What Kind of Engines Does a Cruise Ship Have?

By Anna Duncan

A cruise ship is a large vessel that transports passengers from one location to another, usually on a long-distance voyage. Cruise ships can be powered by a variety of engines, from traditional diesel-electric to more specialized combination systems. Understanding the type of engine and its capabilities is key for travelers planning their journey.

The most common type of engine used in cruise ships is the diesel-electric engine. This system uses diesel fuel to power an electric generator which then powers the ship’s propulsion system.

The advantage of this system is that it provides a reliable and efficient power source while still being relatively easy to maintain and repair. Diesel-electric engines are also very fuel efficient, making them an ideal choice for large vessels.

Another type of engine used in cruise ships is the gas turbine engine. This system combines both gas and electric power sources to provide propulsion for the ship.

Gas turbines are capable of producing high levels of power with relatively low amounts of fuel, making them highly efficient and cost effective. They are also much quieter than diesel-electric engines, providing passengers with a more comfortable environment.

A third type of engine used in cruise ships is the combined cycle power plant. This system uses both gas turbines and diesel-electric generators to provide propulsion for the ship. The advantage of this system is that it can use either source individually or together to produce greater levels of power when necessary.


Cruise ships use a variety of engines depending on their size and purpose. Diesel-electric engines are typically used due to their reliability and efficiency, while gas turbine and combined cycle power plants offer higher levels of performance at a lower cost. Regardless, all these systems provide reliable and efficient power sources for cruise ships so that travelers can enjoy their voyage in comfort.