How Many Feet of a Cruise Ship Is Underwater?

By Michael Ferguson

Cruise ships are massive vessels that traverse the ocean, providing a luxurious and fun experience to their guests. But how deep do cruise ships actually go? How much of them is underwater?

The answer depends on the size of the ship and the water conditions. Smaller cruise ships may only have a foot or two of their hull underwater when fully loaded, while larger vessels can be much deeper. It’s not uncommon for larger ships to have 10-15 feet of their hulls submerged even in relatively shallow waters.

This is necessary in order to keep the ship afloat. The weight of all the passengers, cargo, and fuel must be counteracted by an equal amount of buoyancy force from the water. So if a ship has too much weight onboard, it will start to sink unless there is enough water beneath it to support its load.

The amount of water beneath a cruise ship also affects its top speed. Large waves can cause turbulence in shallow waters which slows down the vessel and makes it uncomfortable for passengers. This is why cruise ships often sail in deeper waters when they need to reach maximum speed.


The exact amount of feet a cruise ship has underwater depends on its size and the water conditions but can range from one or two feet for smaller vessels up to 10-15 feet for larger ones. This is necessary in order to keep the ship afloat and also affects its top speed since large waves can slow it down in shallow waters.