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Important History Surrounding the Cruise Industry

The world is filled with so many unique historical moments, artefacts and stories that it is impossible for any one person to learn about them all. Even the most nuanced and seemingly insignificant parts of our world have contributed in big ways to life-changing and history-alerting events throughout time.

Important History Surrounding the Cruise Industry

Many people think about cruise liners and the travel industry as being relatively inconsequential in shaping history, but there are a number of incidents where the cruise industry influenced outcomes in life or death situations and pivotal moments. Let's look at some examples where the cruise industry helped change the world as we know it.

How the Titanic Changed Navigation

Almost everybody has heard or read about the disaster that was the Titanic. One of the biggest and first examples of trans-Atlantic luxury travel, the Titanic suffered a horrible fate due to a variety of poor considerations and bad luck.

Nevertheless, the disaster brought about a variety of changes in how we travel and helped changed history for so many others. One great example is the inclusion of life rafts on every vessel, which have reportedly saved thousands of lives in a variety of disasters over the past century.

Another example that many with a master’s degree in history cite as being pivotal is the creation of specific Coast Guard agencies that sought out dangerous conditions for all boats and ships traveling in open waters. The International Ice Patrol is a great example that many cite as changing the course of maritime navigation for the better.

How Trans-Atlantic Travel Became Affordable

In past centuries, the notion of traveling across an ocean was revolutionary – and costly. Smaller ships could only hold so many people, the trips were long and the costs of travel were exorbitant. Many people in pre-Colonial America literally sold themselves into indentured service for periods of up to a decade in order to afford the crossing.

With the advent of modern cruise liners, this all changed. The massive construction of cruise liners is cited by many history program majors as being a pivotal shift in how we travel. Instead of costing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in today's terms, a trans-Atlantic voyage can be procured for just a few hundred dollars today – and certainly provides more luxury and amenities.

How Cruise Liners Changed Commerce

The very first cruise liners were big and relatively crude, being refined over decades. Nevertheless, the size and scope of the cruise liner helped inspire – and create the opportunity for – larger ships that could transit entire oceans with goods and services on a massive scale.

Modern-day freighters have their architecture and design rooted in the inspiration behind the first cruise liners. As the first cruise liners were insanely expensive, it was difficult to justify building massive ships to transport inexpensive goods. However, as the price of ship construction continued to decline and more efficient methods of construction were discovered, this made it possible for industrial ships and freighters to be built much larger than in past decades.

As such, most of the products you see on shelves today that were imported are only there because of the advancements made by the cruise industry.


Every industry has had an influence on changing the course of human history, and the cruise industry is no different. From improving safety to increasing trade, cruise liners have made it possible for a variety of advancements in our modern lives to become realities.