Useful Nautical Terms for Cruising - Get Ship-Shape before your Cruise!

Ahoy there readers!

When you head off on your South Pacific Cruise you will be hoping that you don’t need to Swab the Decks or Walk the Plank, but there are a few Nautical Terms that can come in handy when you Cruise!

A Cruise is no place for a Land-Lubber, so let’s get you Ship-Shape and you’ll be a Sea Dog before you know it!

Keeping it really simple, I’ve put together a list of some Helpful Nautical Terms for Cruising below so that when you board your ship you will feel right at home on the high Seas. 

THE MOST IMPORTANT NAUTICAL TERM FOR CRUISING:

IT’S A SHIP

This seems to be the most important word to get right…. Some people can be most put-out if you call that ship a boat.

When you cruise you are travelling on a SHIP (a cruise-ship or passenger-ship to be precise), not a BOAT.

What is the difference you may ask? 

Apparently it’s all about size – a ship is bigger than a boat, it is designed for Long Ocean voyages (rather than coastal or inland) and it has more than one deck.

Here is a Common Way to Remember the Difference:

A Ship can carry a Boat, but a Boat cannot carry a Ship.

 

 

THE OTHER HELPFUL NAUTICAL TERMS WHEN YOU CRUISE:

Bow (Prow)

The front of the ship.

Forward (Fore)

Towards the Bow/front of the ship.

Stern

The rear of the ship.

Aft

Towards the Stern/back of the ship.

Midships

The middle of the ship between fore & aft.

Port

The left side of the ship when you are facing forward.  You will see a red light at night.

*tip* I remember Port = Left as they both have 4 letters.

Starboard

The right side of the ship, when you are facing forward.  You will see a green light at night.

Heading

The direction the ship is heading.

About

Means changing the course or direction of the ship.

Gangway/Boarding

This is how you will enter the ship. 

You will be told what your boarding time is before you arrive at the Port.  You will board your ship via the Gangway.

Bridge

The command centre of the ship – located at the front so they can see where they are going.

Galley

The kitchen on the ship.  Where all the glorious food comes from.

Stateroom

Any private passenger cabin on a ship (so it doesn’t matter whether your room is inside, outside or a balcony it is still a stateroom).

Stateroom and cabin are used inter-changeably, but you will find most cruise-line literature will refer to your room as a Stateroom (just because it sounds fancier).

Muster Station

The place on the ship where you must meet in the event of an emergency (or as part of a drill to practice for the emergency).  Your Muster Station destination will be displayed in your stateroom.

Tender

The boats that are used to transfer passengers from the ship to land. 

When you have a Port day where the ship cannot tie up to a wharf, you will be taken to land via the ships tenders.

Captain

The person in command of the ship.  They are legally obliged to make the final decision on all aspects of the running of the ship.

Pilot

A specialist navigator that comes on board to help the ship through difficult areas.

Steward

Member of the crew that is responsible for personal services for passengers.  You will come across room stewards, bar stewards and dining room stewards – their job is to look after your needs.

League

A measurement sometimes used at sea.  One league is about 3 nautical miles.

Nautical Mile

A common measurement used at sea. One nautical mile is 1852 metres (6076 feet).

Leg

A portion of your voyage, between two points.

 

 

And now that you ‘Know the Ropes’ and ‘The Whole Nine Yards’ of Nautical Terms for Cruising we would like to wish you:

Fair Winds and following seas

Would you like to follow our blog and get interesting cruising information every week?

Sign up here:

https://www.gobysea.com.au/contact-us/