What Are The Big White Balls On Top Of Cruise Ships
The big white balls on top of cruise ships are Radomes. A Radome is made up of two parts, a Radar and a Dome, hence the name Ra-dome. The dome covers the radar equipment protecting it from the weather and hiding it from guests. A radome can also include satelitte equipment.
Radomes contain rotating radar antennas and satellite discs, which will be constantly on the move. Radomes are designed to allow movement not only from the radar itself but also from the ship. The ship is subject to movements caused by weather and the ocean, so it is critical that the Radome is large enough to allow this movement.
The satellite equipment held within Radomes is used for communication, entertainment and navigation purposes.
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Why Cruise Ship Hulls Are Traditionally Black Or Navy
These days cruise ships come in all sizes and colors, but not long ago this wasn’t the case. To this day, when most of us see ships with dark colored hulls we think of them as more traditional looking, no matter what the age of the vessel. Why is this? Well, it has to do with how these great ships are powered, and the letters sometimes preceding ship names. Make sense?
Want to see a video explanation we made on this topic? Video: Why Cruise Ship Hulls Are Traditionally Black or Navy
Ever see a ship with MS in front of her name, such as the MS Nieuw Amsterdam? This is short for Motor Ship , and there was a time, not so long ago, that this differentiated those vessels from others which started with SS. It’s often assumed these days that SS , stood for steamship, and that’s not wrong, though it originally stood for Screw Steamer. Screw steamers were steamships that used steam-powered engines driving a propeller . Paddle steamers also used steam for power, but that power was used to drive paddle-wheels, which were generally secured to each side of a ship, or to the aft.
As some fine folks on Reddit were discussing, the paint used below the water line was traditionally red. This is because cuprous oxide is used in the paint as an anti-fouling agent to help keep barnacles off. Barnacles add to drag, so that’s pretty important. There are now different colors of paint that contain anti-fouling agents, but red remains popular.
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Changing Colors: Major Cruise Brands Introduce New Liveries
Cruise lines are embracing new hull art and ship liveries in an effort to stand out, as highlighted by Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International, which are both embracing new paint schemes on their ships.
Carnival Cruise Line
This year Carnival Cruise Line became the latest brand to introduce a new livery. In May, as the company prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2022.
The livery is highlighted by a stately navy-blue hull, inspired by officers uniforms, along with vibrant red and white accents running the entire length of the ship.
After the Mardi Gras, during a drydock in Marseilles.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International updated its livery in 2020, . Unusually big, the vessel name runs 87.4 meters down each side of the ship.
It’s the second new look for Royal Caribbean in the last decade.
The Quantum of the Seas, launched in 2014, debuted a new color template for the company, with a light blue hull.
The color scheme was later added on selected vessels, including the recently Amplified Freedom of the Seas.
, Celebrity Cruises is adding a new livery to its fleet. While undergoing the upgrades, the companys existing ships also receive that have a dark blue hull.
The livery has been added to seven of the 11 Celebrity ships.
, adding a giant version of its sea witch logo to the hull of the 2013-built Royal Princess.
P& O UK
P& O Australia
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line
The Reason Why Ships Are Often Painted Red On The Bottom
If youve ever salvaged a sea vessel, you might have noticed that ship hulls are often red. If you havent dealt with a shipwreckand chances are you haventyou may have still seen a red hull in pictures or in partial view at a shipyard. Since that portion of the ship is below the waterline, it seems strange to opt for a specific color.
The reason is tradition. And worms.
In a piece for Jalopnik, Andrew P. Collins explains that early sailing ships protected themselves against barnacles and wood-eating worms by covering their hulls in a copper or copper oxide paint that acted as a biocide. The copper gave the paint a red tint. By reducing the muck that naturally collects on the hull, ships can maintain their structural integrity and avoid being weighed down by gunk like seaweed that would reduce drag.
These days, biocides can be mixed with virtually any color of paint. But the hulls are often painted red to maintain a nautical tradition. Collins also points out that the red may help observers gauge the load of a ships cargo. The more weight on board, the lower in the water it will be. That’s why you often see numbers positioned vertically on the side of the hull.
No matter whats covering the hull, its never going to completely eliminate growth. Often, ports will prohibit ship owners from scraping hulls while docked, since ships traveling in outside waters might have picked up a non-native species of weed that could prove problematic in a new environment.
