per passenger than was provided in Queen Mary when she entered service and almost five times that available in Aquitania.
Of the original 2,139 passengers on Queen Mary, 711 were in the highest grade accommodation and she set new standards by providing 90% of them with a porthole. After the last major rebuild of Queen Elizabeth 2, 69% of all passengers have an outside cabin and a handful in the penthouse suites have balconies. The Queen Mary 2 provides 78% of its passengers with outside cabins and 73% with balconies. The modern demand is for balconies.
I have a greatest admiration for the classic liners of the early 20th Century but I suggest that their modern day sisters are equally worth our admiration.

Fred

sea_dog
4th October 2005, 03:44
I must agree with you Fred, just like a lady each of the different designs of ships through the ages have had their appeal. I guess if you wanted to be a total purist you would have to discount all the steamers (and MV's). I have read the statements of sailing masters when these new, smelly, noisy abominations first hit the sea lanes, yet we now look back and can appreciate the beauty of many of the early vessels. Given a little time (to get used to them) I am sure even the critics will look back on these modern vessels with a warm glow in their hearts.
Ron

PS: My only Gripe is with warships, How can you call it a warship unless it is bristling with guns !! lol (nothing Quite like the smell of cordite in the morning :) )

Jan Hendrik
4th October 2005, 03:57
Very interesting Fred how you came about calculating the NRT as a basis for the number of passengers.

Passenger ships are always measured in GRT for some reason whilst cargo ships and especially tankers/bulkers are measured in DWT.
I can understand the reason as otherwise there is no correlation of figuring out the size and capacity of a ship.
Interesting topic.
Jan

Piero43
4th October 2005, 13:46
I only partially agree with Fred and Sea Dog. The market reasons and the need to accomodate as more passengers is possible have led to a less sleek line in modern cruise ships.
Nevertheless, I'm convinced that there is no need they look like floating shoe boxes (this is what many new cruise ships look like): one hundred years could pass, but they will look hugly as well.
There is always an intermediate way: see for instance the Disney's cruise ships; they have a quite traditional line, without any sacrifice in passenger's accomodations.
As for the comparaison with early steamers, only romantic people lookimg at ships passing by from the shore, and maybe some master, would like more a journey in a windjammer from Europe to America or Australia (expecially in winter) to one in a packet, surely not a passenger or a crew hand!
Piero

R58484956
4th October 2005, 16:18
A new 3006 passenger ship of 112000tons being built by Fincantieri will enter
service in spring 2008 for Carnival Cruise lines, she is as yet unnamed, she is one of 5 ships being built.

fred henderson
4th October 2005, 17:10
I only partially agree with Fred and Sea Dog. The market reasons and the need to accomodate as more passengers is possible have led to a less sleek line in modern cruise ships.
Nevertheless, I'm convinced that there is no need they look like floating shoe boxes (this is what many new cruise ships look like): one hundred years could pass, but they will look hugly as well.
There is always an intermediate way: see for instance the Disney's cruise ships; they have a quite traditional line, without any sacrifice in passenger's accomodations.
As for the comparaison with early steamers, only romantic people lookimg at ships passing by from the shore, and maybe some master, would like more a journey in a windjammer from Europe to America or Australia (expecially in winter) to one in a packet, surely not a passenger or a crew hand!
Piero
As you probably know Piero, Disney asked their designers to produce two ships that looked like something out of a child's storybook. The contract caused Fincantieri a lot of grief, because Disney are not shipowners and did not understand that great ships are not built by lawyers issuing threatening letters every week, but by co-operation and partnership between the owner and the yard. They were eventually delivered in 1998/9. They are employed on short duration cruises (3 or 4 days) with 24.78 net tons per passenger. Disney has not ordered any more ships and unlike the major cruise operators their ships carried fewer passengers in 2004 than in 2003

