Like any popular kind of leisure activity, cruises are recognised for their attraction as a holiday, but they’re also known for the urban legends and tales that surround them, some of which are macabre, some of which are real, and some of which are both. According to a report that was going around on the internet in November 2022, cruise ships are outfitted with morgues in case guests pass away at sea, as reported by Snopes.
Major cruise lines do, in fact, have morgues on board, and for good cause. Older travellers frequently choose cruise ships as their vacation activity, and if they are retired and have the money, they are more inclined to plan longer trips, according to the British news source The Telegraph. There is a higher chance that some older passengers who travel on cruises for extended lengths of time will pass away from natural causes while on their vacation.
However, just like with anything else, mistakes do happen. One such incident occurred in 2010 when a 21-year-old man passed away after experiencing a severe allergic response while on a Norwegian cruise ship.
The Telegraph claims that in addition to having medical facilities, cruise ships must also have facilities that can handle a small number of passenger fatalities:
The Telegraph added that given the 21.7 million passengers who travel by cruise ship annually around the world, the estimated 200 deaths on cruise ships each year are “really very rare.”
In a well-known instance of one such situation, British journalist Sir David Frost passed away in September 2013 while travelling on the Cunard cruise ship Queen Elizabeth, where he had been scheduled to speak. The ship’s passengers “were primarily British and received the awful news without emotion,” a source told The Telegraph.
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