The Physics
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Power of a Cruise Ship

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Stevenson, Jay & Sharon Rutman. Complete Idiot's Guide to the Titanic. New York: Prentice Hall, 1998: 84. "Together, these engines kicked out 50,000 horsepower-a lot, but not enough to set speed records." 37 MW
McDonald, Craig. RMS Olympic: Old Reliable. 14 July 1997. "They'd be driven by three propellers that used two reciprocating engines that drove the wing-propellers (Three bladed, 24 ft (about 8 meters) in diameter) with a low pressure turbine in the middle driving the center propeller (Four bladed, 16 ft (about 5 to six meters) in diameter). Each reciprocating engine would develop 15,000 horsepower, which meant that it would make the same amount of energy as 15,000 horses." 34 MW
Shapiro, Marc. Total Titanic. New York: Byron Preiss, 1998: 8. "The Titanic's estimated speed included 46,000 horsepower capacity and is estimated to be capable of 24 knots at full speed." 34 MW
Lord, Walter. A Night To Remember. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1955: 138. "This combination gave her 50,000 horsepower, but she could easily develop at least 55,000 horsepower." 37–41 MW
Miller, Greg. Cruise Industry News. Telephone Interview, 1 June 2000. "The average horsepower of a cruise ship is about 50,000." 37 MW

The cruise Industry today is very big and continues to grow over the years. Today, there are so many cruise vacations, and so many different cruise ships, that you can practically go anywhere on any type of cruise ship. Still, more and more ships are constructed, faster and more luxurious to attract customers.

Cruise ships became popular in the early twentieth century at the time of the Industrial Revolution. There was a great demand from diverse immigrants to cross the ocean to the New World. Since the only way to cross was by ship, many different types of ships evolved to make the journey better. The steam engine replaced the sail and steel replaced wood. The ships became faster, bigger, and more powerful, and were able to carry many passengers.

The power of a cruise ship depends on many things. That is why it is so hard to answer right away when someone asks you about the power. Features of the ship have to be taken into account. The size of the ship, weight and the number and type of engine are a few things to consider. The power is measured in horsepower, a unit in English system that measures the rate at which an engine can perform mechanical work. It is equal to 746 watts.

One of the most famous cruise ships was the Titanic. It had two types of engine; the reciprocating and the turbine, and was able to create close to 50,000 horsepower.

Yelena Roslyakova -- 2000