How safe are cruise vacations?

Cruising is one of the least expensive ways to see as many destinations as possible around the world. People have taken cruises around Europe, through South Asia and even to Antarctica. Naturally, some expedition cruises are more dangerous than others. What about everyday cruises for families, couples and retirees? Is it safe for you to travel by sea?

According to one Forbes article, you have a one in 6.25 million chance of dying on a cruise ship. Accidents and deaths do happen, especially if infectious diseases infect a ship. However, barring unusual public health incidents, experts claim that cruising remains one of the safest ways to travel.

Annual inspections

Most commercial vehicles and recreational machines receive routine inspections. However, cruise ships receive more inspections than many. The average cruise ship may receive around 60 inspections in one year for public health and environmental reasons. The U.S. Coast Guard also performs random inspections of cruise ships to ensure compliance with fire safety and life-saving equipment.

Role of technology

Technology plays a role in the increased safety of cruising, just as it does with commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. Some safety tech that cruise ships make use of include life-saving equipment, shipboard safety management systems and navigation systems. These are some of the safety equipment you may find on board a ship with a 3,500-person capacity:

  • 5,000 sprinkler heads
  • 4,000 smoke detectors
  • 500 fire extinguishers
  • 16 miles of piping for sprinklers
  • 6-mile long fire hose

In spite of these proactive measures for ensuring safety, many people sustain lethal and non-lethal injuries while aboard cruise ships. Because of this, when you travel by ship, pay special attention to the safety requirements and remain vigilant.