For most travelers, cruise ships hold the promise of a journey filled with adventure and luxury in equal measure. Passengers can visit several different ports, meet fellow travelers, and experience the world aboard a vessel that comes complete with bars, restaurants, crafting classes, and climbing walls. A modern cruise is like taking a trip inside a super mall, only on the water. Of course, there’s a dark side to traveling the world in an enclosed environment run by human beings. If anything goes wrong, real calamity can follow. From an unforeseen technical malfunction to an outbreak of disease, any number of problems can arise while you’re out exploring on a cruise ship. That’s when your dream vacation can become a waking nightmare. Here, for your consideration, are history’s most devastating cruise ship disasters.
1. Titanic, 1912
Consider this one the mother of all cruise ship disasters. On April 14, 1912, the supposedly unsinkable ship carrying 2,200 people sank into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean. As it happened, the only unsinkable thing on the Titanic was Molly Brown, a newly wealthy Denver citizen who rallied the remaining lifeboats and helped pluck several survivors from the frigid waters. In the end, more than 1,500 people met their fate aboard the doomed cruise liner.