Cruise Ship Height

Duncan McIntosh
24th November 2008, 05:53
Can anyone help me with a questions as to the heights of older vs. the newer behemeth cruise ships? The Titantic at 882 ft x 92 ft of beam and 34 ft of draft (46,000 tons) appears to have a height from the keel of 175 ft. The RMS Queen Mary (81,237 tons) 1019 ft x 118.5 ft x 39 ft has a height of 181 ft. I could not determine if the height was from the keel or waterline. I am also unable to find any height, beam or draft for the QM2 at 1132 ft and a rather well endowed 150,000 tons.

Lastly, The Enchantress of the Seas I spotted recently on AIS (Automated Identification System) interestingly indicated its length at .163 nm...first time I'd seen a ship's dimensions expressed as a percent of a nautical mile, doing the math it calculates to 998 ft with a beam of 108 ft, draft of 25 ft and 80,700 tons.

AIS does not provide a vessel height so I have used the Internet to track those down. I have been unable to find measurements for Enchantress' height about water.

I was particularly interested in the post I read on the forum that covered the factors that go into determining a vessel's stability, both initial and as she begins to roll, reading it got me hooked to the point I have registered and look forward to contributing.

My interest is sort of like the old fork tail about the German scientist who determined that bumblebees can't fly, I continue to marvel at how the modern day cruise ship does not just roll over with its 11 or 12 passenger decks and sides that reach to the sky. Of course its beam is well into the average length of the modern day megayacht.

I look forward to any comments forum members may wish to make, posting at 5:00 a.m. no I am not suffering from insomnia, this is coming from the west coast of the United States where we're just wrapping up from a busy Sunday.

Duncan McIntosh

24th November 2008, 06:55
Duncan, you raise the very question that crosses my mind every time I see a large container ship stacked with containers up to the bridge level and similarly those newest passenger liners with a seemingly huge top hamper that makes them look like a Great Dane longing to lie down.
Mike S has confirmed the tenderness of these ships when being handled by tugs but it would be interesting to have an explanation from a Naval Architect or a Master Mariner commanding this type of vessel.


24th November 2008, 07:19
Look up Fred Henderson's thread "Cruise ship Stability" under the forum "Modern Cruise Ships" 5/6/06 to find a very well put explanation of a ship's hull behaviour when floating in a buoyant medium.
After 50 years ashore my mind only relates to Terra firma when thinking of high C of G's, The double Decker bus versus the F1 racing car. His now old post covers my concerns.


24th November 2008, 21:40
Independence of the Seas that I went on back in May is 209ft high, 1,112ft long. Beam 184ft. Decks 18 in total, 15 passenger decks, Passengers, 3,634, crew 1,365, 160,000gt, Draught 28ft. Speed 21.6 knots. Figures from RCL brochure.


24th November 2008, 22:03
When I was at sea in WW2 and just after ,"Ship Stability" was a very inportant subject in BOT exams, particularly as a ship had capsisied in the Manchester Ship Canal. It had loaded a cargo of coke including a deck cargo which had absorbed rainwater thus increasing the load high up and causing her to roll over.
I understand that these big blocks of flats, called cruise ships carry a "stability officer" and that the upperworks have a lot of aluminium in them to cut down top weight. Among those old boys of HMTraining Ship Conway who meet every two months or so at L'pool Marina, the concensus seems to be that these ships are a disaster waiting to happen.
I have memories of studying Cof G, Metacentric Height, Righting moment and so forth.
Container ships too ,are , to me, a mystery in that they don't roll over with all that top weight. I suppose computers and clever people have sussed it all out !

25th November 2008, 11:21
Greetings Duncan and welcome to SN on your first very interesting posting. Enjoy the site and bon voyage.

26th November 2008, 07:51
The Queen Mary's height of 181 feet is from the keel to the top of the forward funnel. Its height from keel to masthead is 237 feet.

Scott in Long Beach.

fred henderson
26th November 2008, 15:09
The QE2 is 204 feet from keel to mast head, the QM2 is 236 feet.


16th September 2009, 15:01
I recently returned from a cruise on the Sun Princess (77,000 t) She has a draught of only 24ft & when we left Fremantle on the first day out she pitched & rolled on a moderate sea. I would'nt like to be aboard her in a real storm!

fred henderson
16th September 2009, 15:39
The normal draft of Sun Princess is 7.95M = 26 ft.

Fred (Thumb)

ray bloomfield
20th September 2009, 01:02
I recently traveled back to the UK from Hook of Holland to Harwich on the Stena ??????? and as soon as we cleard the quay the rolling was noticable in calm conditions but once we cleard the Hook she was stable, stabilisers operative?? What would happen in a foul sea if said stabilisers for what ever reason were not operational?

20th September 2009, 09:50
I recently traveled back to the UK from Hook of Holland to Harwich on the Stena ??????? and as soon as we cleard the quay the rolling was noticable in calm conditions but once we cleard the Hook she was stable, stabilisers operative?? What would happen in a foul sea if said stabilisers for what ever reason were not operational?

stabilisers not working ,lots of sick pass and drivers,all our ships in ASn had fin stabilisers except the Celtic which was equiped with a flume tank system and the ship still rolled whilst a/s.


14th May 2010, 20:27
cruise ship have usually 12 or 13 decks.
in world has cruise ships what have 15 and more decks. for example: oasis of the seas have 16 decks. ship height depend on lenght and her tonnage.

in old times was ships low because ships stabily not so good then it have in today.

14th June 2010, 02:43
It is important to note that all "heads of a class" must undergo what is termed an "Inclining Experiment" which is a physically predictive finite method of ascertaining the intact stability of a vessel. This entails the placement of weights (very large mass) in different distances from the vessel centerline, then the moments and forces are recorded..

In the 1970's, many US Freighters were converted to Container Ships, often carrying as low a GM as 2 ft, they also incorporated "Anti-Roll" Tanks or Flume Tanks as method of roll dampening....

Heights above baseline are often not a good judge of intact stability as the height-weight moment is dependent upon weight as well as height. Of course weights high above baseline have a usually adverse effect on intact stability, but generally only when the center of gravity is shifted..