How many passengers fit into a standard life boat on a cruise ship?

I recall asking that on a ship and was told at the time it was 110 passengers per boat. The max is listed at 150 according to this article

but I see that Oasis of the seas has a new one that is supposed to hold 350 people. Sounds great but when you actually look at those boats can they really hold that many? At a glance those life boats I have seen do not look like they can hold 100 people. Maybe they can if all are packed in nicely but what are the odds of that happening in the event of a major problem?

What is your opinion on this topic?

18 Answers

Very good post.

You have to wonder at time when you go through the drill how it would all work if there was an emergency.

I have asked before about the drills the ships have.

Has any cruise line evacuated a ship completely while at sea for the purpose of a drill?

It would be nice to know the answers.

I hope I never have to find out.


It's my understanding that the max is 150 passengers, or that was what it used to be. Now the mega-ships have special lifeboats which carry up to 350. Also, on many cruise ships, half the life boats serve as tenders. Tenders are larger and do double duty as both tenders and as life boats. Back in the Titanic days, the White Star Line's "Olympic" series (The Titanic was the second ship of this group, its almost twin sister, the Olympic, was in service a full year before the Titanic's maiden voyage) came up with the largest life boats at the time, 65 passengers. In addition, prior to the Olympic, the life boats could only be loaded at about 50% before being lowered by davits down to the ocean as they tended to split in the middle with a full load, however, the new Olympic life boats at the time overcame this and they could be lowered fully loaded. An interesting development occurred here though, as the Titanic officers were not properly trained therefore most were unaware that their lifeboats could be lowered fully loaded, therefore, one of the reasons for the Titanic life boats being more than half empty was due to that circumstance. Apparently, some officers also thought that the lower gangway doors would be opened allowing for more passengers to get on the life boats after they were in the water. However, those doors were never opened nor did the life boats return to the ship to pick up additional passengers even if they had have been opened and the passengers directed to go down to the deck levels where those doors were.



They are rated at 150 or 350, but they figure the average man to be 150 poundsSad

You could probably squeeze 100 or 250 average size cruise passengers.

For sure.

Me too! I'll be cruising on her soon too!

It depends on the size of the ship. No matter how many passengers fit on a lifeboat, believe me when I say it is a tight squeeze. I hope that no one ever has to find out how uncomfortable the ride would be.

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