This is our version of cruise ship tracker. Here you will also learn some interesting stuff about tracking cruise ships at sea as AIS ship tracking technology and fun facts. Not all cruise ships in the world are listed and linked there – some of the big ship cruise lines are still missing (AIDA, and some of the luxury lines). Still, this is one of the best Web places to start a cruise search on all major lines, with new ships being added on a monthly basis. You may also enjoy seeing the complete list of all the new cruise ships currently under construction.
Our cruise ship locator idea is actually a set of links redirecting to articles showing detailed itinerary information, sailing schedule and current position of the cruise ship you’re interested in. This is an unique opportunity to see on a single page the cruise tracker combined with all dates, ports of call, prices, and many links to related articles.
The “cruise tracker” – how does live AIS ship tracking work?
AIS ship tracking systems have been dramatically changed after the implementation of Automated Identification System (AIS). Tracking cruise ships as current location became possible after AIS became mandatory for all commercial ships with tonnage above 300GT, and also for all cruise passenger ships and marine vessels carrying hazardous materials. The low cost of AIS-receiving equipment ($200-$500) helped huge number of radio-amateurs, ship spotters and enthusiasts to purchase and install home-based AIS stations. Almost all of them stream their data to one or more web based (cruise) ship trackers or just exchange their data for other feeds. Live cruise ship tracking is possible because all passenger cruise ships are equipped with AIS transponders. When the cruise ship is in the zone of AIS coverage, you may track it via one of the listed below free ship tracker portals. Since 2002, all new commercial (cargo and passenger/cruise) ships over 300 GT (gross tons) have been required to have AIS transponders installed in order to operate. The requirements for marine vessels built before 2002 have been gradually phased in. Each ship AIS system consists of:
- 1x transmitter (VHF)
- 2x TDMA receivers (“Time Division Multiple Access”, VHF)
- 1x DSC receiver (“Digital Selective Calling”, VHF)
- electronic communications links (standard digital interfaces for ships/marine vessels): IEC 61162 (for navigational devices within a ship) and NMEA 0183 (for communications between the ship’s electronic equipment – autopilot, GPS/satellite receivers, gyrocompass, sonars,etc.)
- 1x GNSS receiver (“Global Navigation Satellite System”) for precise coordinates (position) in coastal/inland waters.
- Generally, AIS transponders work in an autonomous mode, regardless of whether the cruise ship is in the open seas or cruising in coastal/inland waters.
Ship AIS systems transmit data encoded on 2 VHF channels at frequency 161,975 MHz and 162,025 MHz. An AIS transmission uses 9,6 kb (kilobites per second) GMSKFM (“Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying Frequency Modulation”) and HDLC (“Highlevel Data Link Control”) packet/group protocols. Transmissions are over 25 kHz or 12,5 kHz VHF channels. In order all marine vessels to be able to share these 2 channels, each cruise ship transmits during one of 2250 time-slots (established each minute). These two channels provide redundancy and proper level of protection from interference. Typical transmission range is 20 nautical miles (23 ml/37 km). You can read a lot more about AIS (Automatic Identification System) at this Wikipedia link. An AIS transponder would receive data from the ship’s other navigational devices. The cruise ship position, course, speed is provided by its GPS. The cruise ship’s officers are required to enter information such as the ship’s name, type, dimensions, itinerary, ETA (estimated time of arrival), rate of turn, pitch and roll angle, etc. All moored/anchored ships are also required to transmit their position at least every 3 min. Cruise ships moving at up to 14 kn (16 mph/26 kph) must transmit their position every 10 sec, those moving at up to 23 kn (26,5 mph/42,6 kph) – every 6 sec, and if moving at faster speeds – every 2 sec. Static ship data (name, itinerary/destination, ETA) is transmitted separately every 6 min.
Our cruise ship tracker links for tracking passenger ships at sea
At ShipCruise.ORG as data source we use the database of the VesselFinder ship tracker. We show the exact location/current position of each cruise ship reviewed at our site.
Tracking cruise ships here, along with their current positions, also shows itinerary information, sailing schedule (dates and port times) and cheapest prices currently available. In the table below, each of the ship-links will redirect you to their individual pages.
You can share, like and rate our cruise ship tracker links collection (expect more soon) and our AIS tracking of cruise ships at sea review via the social buttons. Enjoy your new free cruise ship location tracker fun while ashore, and many happy days at sea!