What Are the Chances of a Cruise Ship Sinking?

What are the chances of a cruise ship sinking? It’s a question that many people have, especially in light of recent news stories. Here’s a look at the statistics and what they mean.

Checkout this video:


In the last century, there have been a number of large cruise ship sinkings. The most notable are the Titanic in 1912, the Lusitania in 1915, and the Andrea Doria in 1956. These sinkings have raised concerns about the safety of cruising, especially on large ships.

So, what are the chances of a cruise ship sinking? It is actually very rare for a cruise ship to sink. In fact, of the approximately 3000 cruiseships that exist today, only about 40 have sunk since 1980. And, of those 40 sinkings, most were due to severe weather or mechanical problems, not accidents.

So, while the chances of a cruise ship sinking are very low, it is still important to be aware of the dangers that can occur on a cruise ship and to take precautions to ensure your safety.

What are the chances of a cruise ship sinking?

A cruise ship sinking is a very real possibility. In fact, it happens more often than you might think. Just last year, there were three major cruise ship accidents, including the Costa Concordia disaster in which 32 people died. So, what are the chances of a cruise ship sinking? Let’s take a look.

Factors that affect the chances of a cruise ship sinking

There are a number of factors that affect the chances of a cruise ship sinking. The most important factor is the size of the ship. The larger the ship, the more stable it is and the less likely it is to sink. Another important factor is the age of the ship. Older ships are more likely to have been built with weaker materials and construction methods that make them more vulnerable to sinking. The type of voyage also affects the chances of sinking, with longer voyages being more risky than shorter ones. Finally, weather conditions can also play a role, with storms and high waves increasing the risk of a ship going down.

The age of the ship

Sailing on a brand-new ship gives you the best chance of avoiding any serious problems, as these vessels have the latest technology and safety features. However, newer ships are also more likely to have teething problems in their early days of operation.

While most of us wouldn’t dream of setting sail on anything but the newest, shiniest vessel, there is something to be said for choosing an older ship. These have usually undergone regular maintenance and updates to ensure they meet current safety standards.

The size of the ship

The size of the cruise ship is the number one indicator of sinking. The Titanic was 882 feet long and had a displacement of 52,310 tons. The Costa Concordia was 951 feet long and had a displacement of 114,137 tons. However, the size does not always determine the safety of the ship. The RMS Lusitania was 787 feet long and displaced32,500 tons yet it sank in 1915 after being torpedoed by a German U-Boat.

The type of ship

The type of ship matters when it comes to sinkings. Smaller ships are less likely to sink than large ships. The Titanic was a large ship and it sank. The Costa Concordia was a large ship and it sank. The Laconia was a large ship and it sank. The Empress of Ireland was a large ship and it sank.

According to Dr. Ross Klein, author of Cruising the Caribbean: “Of the 30 largest cruise ships that have sunk since 1980, all but one were over 20 years old at the time of their sinkings.” So age is also a factor.

As noted in the New York Times, “In 2013, there were 16 accidents involving cruise ships reported to authorities, according to an annual report by Cruise Lines International Association, an industry trade group — up from 11 in 2012 but far below the 36 accidents reported in 2010.”

The company that owns the ship

The cruise industry has an outstanding safety record. In the U.S., since the enactment of the Passenger Vessel Services Act in 1886, no vessel carrying more than 150 passengers has sunk.During the Titanic disaster, for example, more than 700 people were pulled from the water alive.

According to a report by Allianz Global Assistance, a travel insurance company, there were 16 cruise ship sinkings worldwide between 2000 and 2012. That averages out to about one sinking every two years. But during that same time period, more than 2 billion people took cruises.

So, what are the chances of being on a cruise that sinks? That depends on the company that owns the ship.

The country the ship is registered in

The country the ship is registered in plays a big role in the safety of the vessel. A lot of cruise ships are registered in Bermuda, the Bahamas, or Panama because of laxer regulations concerning safety. vessel.

For example,Requirements for lifeboats are much higher for ships registered in Norway than they are for vessels registered in Panama. There are also different requirements for fire safety, and the overall inspection process is more stringent in Norway.

As a result, it’s generally considered that cruise ships registered in Norway are among the safest at sea.

Recent cruise ship sinkings

In the past decade, there have been a handful of notable cruise ship sinkings. In 2012, the Costa Concordia – a massive vessel carrying more than 4,000 people – hit a reef off the coast of Italy and capsized. Thirty-two people died in the incident.

In 2015, another Costa ship, the Costa Luminosa, ran into bad weather and experienced engine failure. The ship drifted for hours before being towed to safety. There were no reported injuries or fatalities.

Then, in 2016, the Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas encountered a severe storm off the coast of South Carolina. The ship was damaged and several passengers were injured.

Finally, in 2017, the Carnival Triumph lost power due to an engine fire. The vessel was adrift for days before being towed to port. There were reports of overflowing toilets and food shortages onboard.

Despite these high-profile incidents, cruise ships are actually very safe. In fact, you’re more likely to die from slipping in the shower than you are from being onboard a sinking cruise ship.