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The Science Behind Why Cruise Ships Are Always White
When it comes to the color of a cruise ship, the choice of white is not a coincidence. Most people do not even notice the color of the ship before they board, but in fact, a science exists behind why cruise ships are the color white.
The color choice has to do with the temperature of the ship. This reason is also one of the factors behind why most commercial passenger airplanes are white, as well. The color white reflects sunlight as it hits the surface, while darker colors tend to absorb the light and thus heat up quickly.
Since the white color reflects the light, the ship does not heat up as quickly. This protection is not just for the exterior of the ship. Having a white surface will keep the interior of the cruise ship at a much cooler temperature, which is important, especially for the ships that sail in warmer, tropical climates.
The color white is also said to be more aesthetically pleasing and pristine, making the vessel appear cleaner and more attractive to passengers boarding the ship.
In recent years, many cruise liners have been playing around with different color schemes, including Royal Caribbean International and Virgin Voyages, who are experimenting with blue and gray colors on the ships exterior.
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Video: Why Cruise Ships And Yachts Are Mostly Painted White
So when we say the word cruise ships or luxury yachts, what color will it be in your imagination? Probably white, right? It is so because were used to seeing big white cruise ships. Now the question is whether white color is necessary, fancy or just a tradition? Different people comes out with different reasons, but are all of them true? Lets have a look at it.
Actually, colorful cruise ships and yachts actually do exist. Historically, the great ocean liners had dark hulls. One of the reason for this was the fact that they burned coal for their fuel and the combination of loading coal onto the ships, and the exhaust was dirty, and the dark hulls helped hide that dirty look.
First, lets understand why most cruise ships today are white? Well, one of the most prominent reason is temperature. As we know the color white is the best reflector among all colors.
White cruise ships became popular because designers thought it would keep the ship cooler in warmer climates as cruise ships and yachts typically sail in tropical, warm climate places. The white color also allows air conditioning systems to work less, thus saving energy.
Mostly the passengers onboard a cruise ships are elderly people, who are just seeking peace and comfort. For this reason, the air condition system has to be working full power most of the time and white paint at least allows the cruise ships to maintain the required temperature.
Here is a detailed video on this interesting subject:
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It’s Harder To Keep Anything White Clean But There’s A Good Reason Why Ships Gravitate Toward This Paint Color
If youre lucky enough to hop onto a cruise-liner for a vacation, youre probably not thinking twice about the color of the ship. But now that its at your attention, you might be racking your brain to think of a non-white cruise ship. Forget what you think you know about cruise misconceptions and colors.
Colorful ships actually do exist, according to Allan E. Jordan, a cruise ship historian who was also the historian at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Museum. In fact, historically speaking, great ocean liners had dark hulls. This was in part due to the fact that they burned coal for their fuel and the combination of loading coal onto the ships, and the exhaust was dirty, and the dark hulls helped hide that, Jordan says. People also experimented with green hulls in the 1930s and red hulls in the 1980s.
So why are most cruise ships today white? It mostly has to do with temperature. White cruise ships became popular because designers thought it would keep the ship cooler in warmer climates, according to Jordan. Its the same argument for why most commercial airplanes are white, too. Other reports add that cruise ships are white simply because they look clean, shiny, and expensive, attracting more customers.
Do All Cruise Ships Have Radomes
All cruise ships have radars but not all have Radomes. Some ships may have their radar equipment out of site and some may leave it uncovered.
Some ships may have fake Radomes, although this is more common on Yachts and other ships as opposed to cruise ships.
Some shipowners may even install empty Radomes for security purposes in order to trick other people into thinking that they have more equipment than they do. Similar to how some home owners install fake burglar alarms.
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Is It Just Cruise Ships Have That Have White Ball Shaped Radomes
It isnt just cruise ships that have Radomes which are white and ball shaped. Many other types of ships also have a very similar design.
Radomes are common in the airline industry too. The front nose part of an airplane is a Radome protecting the equipment inside while providing an aerodynamic shape.
Other ships, helicopters and buildings will also have Radomes. Many buildings will have Radomes covering the satellite equipment on top of the roof.
Below is an example of a very large Radome from the Research Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques in Germany.
Greasing Needs On Cruise Ships & Ferries
No ships are scrutinised as much about their appearance as cruise ships. These vessels have the primary goal of attracting passengers, so cruise ships and passenger ferries need to maintain a high standard of appearance as well as passenger safety.