Fred

Piero43
5th October 2005, 13:08
Hi Fred!
I don't know what was requested in the Disney specifications, but, except for some too fancy hull decorations they don't look as "Donald Duck's ships"!
My remarks aimed just to point out that maybe is possible to build something of aesthetically acceptable without excessive sacrifice of the tons/passenger ratio (24,78 is between 20,63 of QE2 and 31,28 of QM2; not so bad!).
I worked for Fincantieri for almost 30 years, though in another Yard (Riva Trigoso, Naval ships); also in my memories are difficult relationships with too demanding owners and superintendents (one for all the Iraqi Navy!), but I don't see how this problem could affect the aesthetics of the ship: after all the final design is done by the builder, and the aspect of the ship depends mainly from the good taste of the designer.
Well, maybe I'm too much romantic, after all, and the market rules!

Piero

R58484956
5th October 2005, 13:28
Any photos of the Disney ships on site (Ruud over to you )

ruud
5th October 2005, 13:34
Ahoy,

You ask, we serve!
You mean those things?
2 for the price of 1

http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/9987/magicwonder7xl.th.jpg (http://img95.imageshack.us/my.php?image=magicwonder7xl.jpg)

R58484956
5th October 2005, 15:38
Many thanks Ruud, well at least they look like ships.

Harry C
5th October 2005, 20:30
Here an old type. Picture taken near Gibraltar were she's being prepared for a pernament location in Rotterdam. For those who are interested I got lots of photo's from the Rotterdam (Rembrandt)

http://img392.imageshack.us/img392/2548/picture1112xg.th.jpg (http://img392.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture1112xg.jpg)

Harry

R58484956
5th October 2005, 20:41
Not being a mate I thought that ships at anchor were supposed to show a black ball up front somewhere, cannot see one on her.

fred henderson
5th October 2005, 21:50
Many thanks Ruud, well at least they look like ships.
Disney is very skilled at creating illusions. The sheer line is entirely paintwork and of course the forward funnel is a dummy. Cruises are normally sold as three or four days within a seven day Disneyworld package. In 2003 Disney carried 391,378 passengers, in 2004 the figure was 378,283. By way of comparison, Carnival Cruise Lines alone (not the group as a whole) carried 2,850,000 passenger in 2003 and 3,087,930 in 2004.

Fred

Jan Hendrik
6th October 2005, 00:00
To Harry,
Nice picture of the Rotterdam, except for the paintwork, but we won't blame you for that........
Best is you place photos under the appropriate threads.
You find Holland America Line on the main page with a special thread for the Rotterdam (5),, any more photos you have, then please place these over there.

Pompeyfan
6th October 2005, 01:16
Oddly enough, when ships with funnels at the aft like Southern Cross, Northern Star, Canberra and Rotterdam came out tradionalists moaned then, but we love them now. Whether or not we will love the modern day cruise ship in years to come is another matter. Yes, most look like a block of flats with the private balcony being the in thing causing this horrible design I assume?. But as I have said so many times, cruising is a different trade. Ships of yesteryear were built for the trade they plied such as winter in the north atlantic. Apart from Qheen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, United States and ships the French passengers liners, most trans-Atalatic liners and those who plied the line voayges to Australia were all small compared with the giant cruise ships of today. The old Arcadia that I served on despite being about three times smaller than the present Arcadia would have a better sea going ship due entirely to her design than the present block of flats. When on Oriana recently, she rolled in next to nothing of a sea where the old Arcadia or indeed Canberra would have sliced through without hardly any movement at all. And when we turned on Oriana off Cowes to head up to Calshot, she listed right over due to her height. I once steered Canberra on the same route and she was as steady as a rock, even when turning. These modern cruise ships may be big, but they will never be as steady as those of yeateryear even when far smaller. And they will not be as good looking either?!. David

billyboy
6th October 2005, 08:01
I agree with your comments David. in our day there were no such thing as stabilisers. The Shhips were designed to ride it out. modern ships, even with the hydraulic stabilisers still tend to roll aboutlike the preverbial "stool in a chamber pot" LOL

