How Do Cruise Ships Not Tip Over (7 Important Things to Know)

Have you ever experienced luxurious trips on cruise ships? You loved sailing amidst the seas across the world in a perfect style.

But being flabbergasted, are you still thinking about how cruise ships do not tip over? Even the rough conditions and the big harsh waves cannot tip over your cruise ship.

How Do Cruise Ships Not Tip Over

Yes, you read it right, cruise ships will not tip over in the oceans and seas. All the credit goes to their designs. Do you know Archimedes’ principle of buoyancy?

Cruise ships are living examples of their application. The principle of buoyancy lets the large masses afloat in the water. Due to this, the cruise ships do not tip over.

What does the principle say?

The mass and upward pressure of the water are equal. The cruise ships maintain a low center of gravity to minimize swaying and shaking of the cruise ships.

These ships use ballast tanks and keep heavy equipment underneath their deck. Did you feel scared of going on a cruise ship?

You need not feel the same anymore. Let your curiosity disclose how cruise ships do not tip over. Read on to learn how they do it so that you can plan for your next cruise ship trip soon.

How Do Cruise Ships Stay Afloat

Before you move on to know how cruise ships do not tip over, you must know how they remain floating.

Cruise ships remain in the limelight for their luxurious and comfy trips even in harsh weather and rough water.

Something sleek and fast like sailboats and motorboats is much more acceptable to stay on the water. But thinking of a clumsy and heavy cruise ship to sit on is an unacceptable situation.

Let us explore the largest cruise ship in the world. Symphony of the Seas by the Royal Caribbean has dimensions of 360 meters length by 65 meters long that a length of 1188 feet and a width of 215 feet.

The gross weight is 228081 tonnes. There is something more to it. The ship has 18 decks, and it can easily accommodate 80,000 people.

Considering these dimensions, it is very evident why people call out cruise ships’ floating cities. These cruise ships are considerably huge and carry numerous people aboard.

Whatever huge masses you see on the water floating is possible because of applying the principle of buoyancy.

The density of the object decides the buoyancy of the things on the water. The object will sink in if the thing has more density than the water

Otherwise, if it has less density than the water, it will float on the water. To be precise, the immersed object keeps on floating; if the displaced water’s weight is equal to the object’s weight, it will remain floating.

Upward Pressure Or Force

Furthermore, you should know about the upward pressure or force on the water. People also know it as the buoyant force.

The fluid exerts an upward force that opposes the immersed object’s weight. The upward force is the same as the fluid displaced by the body due to its weight.

Therefore, the weight of the floating object on the water displaces equal water quantity pushing the thing downwards.

However, it remains floating and doesn’t sink because of the upward force in the opposite direction by the water.

The displaced water and upward force are the same that prevent the sinking of the object. Thus, the greater the ship’s weight, it will not sink lower in the water.

It is astonishing to know that these cruise ships instantly can’t sink to the ocean floor. These huge vessels remain floating with an entire world of their own inside them.

What not it carries inside? It has swimming pools, minimal, ice skating rinks, theatres and cinemas, spas, and much more to engage its crowd on the board.

They made it possible the bombastic combination of materials, buoyancy, design, and water displacement.

Ways To Let The Cruise Ship Be Upright

After you know about the hull design, you must remember the difference between the centre of buoyancy and the centre of gravity.

The Center of buoyancy is the lifeline of floating cruise ships. Keep in mind that the centre of gravity always remains unchanged.

It is the major reason that the centre of buoyancy shifts naturally when the ship keeps on tilting on its sides to the sides.

Maintain The Centerline

Rolling occurs when the ship tilts to one side crossing its centerline due to the push of water upright. This natural swinging of the ship is rolling.

Passengers may feel seasick due to the continuous rolling of the cruise ships. For this reason, several features in the cruise liners limit the rolling of the ships, stabilizing the fins under the water, and anti-healing (active ballast).

It keeps on pumping seawater rapidly from its waterline below while holding tanks side to side. It corrects the listing and learning issue in the ships.

The ballast tanks keep on pumping water in them. The ship remains in balance in rough seas and emergencies by encountering the waves and lessening the rocking.

Due to the effectiveness of the stabilizing features of the cruise ships, you can hardly think of seasickness in the cruise ships or tipping over despite being so tall.

Smooth Sailing

Gliding on such a huge ship on the water looks quite exciting. You may find and look at the smooth floating journey of the cruise ship, but many things account for such effortless journeys.

Still, the question is how cruise ships remain afloat.

Ships have designs for displacing the quantity of water same as its mass. There is a constant encounter of the upward and downward forces on the cruise ship.

The ocean’s pressure pushes against the hull of the ships that encounter the vessel’s mass downward force. This constant interaction results in the buoyancy of the ship.

The Archimedes principle explained above gives you a deep insight into the law. Furthermore, until now, you got the idea that the balancing of downward and upward forces will let the cruise ship afloat.

Moreover, you also need to consider the floating of cruise ships from other perspectives. The cruise ship makes space for itself when it gets in the water through the water displacement in two directions, down and out.

It gets the response from the water by the pressure acting in the inwards and upwards direction to counteract the space occupied by the cruise ship.

Additional Dynamics in Support of Buoyancy
Besides displacement and buoyancy dynamics, a few other factors let your cruise stay floating on the surface of the ocean and seas.


Materials have to be lightweight to retain their buoyancy. Yet the used materials in the ship must be sturdy and denser than water, as the extra strength steel.

In addition, the company used these lightweight materials in the designs to let the dis[placement of weight occur before it is immersed in water.


The majority of the design techniques are applied to the hull of the cruise ship. This part is the shell or the body of the ship. It sets under the deck, keeps on pushing the water out of its way, and remains afloat.

After hard work of trial and error for years and years, engineers found the hull shape to be rounded, deep, and wide. This design helps in the weight dispersion of the ship across its body.

Did you notice that the large ship has U-shaped hulls? You will be amazed to know how many benefits are there of this design has.

1. Dissipates Drags
2. The Vessel remains on track
3. Assists in the smooth ride
4. Water pushes out ways from the cruising body
5. Double Hulls

The cruise ship remaining afloat and providing a smooth journey is not sufficient. Carrying so many people in it, it must cruise safely.

The hull design should protect the passengers from huge obstacles such as reefs, sandbars, and icebergs. These things are enough to break the ship and rip off its outer layer.

Did you recall something, Titanic? How it sank when it hit the iceberg.

Shipbuilders use steel of extra strength to refrain from such natural obstacles and save from major disasters. These builders got double hulls in the ship.

By double, it means there is one hull inside the other hull. It is an extra precautionary measure to provide safety to the lives it carries in it.

Additional Safety Measures

There are bulkheads in the cruise ship to support its buoyancy on the water, even in situations with major destruction and damage.

This ship’s interior has the installation of water-tight dividers. Their function is to close down and create a seal for the water to stop it from getting inside when the hulk is damaged.

Ships take such safety measures to prevent the sinking of the ship due to flooding of water.

Wrap Up

To sum up, you know how do cruise ships not tip over. All the credit goes to its materials, designs, and the centre of buoyancy rules.

So, you can plan for a cruise ship without fear of sinking in or sea sickness.


Leave a Comment