• Cheers to 25 years: Celebrate with Us!
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Dismiss
5 Trends in Onboard Cruise Ship Technology

How Fast Do Cruise Ships Go?

Cruise Critic
Staff
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

Wake from a tender boat, with cruise ships in the distance

One of the most frequent questions we hear at Cruise Critic is "How fast does a cruise ship go?" Cruise ship speeds are measured in knots; 1 knot equals about 1.15 miles per hour. The average speed of a modern cruise ship is roughly 20 knots (23 miles per hour), with maximum speeds reaching about 30 knots (34.5 miles per hour).

How fast a ship is able to sail depends on several factors, including the power of its engines, the weather and the conditions at sea. Ships might have to sail at higher speeds to outrun potential storms or rough waters. Conversely, they might sail more slowly if they find themselves in choppy swells.

Updated January 08, 2020

How was this article?

Featured News

1
American Empress Restarts River Cruises on the Columbia and Snake Rivers
5
Odyssey of the Seas Cruise Ship Arrives into Fort Lauderdale for the First Time
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

We have updated the Cruise Critic Privacy and Cookie Statement effective on October 1, 2020. Please click here for more information.