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A passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way. Transportation is not the prime purpose, as cruise ships operate mostly on routes that return passengers to their originating port. A cruise ship contrasts with a passenger liner, which is a passenger ship that provides a scheduled service between published ports primarily as a mode of transportation. Large, prestigious passenger ships used for either purpose sometimes are called ocean liners.

Related Terms


Any large and prestigious passenger ship, including cruise ships.


A ship authorized to carry more than twelve passengers.


When more than one mode of transportation is used to ship cargo from origin to destination, it is called intermodal transportation. For example, boxes of hot sauce from Louisiana are stuffed into metal boxes called containers at the factory. That container is put onto a truck chassis (or a railroad flat car) and moved to a port. There the container is lifted off the vehicle and lifted onto a ship. At the receiving port, the process is reversed. Intermodal transportation uses few laborers and speeds up the delivery time.


Moving cargo on the return leg of a voyage for the purpose of minimizing ballast mileage and reducing transportation costs.


A contractual agreement between a ship owner and a cargo owner, usually arranged by a broker, whereby a ship is chartered (hired) either for one voyage or a period of time.


A cargo which enables a ship to return loaded to the port where her previous cargo was loaded.


A charterer that contracts for a section or space within a ship for the carriage of merchandise. This can be one or part of a hold, or a few holds, but not the entire cargo carrying space within a ship. This space charter can be for one voyage or a period of time over several voyages depending on the terms of the governing charter party.


The parts of the ship or a boat, including sailboats, fishing boats, passenger ships, and submarines, that project above her main deck. This does not usually include its masts or any armament turrets.


A radar operational control that limits the return of echoes from nearby waves around a vessel, thus allowing ship targets to be more apparent on the radar screen.


A subdivision of a ship's voyage during which the ship is carrying cargo.

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