How Much of a Cruise Ship Is Below Water?

By Michael Ferguson

Cruise ships are an iconic and popular way of travel. Many people wonder what percentage of a cruise ship is below water. It turns out, it can vary depending on the size and design of the ship.

The larger a cruise ship, the more space it requires to stay afloat. As a result, the portion of a cruise ship that is below water will be greater than on smaller ships.

The type of materials and hull design also play a part in how much space is under the waterline. Generally, modern cruise ships have a displacement ratio between 40-60%, meaning that 40-60% of their total volume is underwater.

Cruise ships have multiple decks that are above water, as well as several submerged decks. The majority of the passenger cabins, recreational areas, and other amenities are located on decks above the water line. Areas like engine rooms, crew quarters, and storage spaces are located below the water line.


How much of a cruise ship is below water depends on its size and design. Generally speaking, modern cruise ships have about 40-60% of their total volume underwater with multiple decks above and below the surface. Above the surface are where most passenger amenities can be found while below is mainly reserved for engine rooms, crew quarters and storage spaces.