Pompeyfan
6th October 2005, 12:51
I was in a force 12 on Arcadia between Vancouver and Honolulu and we caught the tail end of the Cyclone that destroyed Darwin. The old girl ploughed through it no trouble. We were busy in the medical department of course, but I would hate to be in a modern day cruise ship in storms like that. My only gripe with the force twelve was that I lost my breakfast having to go back for more. The only way to get to my hospital was on the outer deck either side. I had no patients in, so decided to go down to the Galley for my own brakfast eating it in my cabin as I often did. I managed to get back to the heavy door separating my hospital from passenger accomodation. I could'nt come up via D Deck as it was under water so came through a public room to C deck with my hospital on the after end. As I rested the tray on the railing to open the door with one hand, the ship lurched to port and I lost the bloody lot having to go back for more!. The Galley was not very busy that day for some reason?!. But the sharks may have liked a double helping of full English breakfast?!. David

fred henderson
6th October 2005, 19:17
I agree with your comments David. in our day there were no such thing as stabilisers. The Shhips were designed to ride it out. modern ships, even with the hydraulic stabilisers still tend to roll aboutlike the preverbial "stool in a chamber pot" LOL

QE2, delivered 1969, has Denny Brown, fin stabilisers. Vosper stabilisers were fitted in the 1950s Ton class minesweepers. How old are you guys?

Fred (*))

fred henderson
6th October 2005, 23:15
Oddly enough, when ships with funnels at the aft like Southern Cross, Northern Star, Canberra and Rotterdam came out tradionalists moaned then, but we love them now. Whether or not we will love the modern day cruise ship in years to come is another matter. Yes, most look like a block of flats with the private balcony being the in thing causing this horrible design I assume?. But as I have said so many times, cruising is a different trade. Ships of yesteryear were built for the trade they plied such as winter in the north atlantic. Apart from Qheen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, United States and ships the French passengers liners, most trans-Atalatic liners and those who plied the line voayges to Australia were all small compared with the giant cruise ships of today. The old Arcadia that I served on despite being about three times smaller than the present Arcadia would have a better sea going ship due entirely to her design than the present block of flats. When on Oriana recently, she rolled in next to nothing of a sea where the old Arcadia or indeed Canberra would have sliced through without hardly any movement at all. And when we turned on Oriana off Cowes to head up to Calshot, she listed right over due to her height. I once steered Canberra on the same route and she was as steady as a rock, even when turning. These modern cruise ships may be big, but they will never be as steady as those of yeateryear even when far smaller. And they will not be as good looking either?!. David
Gadgee has posted a photo of British Seafarer rolling her way across the Atlantic in a calm sea. No top-hamper on a loaded tanker David.

Pompeyfan
6th October 2005, 23:54
Never served on a tanker. And no top hamper either. Always had my own cabin with nice bed!. David

KIWI
15th November 2005, 08:55
Came across Biscay in P&O,s Maloja in the same period as the Flying Enterprise went down.No such thing as stabilisers but didn,t have to put away my whisky bottle table lamp & could not get a decent rough weather photo.These modern "Block of Flats" must have to slow down if they can,t dodge the weather. KIWI

R58484956
15th November 2005, 11:49
Queen Elizabeth (1) had two sets of stabilisers, but quite often only one set were extended, so you had a choice if you wanted to have a roll go aft, if not go for'ard

Piero43
15th November 2005, 15:48
My, very interesting! I didn't know that old QE had a rubber hull!
P.

