Passenger ships is defined as ship specially designed for carrying 12 or more passengers. The first ships, boats that we today have records of where actually use for crossing a river or lake. Still ships are used for same purpose all over the world. In this category ships could be found as either ships used for pure passenger transport or ships designed for pure recreational purposes that are maybe more like a “floating resorts” than ships. There are of course a lot of variants in between the two extremes.
Passenger /Ferry Size & Classes
Unlike the tankers and bulkers they generally are not catogrized in any classes based on size however, size is many times referred to as how many passengers it can carry. I. e. the ship in the picture above shows the Independence f the seas that is operated by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The ship can accommodate 4,370 passengers served by 1,360 crew.
Ship Design & Types
It is almost impossible to talk about any general design in this segment as Passenger ships and Ferries exist i so many variants. However they do share one thing, they are designed to carry passengers. These ships could found as small Ferries crossing for crossing a channel, river or a lake or as the ship described above (the independence of the sea). Propulsion of Passanger ships could from Gas turbine, diesel engines and they can be equipped with either conventional propellers or water-jet units. Design speed is from 6 up to 40+ knots. The could also be found as single hull, multi-hull (i.e. catamaran) hydrofoil and hovercraft.
This ship type is specially designed for “enjoying-your-stay-on-board” purposes. Todays highly developed cruise liners are more close to “floating resorts” than conventional ships. The activities you won´t find on an modern cruiser is not worth looking for. From technical perspective they are highly advance ships fitted with most sophisticated equipment available in the market. Modern cruisers sometimes use diesel-electric pod propulsion for superior maneuverability when entering ports. There is also pressure on on the ships to “clean” and many times visits sensitive and some time protected archipelagos and seas.
A ship that is designed to transport people between different destinations. Ferries for longer trips are becoming more like the cruiser in order to entertain its passengers during the cross over.
Is designed to carry cargo and passengers. RoPax is an abbreviation between Roll-On “Ro-” and “Pax” which in turn is an abbreviation of passenger. There are a lot of variants of this ship type e. i. single hull or multi hull pax/vehicle, pax/vehicle, train, truck etc..
A hovercraft (air-cushion vehicle, ACV) is a craft capable of travelling over surfaces while supported by a cushion of slow moving, high-pressure air which is ejected against the surface below and contained within a “skirt” (se image). Because they are supported by a cushion of air, hovercraft are unique among all other forms of ground transportation in their ability to travel equally well over land, ice, and water.
A hydrofoil ship is a ship with “wings” mounted underneath the hull that lifts the ship partially out of the water (se image). The first ship boat with this technique was built in 1909. This ship is not so common as ship types conventional hull designed but are used in some places.