Disaster On The High Seas : 15 Cruise Ship Catastrophes You Won’t Believe Could Happen

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Source: Flickr[Oleg MrFavo]

Long ago, the sole intention for anyone to have a ship was to get armies and explorers across the sea into uncharted territories.

A few decades ago only the bravest of the brave would set out for an adventure with a very slim success rate. Most failed journeys were due to faulty ship building, scurvy and unpredictable storms along the way.

Today, ships are sturdier and can have a more lavish connotation, but still aren’t exempt from avoiding disasters.

Going on a cruise is one of the most luxurious adventures a person can take, but traveling on a cruise ship isn’t always a fun and relaxing experience.

Dust Storms

Dust Storms

Source: Imgur

Even if you’re not on land, a dust storm can affect your journey.

When you’re out enjoying the brilliant views of the ocean, you’d never expect to see dust flying around miles and miles away from the desert. A ship full of passengers on an Australian cruise liner were certainly surprised a few years ago when they saw red clouds on the horizon of their nautical trip.

In 2009, Australia experienced one of the worst dust storms in recent years which hit the island and surrounding harbors. The effects were devastating, causing a red hue which lasted for two days and temperatures to drop considerably low.

Even though some storms only happen in certain areas in the world, facing this monstrous event is not what you would want to experience while vacationing with the family whether or not you’re are on the water.

Waves All Around

waves all around

Source: Xarj

The ocean is volatile and relentless.

The sea is a strange beast because it can be both docile and beautiful, but also terrifying and unforgiving. In this instance, it becomes frightening when waves taller than your ship threaten to make you its latest victim.

Regardless of who you are, seeing a towering wave hurtle towards your ship is enough to make anyone grab a Benadryl to sleep through the rest of the voyage.

Take A Picture

take a picture

Source: Flickr[Oleg MrFavo]

Watching the news can be a scary experience.

But what makes people’s skin crawl is when they see live footage of rescuers trying to secure the lives of civilians.

News outlets are meant to provide us with updates when an extreme event occurs, so seeing stranded guests on a cruise ship can be sweat-inducing.

When the cameras capture guests being extracted from aboard a soon-to-be sinking ship, it’s all you can do not to swear off aquatic activity forever.

Abandon Ship

Abandon Ship

Source: Corriere / Cryptome

Your worst nightmare involving water could come true.

It’s one thing to mentally prepare yourself for the “anything could happen” aspect of a maritime adventure. It’s another to experience the process of abandoning ship because it’s sinking into the sea.

In 2002, the ferry boat called the Le Joola capsized off the coast of The Gambia in Africa. Out of the 2,000 passengers, only 64 people survived and it is believed to be the second-worst non-military maritime disaster due to the number of lives lost.

Sadly, the boat was only out on the water for five minutes when it began to sink. The main cause for the disaster was the ship’s employees not following capacity regulations in regards to the size of the ship.

Try to do some deep breathing, and maybe skip the ferry ride your friend insists you go on when vacationing next time.


Friendly Shipmates

Friendly shipmates

Source: Flickr[James Lucier] / Macmadman

Cruises aren’t always for the fun-loving retiree.

People on vacation can turn even the drabbest trips into a fun experience, especially if they’re on what has been coined as a “booze cruise.”

Singles cruises are notorious for encouraging their passengers to let go of their inhibitions and party like its 1999.

If you can, try not to get caught after a few too many margaritas. Otherwise, the photographer might capture a less-than-flattering moment.

Gone With the Wind

gone with the wind

Source:  DailyMail 

Ships aren’t indestructible.

Damages from a storm can leave most ships in shambles. The hull, deck, windows and even ceilings can be affected while you’re still onboard.

Many luxury liner companies brag about the quality of their ships, insisting they are built from a sturdy material strong enough to withstand anything. But weather doesn’t play by the rules.

This same lesson was learned by Norweigan Cruise Line in 2013. After a storm hit their ship, The Breakaway, metal railings and bolts were ripped off the ship and caused major damage to the decks.


Wave Wrecked

Source: Xarj

Waves can push ships straight out of the water or suck them under.

Major ship accidents still occur today, even with the best builders engineering them.

Luxury liners are exposed to the elements, the biggest being the uncooperative ocean itself. Rogue waves move through the ocean at a force almost 10 times more than what our current ships are built to handle.

Even with the most advanced technology at our disposal massive rogue waves are still an unpredictable problem and there is no guarantee that even a brand new ship could survive one.

