Can cruise ships handle rough seas?

Last updated on April 5th, 2022 at 11:14 am

Yes, cruise ships are designed to handle rough seas. 

But regarding rough seas; The captain will do everything possible to avoid bad weather by steering the ship away from storms or rough seas when possible. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to avoid rough seas in all cases, but don’t worry;  The ship is not going to sink! 

It’s not uncommon for a cruise ship to routinely travel through areas with waves of 10, or 15 feet, and large, modern cruise ships handle waves like this without incident.

rough seas from cruise ship

As a cruise passenger, you may feel the waves as you try to walk about the ship and those suffering from sea-sickness will certainly feel it, but this is usually the extent of the problems.

Large cruise ships have stabilizers that do minimize the rolling back and forth, but depending on just how high the waves are, you will still feel it. 

During rough seas, the captain may order passengers to stay indoors for the safety of everyone on the ship and for passengers with mobility issues, staying seated is a good idea. 

The captain will regularly update passengers with real-time information on how long the rough seas will last and provide other important details. 

On an infrequent basis, ships do travel through storms that are not “routine” and it can be frightening, like what happened to the Anthem of the Seas on the way to Port Canaveral. Again, this is a rare occurrence and is unlikely to happen during your next cruise!


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