Andrew Fisher
21st December 2005, 01:43
Some interesting points have been made re seagoing qualities. We were on QE2 for the first leg of the 04/05 world cruise Soton to NY 15th -21st December and about 200 miles SW of Ireland the ship encountered 12 to 13 metre head seas which she sliced through at 25 knots (according to the cabin TV monitor). This also shows the view from the bridge and there was plenty of water sloshing abround the foredeck, but basically she was riding the weather rather than fighting it. Stabilisers can't reduce pitching in head seas and it was good fun in the stern as the speed of the ship into the waves produced some zero gravity moments. Captain McNaught obviously adores his ship and said that she was doing what she was designed to do - travelling fast in poor weather. Don't know how Carnival Condo would have behaved - I read an article by a passenger on QE2 on the equivalent voyage in 1998 who said the waves were up to 75 feet and although the movement was incredible he was never concerned because the ship simply seemed to ride the punches (she did have to slow right down!). There was also the issue of the 95 foot vertically faced rogue she encountered in Hurricane Louis in 1995 - althought there was some damage it was not structural. If you came across such weather on Carnival Condo you'd start saying your prayers - if you had time. I don't want to be negative about the new ships, they are designed for a different market, its just that they are not to my taste - and I do wonder if the profit motive has led marine architects to become blase about sea going qualities. One day we might be paying the price for designing ships which are built to take only 15 tonnes per square metre impact (God alone knows what QE2 has taken at times, but a 30m vertical rogue is estimated to impact a ship at 100 tonnes per square metre, she probably deflected some of the energy by taking it head on). QM2 I exempt from criticism as although I don't think she looks as good as QE2, stucturally she is very much designed with the North Atlantic in mind.

R651400
21st December 2005, 07:51
I have to confess I fall into the category "modern cruise ships do nothing for me." I hardly give them a second glance on SN or in ship magazines. One of the reasons, they all look much of a muchness.
One exception perhaps, Costa, at least they have some semblence of funnel.
How can you compare these "floating wedding cakes" with yesteryear, when companies had their own individual styles and countries vied for pole position, to have the best looking ships afloat. QE2, France, Rotterdam, Leonardo da Vinci to name but a few.
Yes I can just imagine those old windjammers having that very same feeling then as I do now.

fred henderson
21st December 2005, 22:06
I suspect that it is all a question of fashion. I am interested in the fantastic achievements of the cruise industry and the shipbuilders who have met the industry's requirements. When Royal Caribbean built Sovereign of the Seas in 1988, only three larger passenger ships had ever been built. (Queen Mary, Normandie and Queen Elizabeth) Now the Panamax size is the standard workhorse of the cruise fleets and dozens are in service. A number are sisters and are very difficult to tell apart, but each class is completely different if you are interested in ships.
In the early years of the Twentieth Century shipping lines made their money out of the emigrant trade. Transporting huge numbers of desperate people in squalid accommodation that was little better than the old slave ships. Things became so bad that the US Authorities introduced a $10 levy for each passenger who died during the crossing. That is the reality behind the classic facade.
Funnels were part of the act to generate emigrant passengers, many of whom had never seen the sea, let alone a ship. There was a belief that the best ships had more and bigger the funnels. Many were dummies added for marketing reasons. Today, the owners need to portray that they are concerned for the environment and some feel that they do not want to draw attention to the exhaust uptakes in the funnel. Fashions change.

Fred

neil maclachlan
22nd December 2005, 17:36
Hi Shipmates,
I can see by the varied opinions expressed that some of us don't like the direction ship design has taken in the last forty years. I myself, being an old guy, remember with nostalgia.that on any ocean you could look at a ship and tell by it's silhouette wether it was a Alfie Holt boat,NZS,Co, Federal,Port,Blue Star,Houlder,Clan Line,P&O,Orient,Union Castle,and damned near every line under the Red Duster (including a good number of foreign flagged ships) I tend to agree with the member who called the present day cruise liners as big wedding cakes (a great desciption?)And looking inward what you see is a Las Vegas Casino? Thats what the cruising publc want. I cruised on the "Island Princess" one of the last ships that looked almost like what a ship should look like? It's like comparing one of Calmacs Car Ferries with the "Waverley?"
Interesting set of opinions?
Neil Mac.

jAdUwallah
3rd December 2007, 00:25
Having previously served on the old SS Oriana, I was keen to see the new version. So after a fish supper in the Blue Dolphin?, in Lee-on solent, we took our positions by the Solent to watch her maiden voyage out of Southampton.