It’s Getting Hot In Here

Getting Hot In Here

Source: TheBlade

Being out on open water doesn’t disqualify you from experiencing fires.

Large cruise ships like the Star Princess are basically like moving RVs. But instead of being on the open road, they float atop miles of water.

All ships have electricity coursing through them and contain kitchens to feed hungry vacationers. So, the possibility of a fire happening is extremely high.

It might not be the most pleasant picture, but it’s true nonetheless. With only so much room to spare, the thought of being trapped on a burning vessel is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Hauntings On The Sea

haunting the sea

Source: Naruto7

It doesn’t have to be Halloween for it to get spooky.

Like it or not, reports have trickled in through the years to news outlets of supernatural events taking place in the dark halls of cruise ships and on the rolling ocean waves.One woman reported that on her trip she experienced a nightmarish incident she’d soon rather forget.

In 2011 on the Carnival Conquest she was getting ready for dinner with her husband when she heard an unfamiliar voice speak to her even though she was the only one in the room. She knew she was alone but when she told her husband the voice never spoke up again.

Needless to say, being trapped out at sea and having to worry that there might be a ghostly boarding party is not great for vacation relaxation.

Not All There

not all there

Source: Telegraf

Every part of the ship down to its bolts is necessary for safety.

During repairs, builders can miss important parts to a ship’s skeleton, and it can have dire consequences.

One of the largest cruise ships in the world called The Harmony of the Seas offered an area where children could play. Unfortunately for the parents, who were looking forward to a few kid-free hours of sunbathing on the deck, the area was missing a huge window pain!

None of the children were hurt, but the chances for a catastrophe to occur were much higher than normal.

Sick on the High Seas

sick on the high seas

Source: Imgur

Ships don’t necessarily have any solace when it comes to sanitation.

You can wash your hands all you want, but ships can spread germs and sickness just like when you’re in the office with coworkers.

The non-existent ratio of passengers to sterile surfaces is the reason why ships have had to end voyages with the unpleasant ordeal of unloading hundreds of angry, sick and tired passengers.

No one expects to deal with an outbreak which sends them running to the bathroom every few minutes, but life on a ship isn’t always smooth sailing.

The Tipping Point

the tipping point

Source: Flickr[Oleg MrFavo]

If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s how ships have faults too.

The crew of the massive Costa Concordia found out the hard way that even their beautiful state of the art cruise liner wasn’t immune to disaster.

In 2012 the ship’s hull was ripped open on one of its voyages. The cruise liner had been steered too close to shore and the small miscalculation was disastrous. People were trapped on the boat and some even lost their lives in the panic of the incident.

The crash caused companies take new safety measures for their luxury liners when evaluating the competence of the captain and crew to handle all situations.

Uninvited Visitors

uninvited visitors

Source: BusinessInsider / EaglesSpeak 

Pirates still exist, and they are not in anyway friendly.

You wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at it, but this Seabourn Spirits ship was shot at with machine guns and grenades. In 2005 two armed boats were seen chasing the massive cruise ship in attempts to board,and it was immediately apparent that the pirates weren’t strangers to this process either.

During the cruise, 300 passengers were instructed not to leave their rooms and to stay below deck until the captain could steer the ship safely away from danger.

The attempt by Somali pirates wasn’t successful, but you can be sure the passengers were ready to race down the ramp once they landed in Seychelles.

Half of Half


Source: Imgur

Your ship may not sink, but it can still flood.

In 2005, the Norweigan Dawn experienced a rather upsetting moment while out at sea. A 70-foot wave hit the Dawn, flooding about 62 cabins.

Four passengers received minor injuries, but no lives were lost even after the water started rushing in. The crew handled the situation as best as they could, while the captain offered free drinks for everyone onboard.

The drinks did help to calm the passengers but they could not make up for the massive reduction in sleeping quarters and comfort. It’s safe to say being on a boat which is even partially flooded is a moment anyone can live without.

Coral Abuse

Poor Coral Behavior

Source: Tumblr

Activists are not down with cruise ships.

Many cruise liners specialize in providing a service which is supposed to feel expensive.

Everything is meant to feel extravagant, and luxury liners have full schedules filled with musical performances, great dining, and activities for all ages. It’s no surprise that most passengers have no idea what is taking place below the ship’s activity-bloated hull.

Unbenonced to most land lovers, Cruise liners are notorious for constantly ruining portions of the coral reefs that live near ports. Their anchors can cut through the seabed, and can ultimately cripple the ecosystem.

Nothing ruins an exotic getaway like an environmental disaster.