Modern cruise ships are basically small cities at sea, with so much to see and do that passengers can have a blast without ever stepping foot off the ship. Of course, cruise travel hasn't always been that way. The earliest ships carried passengers almost as an afterthought, with none of today's amenities. Take our quiz to see how much you know about the history of cruise ships!
When did ships switch from wind to steam power?
The invention of the steam engine in the 1820s meant that ships no longer had to rely on only wind. Steam engine-powered paddlewheels and propellers made pleasure cruising a reality for the first time starting around the 1830s.
What were the first cruise ships of the 1830s really supposed to be focused on transporting?
Starting around the 1830s, both P&O and Cunard shipping lines were hired by the British government to transport mail. The lines attempted to make some extra money on these mail runs by carrying passengers, and within a century, pleasure cruising had totally replaced mail as their primary function.
What year was the very first dedicated passenger ship launched?
Passenger space was kind of an afterthought on ships at the dawn of the cruising industry. In 1900 Germany launched the Prinzessin Victoria Luise. With more than 100 first-class cabins, she was the first ship designed primarily for passenger leisure travel. Sadly, she ran aground just a few years later and never sailed again.
Why did Cunard's Britannia carry a cow onboard during early transatlantic passages?
In the 1840s, Cunard could cruise across the Atlantic in just 14 days. The line's Britannia ship carried a live cow to provide fresh milk for passengers and crew each day.
Which American author traveled on one of the earliest American cruises in 1867, then wrote a bestseller about the experience?
Few passenger ships set sail from the Americas back in the 19th century. Mark Twain set off aboard a ship named the Quaker City in 1867, then published "The Innocents Abroad" about his travels, exposing many to the world of pleasure cruising for the first time.
Why did transatlantic cruises fall out of favor in the 1960s?
As air travel became safer and more affordable in the 1950s and '60s, the transatlantic cruise industry fell out of favor. After all, why would passengers want to spend two weeks crossing the ocean by boat when they could complete the journey by plane in a day or two.
Where did most cruise lines move to make money after airlines began to dominate long-distance travel?
The spread of airline travel took the wind out of the cruise industry's sails. Instead of folding, cruise lines focused on pleasure cruises in and around the Caribbean -- a tradition which continues to this day.
What cruise line launched the Titanic?
The luxurious White Star line launched the doomed Titanic in 1912. It also launched her sister ship, the Olympic, the year before. The Olympic was among the first ships in history to have amenities like tennis courts and a swimming pool.
What caused the Titanic to sink?
The Titanic sank after striking an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland in 1912 on her maiden voyage. The infamous tragedy destroyed White Star, allowing Cunard to purchase the once-thriving cruise line in the 1930s.
How many lifeboats did the Titanic have when she sank?
The Titanic carried just 16 lifeboats -- enough to save only a third of her passengers. Around 1,500 of 2,240 people aboard the ship died in the icy waters of the Atlantic when the ship went down.
Where was the Titanic sailing from when she sank?
The Titanic was on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York when she sank in 1912. It took decades before the remains of the ship and her lost passengers were located beneath the Atlantic.
Which of these is true about river cruise boats versus ocean cruise ships?
River cruises are one of the fastest-growing segments of the cruising industry as of 2017. The smaller ships used for river cruises allow the boat to sail into spots that ocean cruise liners can't venture. The biggest river cruises carry around 10 percent of the total passengers that the world's biggest cruise ships can accommodate.
Which cruise line was the first to advertise on TV, using a set of commercials starring Kathie Lee Gifford?
Carnival became one of the world's most popular cruise lines thanks to a series of '80s commercials starring Kathie Lee Gifford. The ad spots used the tagline "Ain't we got fun."
Which of these major cruise lines is the oldest?
Princess cruises started in 1965, followed by Norwegian the next year. Royal Caribbean began in 1972, followed by Carnival two years later.
Which cruise line was the first to have a private island for passengers to visit?
Norwegian started welcoming visitors to Great Stirrup Cay in 1977, making it the first line to boast a private island. Disney later purchased Gorda Cay and renamed in Castaway Cay. This island has become one of the more widely-recognized of the private cruise islands in the 21st century.
What year did "The Love Boat" TV series premiere?
"The Love Boat" premiered in 1997. The series, with characters like Capt. Stubing and purser Gopher Smith, made cruising more accessible to the average viewer -- transforming pleasure cruising from a luxury of the wealthy to something that almost anyone could take part in.
Which line was the first to have an ice rink on a ship?
You might not think of ice skating when you picture yourself at sea, but many Royal Caribbean ships offer an ice rink for public skating and nightly shows. The first boat to have this feature was the Voyager of the Seas back in 1999.
Which of these was Norwegian the first to introduce at sea in 2006?
Norwegian pioneered bowling alleys on ships back in 2006 -- just a few years after Royal Caribbean started adding ice rinks and rock climbing walls to its vessels.
Which of these features was totally unique to the Celebrity Solstice when it debuted in 2008?
The Solstice put a twist on the top deck with a 15,000-square-foot manicured lawn on the Celebrity Solstice. Passengers can take off their shoes and dig their toes into the green grass as they take in the ocean views from the upper deck.
Which food feature did Norwegian pioneer in 2000?
The Norwegian Sky was the first cruise ship to debut freestyle dining. This means that rather than eating at a set time, passengers can eat anytime they want. Many other cruise lines have since followed suit.
What did Disney name its first cruise ship when the line began in 1998?
Disney made the move from theme parks to cruising in 1998 with the debut of the Disney Magic, followed by the Wonder the next year. Both ships originally featured more than 800 staterooms, though each has been retrofitted since that time.
Which cruise line was the first to have an official website?
Norwegian has been a frontrunner in cruise ship technology. The company was the first cruise line to have a website in 1997, the first with an internet cafe in 1999 and the first to have ship-wide wifi in 2002.
Where did the Costa Concordia famously crash in 2012?
In one of the biggest disasters in modern cruising history, the Costa Condordia went aground in Italy in 2012. At least 32 people of the more than 4,000 passengers and crew were killed.
What is the busiest cruise port in the world?
The world's three busiest cruise ports are all in Florida. More than five million cruisers visit Miami each year, putting it at the top of the list, followed by Cape Canaveral and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.
How many passengers can the biggest cruise ships in the world hold in 2017?
The world's biggest cruise ships -- the top three of which are owned by Royal Caribbean in 2017 -- can carry 5,000 to 6,000 passengers.
How many people around the world go on a cruise each year?
Close to 25 million people go on a cruise each year. The majority are from North America, followed by Europe.
What is the most common age group among cruise passengers?
The image of older cruise passengers still reflects reality, which the average passenger over 50 years of age in 2017. Just under 20 percent of Americans have taken a cruise at some point in their lives.
What is the average length of a cruise in 2017?
The average cruise is 7.2 days -- which means a week is standard, but people are more likely to take longer cruises than shorter ones.
How many people on average die on a cruise ship each decade?
Cruising is surprisingly safe, despite all that water. Over the past three decades, an average of 57 people per year died on cruise ships around the world. That includes all deaths, such as heart attacks and others due to natural causes, as well as accidents and those with more sinister explanations.
Which of these cruise classics was Royal Caribbean the first line to introduce in 1988?
Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas was the first ship to feature a central atrium and glass elevators, which are now found on many major ships.
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