How Much Fuel Can a Cruise Ship Hold?

The average fuel capacity of cruise ships depends entirely on their size. For smaller vessels it is about 6,000 barrels. For the large ones it can be over 50,000 barrels of oil. A single barrel is equal to 42 gallons.

Facts and Figures

An example of the large types is the Queen Mary 2. It is over 1,100 feet long and weighs several thousand pounds. Records state that it can hold up to 56,655 barrels. Ship companies like Carnival, Disney and Caribbean also have 1,000 ft vessels. Very likely they also have the same capacity. Some probably have larger storage capacities.

The fuel capacity of cruise ships is not always on this large scale. The duration of the journey will also determine the amount. The large vessels need to take in a lot because the journeys are for extended periods. Shorter trips necessitate smaller amounts.

An example would be cruise ships going around San Francisco Bay. Given the limited route, its size and fuel load is limited. Vessels that ply this route may carry 90 to 170 barrels of oil. Size wise they can be less than 200 feet.

Expenses and Other Fees

Putting loads of fuel is very expensive. An example would be interisland state cruises. Those in Hawaii spend about 98 hours a week at the ports. Even then the costs run to nearly $300,000 weekly for each vessel.

This is an example of the costs of maximizing the fuel capacity of cruise ships. This is taking the average for lifeboats and other medium to large scale vessels. With cruise ships getting larger, the cost for fuel will go up.

Other Issues Affecting Oil Storage

The consumption must also account for the weather. Apart from climate the itinerary is also crucial. Passenger capacity is only one element. The other equipment it carries will also affect the fuel load. The more amenities in store, the more oil it will need. If the ship comes with all the bells and whistles, it will carry over 60,000 barrels.

Environmental Concern

On average, the fuel capacity of cruise ships is equal to over 11,000 vehicles. Their excessive fuel use has been a cause for alarm for environmental groups and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The fuel consumption isn’t just large; their toxicity is about 50 times more than the average vehicle.

The high toxic level is due to the low quality of oil used. Because the vessel needs so much, lower quality types are used to reduce costs. They are comprised of hydrocarbon residues. Crude oil is refined to create high quality oil like petrol. The leftovers like hydrocarbon are the ones that cruise ships use. The pollution raised is more than 300,000 motor vehicles combined.

The ships also release hazardous smoke. These include sulphur and nitrogen oxide. These generate toxic elements. It causes harmful effects on the environment and people as well. Other harmful chemicals released include carbon and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

The fuel capacity of cruise ships can be expected to grow as these vessels expand in size. With advances in technology, their harmful effects may be mitigated.

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