The Costa Concordia

On January 13, 2012, the Costa Concordia, a cruise ship carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, ran aground off the coast of Italy. The accident caused 32 deaths and 63 injuries. It was the largest passenger ship ever to sink.

The Costa Concordia was built in 2006. It was 288 meters (950 feet) long and 36 meters (118 feet) wide. It had a gross tonnage of 114,500 tons. The Costa Concordia could accommodate 3,780 passengers and 1,013 crew members.

The ship had 25lifeboats and four rescue boats. However, only 20 of the lifeboats were deployed before the ship capsized.

In 2013, the captain of the Costa Concordia was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

The Costa Allegra

In February 2012, the Costa Allegra caught fire off the coast of Africa. The blaze started in the generator room, knocking out the power and leaving the ship adrift. While there were no fatalities, the incident certainly put a damper on the cruise for the 636 passengers and 413 crew members onboard.

The Carnival Triumph

In February 2013, the Carnival Triumph was crippled by an engine room fire. For five days, the vessel was adrift in the Gulf of Mexico without power.Although the ship did not sink, more than 4,000 passengers were stranded on board without working toilets, running water or electricity.

The incident was a black eye for the cruise industry, but it’s important to remember that incidents like this are rare. In fact, sinkings are even rarer. According to data from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), there have been just eight sinkings of cruise ships since 1980.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that accidents don’t happen at sea. In 2018 alone, there were several high-profile incidents involving cruise ships, including the grounding of the Carnival Triumph and an engine room fire on the Carnival Victory. But even with these headline-grabbing incidents, the chances of a cruise ship sinking are still extremely low.

What can you do to stay safe on a cruise ship?

While the chances of a cruise ship sinking are very low, there are a few things you can do to stay safe on a cruise ship:
-Be aware of your surroundings and know where the exits are located.
-Familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures and follow them if an emergency occurs.
-Wear life jackets at all times when on deck or in areas where they are required.
-Avoid drinking alcohol or taking drugs, as these can impair your judgment and increase your risk of accidents.
-Listen to and follow the instructions of the crew members and other officials on board the ship.

Choose a reputable cruise line

The likelihood of your cruise ship sinking is slim to none. In the past 20 years, there have been only three notable sinkings worldwide, and even then, all passengers were evacuated safely.

That being said, there are certain factors that can increase your risk while sailing. One of the most important things you can do to lower your risk is to choose a reputable cruise line. Carnival, for example, has been involved in a number of high-profile accidents in recent years, including the 2013 Costa Concordia sinking that killed 32 people. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have also had their share of incidents. If you’re concerned about safety, do your research and choose a cruise line with a good track record.

Another factor to consider is the size of the ship. Smaller ships are more likely to encounter problems than larger ones because they’re less stable and have fewer safety features. That’s not to say that large ships are immune from disaster – the Costa Concordia was over three football fields long – but they’re generally more safe.

The age of the ship is also worth considering. Older ships may not have up-to-date safety features, and they may be more likely to experience mechanical problems. That being said, newer ships aren’t necessarily safer – the Carnival Triumph, for example, was only six years old when it lost power and was stranded at sea for five days in 2013.

Ultimately, the best way to reduce your risk while cruising is to be prepared for anything. Familiarize yourself with the ship’s layout and safety procedures so you’ll know what to do in an emergency. And most importantly, remember that the chances of your cruise ship sinking are very low – so relax and enjoy your vacation!

Choose a newer ship

When choosing a cruise, one of the first things you should look at is the age of the ship. Newer ships are built to higher safety standards and have more up-to-date safety features than older ships. For example, all new ships must have double hulls (an outer hull and an inner hull), which provides extra protection against sinking if the ship hits something.

According to Cruise Junkie, “The probability of sinking is estimated at .2% for all passenger ships in operation.” This means that out of 10,000 cruise ships operating today, two of them are likely to sink. Of course, this is just an estimate – it’s possible that none of the 10,000 cruise ships will sink, or that more than two will sink.

Still, .2% is a very small chance, and it’s worth noting that most cruise ship sinkings are not caused by accidents – they’re usually caused by bad weather or poor maintenance. So if you choose a newer ship that is well-maintained, your chances of being on a ship that sinks are even lower.

Choose a smaller ship

When it comes to cruise ship safety, size really does matter. The chance of a small cruise ship sinking is one in a million. But the chance of a large cruise ship sinking is closer to one in 3,000,000. So if you’re worried about your cruise ship sinking, book a passage on a smaller vessel.

Check the ship’s safety record

When comparing ships, check to see how long they’ve been sailing and what their safety records are. The age of the ship may not necessarily be a predictor of safety. Some older ships have had extensive refits and are up-to-date with the latest safety features. However, you should take into account that a ship that’s been sailing for a long time is more likely to have had an incident simply because it’s had more time at sea.

You can find a ship’s age and safety record on websites like Cruise Critic.


After analyzing the data, we can see that there is a very low chance of a cruise ship sinking. In fact, out of the thousands of cruise ships that have set sail over the past century, only a handful have sunk.

This means that you can rest assured knowing that you are very unlikely to be on a cruise ship that sinks. However, it is always important to remember that no vacation is 100% risk-free – so be sure to purchase travel insurance before setting sail!

Scroll to Top