I was really excited, then I saw it, my jaw dropped. It looked like a car-ferry, a big car ferry, I was so disappointed.

bobs
3rd December 2007, 11:27
The marketing efforts of the cruise companies is not aimed at people like us: old salts, spanner winkers and miscellaneous ship-nuts and aficionados harking back to the 'good old days' but at the general holidaymaking public, many of whom wouldn't know - or care - whether the sharp end was the front or back of a ship and who are quite easily persuaded the what we might call a floating shoebox is a really impressive 'must' to sail on. Cruise ship design has become very much a 'fashion' thing. One company sets the trend, others follow. The result is the ships all start to look like each other, albeit in different sizes. But is it not the same with motor cars, airliners, trains, etc. And of course it is easier, quicker and cheaper to build ships of a similar design than to have them all looking different.

Chouan
3rd December 2007, 16:44
Not being a mate I thought that ships at anchor were supposed to show a black ball up front somewhere, cannot see one on her.

Yes, she is, and no, I can't see one either.

quietman
3rd December 2007, 17:35
Yes, she is, and no, I can't see one either.

All I can see is something black on a halyard on the fore mast but I have lost my glasses and cant make out what it is any ideas.

K urgess
3rd December 2007, 17:38
Is she really "technically" at anchor.
The chains go through the fairleads onto the focsle and both anchors appear to be fully home.

ddraigmor
3rd December 2007, 17:49
Well said, R651400!

They look like a block of flats, they are square with no sheer or real lines - and they cater for money, not aesthetics!

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Right then, they're damn ugly!

Jonty

Orbitaman
4th December 2007, 07:46
Is she really "technically" at anchor.
The chains go through the fairleads onto the focsle and both anchors appear to be fully home.

Yes, she is technically at anchor as according to the Colregs, Rule 3 General definitions, paragraph (i):

"The word "underway" means a vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground."

The vessel is clearly not aground (one would assume), and certainly not made fast to the shore. The two chains stop her from being underway, therefore, the vessel is at anchor.

I would suggest that the shape on the port side of the mainmast is 'alluding' to be the anchor ball, although it is more of a diamond shape. It is certainly not inthe fore part of the vessel, nor is it where it can best be seen, as required in the rules.

Hardly a shining example of good seamanship!

JET
4th December 2007, 08:50
I am waiting for the announcement of the 'Biggest cruise ship ever to be built' and it will be located in downtown Las Vegas, probably positioned in a large lagoon. To many of its 'passengers' it will be just right, no rolling, pitching or heaving. Inside its facade will be - another Casino.

Regards, John

Chris Isaac
4th December 2007, 09:11
When browsing the gallery of passenger liners... if she was built before 1980 I click for a close look, after 1980 and I might have a look, after 2000 I dont bother !!

fred henderson
4th December 2007, 10:09
The Sunday Telegraph for 2nd December includes a cruise supplement containing a two page article about Queen Mary 2 with the headline "The last of the great liners".
I am sure it was deliberately intended to annoy the SN Old Salts!(Jester)

Fred(Thumb)

K urgess
4th December 2007, 11:16
So if a vessel is chaned to buoys she is technically at anchor?
Nice explanation, Orbitaman.
Obviously the vessel's designers had no intention of allowing her to be NUC at any time and therefore made no provision for the hoisting of the signal in the correct place.[=P]

Frank P
4th December 2007, 18:20
When browsing the gallery of passenger liners... if she was built before 1980 I click for a close look, after 1980 and I might have a look, after 2000 I dont bother !!

My sentiments exactly (Thumb)

Frank

PhilColebrook
10th December 2007, 16:15
I'm just happy to see so many passenger ships being built. Pity they're not being buit in the UK. I'm betting that as the crusing market develops, ships in certain markets will come with less gaudy/US interiors and get back some class (take the Deutschland, or even the interiors of the Queen Vic.) Smaller ships will also be built for particular itineraries and demographics. People want balcony suites and that means ships will never look like those of old, but things move on.

