If you have ever been on a cruise after a few days, you might wonder where they are getting their fresh water or even perhaps if they make it on board. You might be surprised to hear that actually; cruise ships can carry tons of fresh water out to sea for the duration of the journey.

But how exactly do cruise ships make or get their water? Here’s all you need to know with the basics answered first, then some details on whether it’s safe to drink and how the water system works.

How do cruise ships get fresh water?

Some of the modern and larger cruise ships will make their own water onboard using a desalination plant. Other smaller or older cruise ships will get water before the trip which is stored in large tanks that cruisers don’t get to see.

Do cruise ships carry fresh water? 

Yes cruise ships do carry water. There are tanks aboard every cruise ship that take potable water for every person on board. The largest cruise ships have their own water purification system, that allows them to make as much water as they need.

How much fresh water does a cruise ship carry?

Cruise ships will carry as much fresh water as they need for each passenger unless of course it’s larger modern vessel that can make its own drinking water.  So they won’t carry as much, it’s more instead made when required. Some cruise ships can hold up to 2 million laters of water at any given point in time.

How does the water system work on a cruise ship?

In the belly of each great cruise ship is a desalination plant. This plant’s only job is to create fresh water that suitable for drinking and cleaning by removing salt and other ocean impurities, such as:

  • Plastic
  • Seaweed
  • Flotsam

Since the first century people have attempted to remove the salt from sea water. In the 1940’s the endeavor took off and the first powered desalination plants were put into aircraft carriers.

Today the cruise lines make it a point to provide fresh water to their passengers. The creation of these plants gave the cruising industry the foothold it needed to become the worldwide phenomenon that we know now.

The process that these plants use is a form of reverse osmosis which takes particulate out