One of the major advantages of cruise ships is their high level of safety
Cruise holidays are becoming increasingly popular each year as travellers take to the high seas to get from A to B.
One of the major advantages of cruise ships is their high level of safety.
According to a recent GP Wild report, cruise ship capacity grew by more than 41.5 per cent from 2009 to 2016.
At the same time, the number of major operational incidents declined, with an average of 19.4 per year, making cruise lines safer than many other types of leisure transportation.
But despite having extremely streamlined safety records, luxury liners aren’t immune to threats out in open waters.
Express.co.uk has consulted the experts at NAPA, the software installed on all cruise ships around the world that’s tasked with the crucial responsibility of safety on board.
Cruise ship holidays face one threat that’s more serious than most
According to NAPA’s executive vice president Esa Henttinen, there’s one threat that far exceeds the rest.
Esa said: “Historically, fire has been seen as one of the major threats to cruise vessels.
“This is why, for the last 30 years, every passenger ship has had a fire display in the command room, able to indicate where a fire is located and whether it’s expanding.
“However, the most serious passenger ship incidents, from 1912 to the present day, haven’t been caused by the spread of fire through a vessel, but the spread of water – flooding.
“Until NAPA Emergency Computer was developed, there was no similar display available for flooding.”
The NAPA Emergency Computer, introduced in 2015, became the first technology to provide a flood display in the command room to show captains where the flooding is located on the ship.
Cruise ship holidays: NAPA conducts full-scale flooding test with a fire door
Before this software, there was no accurate way to see from the control room where the flooding occurred or how rapidly it was expanding.
It’s this technology that cements the relative safety of sailing on a cruise ship.
Esa said: “Modern cruise ships are designed to be the safest place to be, even in the event of flooding, based on the principal of prioritising ‘safe return to port’.
“NAPA’s Emergency Computer gives advice in case the situation is severe enough for the Captain to decide to lower lifeboats or begin evacuation.”
The technology uses algorithms, 3D models and censors to determine if a ship will survive a flooding incident.
Cruise ship holidays: NAPA Emergency Computer shows flood displays
Esa explained: “The software provides the master and crew with ‘time to capsize’ predictions, the heeling angle and predicted future heeling angles.
“This is crucial information that the crew need to work out if lifeboats are still viable to launch.
“If a ship is heeling too much on one side, the lifeboats may not be able to be used.”
One of the most high profile cases of cruise ship flooding was the Titanic disaster in 1912.
The luxury liner hit an iceberg, which caused mass flooding on board, eventually forcing the vessel to capsize.