Passenger ships are primarily used for carrying passengers. The category includes ferries, yachts, ocean liners, and cruise ships. The category may also include cargo ships with adequate facilities to carry a substantial number of passengers. Cargo ships often act as freighter cruises, however they tend to be more expensive to travel in comparison to passenger ships. Passenger ships have also been commissioned as navy ships on numerous occasions to meet the requirements by naval forces. In the past, they were also used for transporting light goods such as mail and package freights.
Ocean liners are traditional passenger ships. An ocean liner typically has 1,500 to 2,000 seats for passengers and has facilities of saloons, swimming pools, and sports halls. Prior to advent of airliners, they were the primary mode of intercontinental travel. Nowadays, just a few ocean liners are in operation, their place has been taken by ferries. Some of the famous and most luxurious ocean liners of the past are the Titanic, Olympic, and Queen Elizabeth. The largest ocean liner today is RMS Queen Mary 2.
The slow demise of ocean liners by the mid 20th century opened the way for cruise ships. Cruise ships are large passenger ships offering pleasure trips adventure seeking people. They have onboard facilities of restaurants, bars, casinos, theaters, ball rooms, discos, swimming pools, fitness centers, and shops that make them a complete floating resort. They are designed in a way to negotiate almost all major ports in the world.
In comparison to liners, they serve shorter routes with more stops along coastlines or islands. Among popular cruise destinations in the world include the Caribbean Sea, Alaska, Mexico, Hawaii Island, and the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the luxurious ocean liners have now been converted to cruise ships, example being the conversion of ocean liner “SS France” to cruise ship “SS Norway”. At present, the two largest cruise ships are the Allure of the Seas and the Oasis of the Seas.
Ferries are boats or small-sized ships that are used for day or overnight short sea trips sailing close to the coast between two or more ports. With a seating capacity ranging from 40 to 600, ferries are part of public transport systems in many waterside cities and islands. They are categorised into the ship types such as Hydrofoil, Hovercraft, Catamaran, Cruise ferry, Ro-ro, Pontoon ferry, Foot ferry, Cable ferry and Air ferries.
They are small boats or ships primarily used for recreational purposes. They are either propelled by sail or power with later being very popular nowadays. Power yachts offer plenty of amenities sometimes comparable to luxurious passenger ships. They are often referred to as cabin cruisers. There are different categories of yachts such as day sailing yachts, weekender yachts, cruising yachts, racing yachts, and cruising yachts.