The large number of passengers means a large number of lifeboats and tenders, usually stored on davits above outer decks. The wires of these davits need to be greased for rust protection and lubrication just like any wire at sea. Poor greases, however, are not only very likely to be washed off easily, leaving the wires exposed and vulnerable to rust, but they are also prone to drip in the hot, tropical climates that cruise ships frequent. The dripping grease will either end up on deck causing a safety hazard for passengers, in the sea, or on passengers themselves. Even if the grease used does not drip, a black, sticky mess surrounding wires and other grease points is very unattractive.
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What Are The Big White Balls On Top Of Cruise Ships Radome Guide
If youve ever been on a cruise ship, you may have wondered what the big white ball shapes are that youll find on the top of a lot of cruise ships.
They often resemble giant golf balls and youll usually find multiples on a cruise ship. Theyre very obvious on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and MSC cruise ships.
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When the construction of the Queen Mary stopped in 1931, only one year after work began, the British Government loaned Cunard the funds to finish constructing Queen Mary and build a sister ship . Cunard White Star came together when a new company was formed in May 1934 with Cunard owning a 62% share. In 1947, Cunard bought the remaining 38% share from White Stars creditors.
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Taking A Cruise: Recommendations And Resources
Book a Cruise:Have a specific cruise you want to book or just need some help and inspiration? Get a cruise quote through us: Cruise Quote Form.Not Sure What to Book?Learn everything you need to know to find and book the perfect cruise in my How to Cruise For Less cruise course.Dont Forget Your Travel Insurance:You could be stranded abroad, lose your entire cruise fare, or be hit with MASSIVE medical bills if you dont have cruise travel insurance. I use comparison websites to compare quotes: Compare Quotes Here.Our full list of travel recommendations can be found here.
Why Most Cruise Ships And Luxury Yachts Are White While Container Ships Are All Kinds Of Colours
Container ships and all other kinds of cargo and fishing ships are all kinds of colours their hulls are painted blue, black, red, green, grey and other shades without much consistency. Meanwhile cruise ships and luxury yachts are usually white. Why? If the paint is only there to protect the hull from rusting, why does it matter what colour it is?
Anthem of the Seas an example of a white cruise ship. Image credit: Ein Dahmer via Wikimedia
The short answer is that it doesnt. That is exactly why container ships do not follow trends and are all kinds of colours. That is because operators simply choose whatever they like, what is available and which paint is the cheapest. Some companies do care a little bit about their brand identity and opt for a single colour for their entire fleet. However, cruise ships are white for a reason this colour allows air conditioning systems to work less.
White reflects most of the sunlight and, therefore, the interior of the cruise ship doesnt get as hot. Cruise ships and yachts typically sail in tropical, warm climate places. A lot of passengers on-board are elderly people, who are just seeking for comfort. And so, air conditioning has to be working full power most of the time and white paintjob at least doesnt allow the ship to get too hot from the sun.
A lot of glass fibre boats and yachts are also white it hides surface imperfections. Image credit: Jonathan Palombo via Wikimedia
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Ferryl 202 White Anticorrosive Grease
Ferryl 202 White Anticorrosive Grease is importantly completely white in colour, which provides a clean, white appearance for application on life-boat falls, ideal for cruise ships and ferries that are usually white in colour. Ferryl 202 White will not impact the appearance of surrounding white painted surfaces, like a dark grease would.
Like other Ferryl greases, Ferryl 202 White is designed for optimal performance in the marine environment. Rust inhibitors chemically protect against rust and lubricants give the necessary lubrication for running wires. Ferryl 202 White is designed not to drip in hot climates and works equally well in temperatures below freezing. Rubberised binders within the grease ensure excellent adhesion of the grease, making sure it is not thrown off during lowering of tenders and other wire motion. This superior adhesion increases the lifetime of Ferryl 202 White, reducing re-greasing needs and grease consumption.
The attractive white colour of Ferryl 202 White is also appreciated by all types of vessels and is ideal for use on ramp wires on Ro-Ro or car carriers, or on steel mooring wires, as an alternative to Ferryl 202 Standard Anticorrosive Grease.
What Are Cruise Ship Radomes Made From
Radomes on cruise ships are usually made of fiberglass, a reinforced plastic using glass fibers, or a PTFE treated fabric.
Radomes on cruise ships are constructed with materials that very minimally reduces the electromagnetic signal transmitted or received by the antenna. The Radome casing is effectively almost transparent to the radio waves that pass through it.
Radomes are usually made by independent contractors, they work to certain standards but the equipment inside the Radome may change over time and the Radome is designed to allow this.
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