I saw the Queen Vic arrive the other day and thought that yes, she was a bit glitzy but she will make a hell of a lot of people very happy, will cruise many millions of miles and will be welcomed into many harbours. And I'll be her someday and won't be wanting her to be reflect archaic naval architecture.

Bill Davies
10th December 2007, 16:49
All the 'glitz' is what the cargo (paying public) want. They are not in the slightest bit interested in what grabs the membership of this site and I would venture to say the only taste they have is in their mouth.
Some years ago I took a retirement round trip on the 'Hurtigruten' and whilst I had a lot in common with the Master of the 'Polarlys' (same age 65 at the time) I had absolutely nothing in common with the rest of the officers. I did not even sense they were seamen. I new they thought I was an oddity although I had only three months earlier completed my final command of a ULCC.
So, it goes further than how they look.

bobs
10th December 2007, 21:31
Bill Davies; you've hit the nail right on the head! Really, all of us who are old enough to remember passenger ships with round funnels are, as the not-so-old song goes: "Stuck in a moment and can't get out of it." Times have moved on and everything is different.
Twenty-odd years ago, I was a shipping journalist. Primarily, as the technical editor of the magazine I worked for, my main areas of coverage were first, ship propulsion and then ship-design and technology but I also got quite heavily involved in cruise ships and their market. To put it into time persective, I covered the major refit to Norway (ex France) where half her propellers, turbines and boilers were ripped out; I sailed on the delivery voyages of Royal Princess and Sea Goddess I and went to see the steam-to-diesel-electric re-engining of QE2 (got myself on the tv programme Blue Peter on that but, sadly, didn't qualify for a badge).
In those days, although only 20-odd years ago, the cruise industry was in its infancy compared to now. Most of the clientele were Yanks, and most of those of were of the rich, semi-geriatric variety. Americans then (and I think they still do) only had two weeks holiday (sorry, vacation) a year and it was a big challenge to the cruise industry marketing people to convince non-retired Americans, who had never been to sea before, that it was worthwhile spending their only two weeks of freedom (Land of the Free!?? When most of us in Europe at that time enjoyed 3 or 4 weeks annual hols) onboard a ship. Not only did that effort succeed but the growth in the European market grew, I suspect, way beyond expections of the 1980s.
On the technical side, I soon learned, for instance, that a round funnel is a lot more difficult and expensive to build than a square one - and certainly costs more than one which is just a lattice thing with exhaust pipes running through it. The same applies to the design of the hull in general. There was also a move (because it was deemed it was what the punters wanted) towards making cruise 'liners' look like oversized millionaires' yachts. Whereas taking a cruise in the 1980s was very much the domain of the fairly-well-heeled, retired classes, Joe Bloggs the factory worker is now able to at least consider taking his family on a cruise, instead of parking them on a sunny beach for a fortnight. Instead of crowded Spanish beaches, the crowded cruise ship makes for something quite different. And it can take them to a whole succession of crowded beaches.
This means, though, that, with lower fares, the cruise operators need to pack them in. Thus they need bigger and bigger ships. A squared-off ship minimises wasted space, therefore more passenger accommodation. To us old geezers they may just be floating apartment blocks but, in many cases they are posher appartments than many of the passengers call home. So they are all having a very nice time, thank you.
Us ship-nuts/spotters/nostalgists will just have to put up with that! And you old sea-dogs could console yourselves with the fact that these ships provide a lot of seafaring jobs. Okay, so many of these are Filipino jobs.
Sorry to have been long-winded but hope it made for a good read.
Bob Scott

passenger john
11th December 2007, 11:15
Bob

Brilliant comments, have been on two 7 day cruises with P&O and about to go on a third, all on Oceana, and as a passenegr that kind of holiday just suits me fine. Accommodation great just love our balcony) food and entertainment 100% and of course the "Hotel" is no further than Southampton. I to are in my sixties and remamber the great ships in Southampton as a teenager, but is it not better to have modern cruise ships then no ships at all.