A cruise is a type of passenger boat for pleasure travel, when the trip itself, the services of the ship, and sometimes the different destinations on the way are part of the experience. Transportation is not only the purpose of the cruise ship, particularly on cruise ships that return passengers to its original port (known as closed-circuit cruises). It is noteworthy to mention, shipping transports 90% of the world’s total trade.
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Basics on Cruise Ships
On cruises to nowhere or trips anywhere, the ship tours 2-3 nights without any port of call. Most people would have at least heard of the cruise ship company Royal Caribbean, as they have been running luxury cruises for the best part of the last century. The company prides itself on its fleet of over 20 different ships, making sure that they are packed full to the brim with as many luxurious and exciting options as humanely possible. The Allure of the Seas is the biggest ship of the fleet, and by Jove does it have some tantalizing fun on board. Of course, we have all heard of ships that contain massive waterparks, shopping malls, spa, various restaurants and adult services on board. Aboard the Allure of the Seas, one can play pretty much any casino gambling game you would like, from poker to roulette. That’s right, the last two decades have seen a dramatic increase in people gambling, and the main reason behind this is the incredible emergence of online casino, something that has succeeded in drawing hundreds of thousands more gamblers to the world of German Kasino. And casino means application of emerging technologies such as Reinforcement Learning, Server-Based Gaming (SBG) and so on. Cruise casinos are for attracting the average who are unlikely to gamble on land.
Cruise Ships Vs Ocean Liners
In contrast, transport-oriented ocean liners make journeys to typically transport passengers from one point to another, rather than on round trips. Traditionally, an ocean liner for a transoceanic journey will be built to a higher standard than a typical cruise ship, including larger free boarding to withstand the rough seas and adverse conditions found in the open ocean, such as the North Atlantic. Ocean liners also tend to have greater capacities for fuel, food and other stores for long-haul consumption, compared to dedicated cruise ships, but few still exist, such as several preserved ocean liners including the Queen Mary 2, which makes scheduled North Atlantic trips.
The distinction between ocean liners and cruise ships has faded, particularly about deployment, although differences in construction remain. Larger cruises have also embarked on longer trips, such as transoceanic trips that may not return to the same port for months (or longer round trips). Some ancient ocean liners operate as cruise ships, such as MS Marco Polo, although this number is declining. The only dedicated vessel in operation as a transatlantic is the RMS Queen Mary 2 of the Cunardline. It also has the comforts of contemporary cruises and sees significant service on cruises.
IoT and AI in Maritime Industry
By using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, connected devices and artificial intelligence (AI), various companies are on a way to turn the cruise ships into smart cities at sea. Even though big data has significantly benefitted industries such as finance, media, telecom and healthcare, its adaption by the maritime industry, in general, has been slow partially because both the automobile industry and maritime industry follow own standards with own challenges.
Application of Big Data and AI are for energy-saving operation, safe operation, schedule management, fleet planning, fleet allocation, service planning, chartering, condition monitoring and maintenance, environmental regulation compliance, retrofit & modification and new building Design optimization. Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) signed an MOU with IBM for developing a platform using IBM’s Traffic Prediction tool to forecast vessel arrival times and to estimate potential traffic congestion (fusion analytics). The platform relies on data mining and anomaly detection by using IBM Incident Detection Module.
To step towards self-steering vessels, employing similar technology like that of the cars to collect a continuous stream of data from a vessel’s environmental surroundings, identify and track potential risks are possibilities for the future. To implement big data analytics and IoT, the shipbuilders and shipping companies are seen to be entering into partnerships with the leading technology suppliers. IoT and AI, when combined with drones, will change the maintenance management, decreasing the costly and unnecessary repairs by preventive steps with data vigilance.
Constant collection of voyage-impacting data and AI predictive analysis will ensure that vessels are always sailing the best route at the best speed, avoiding port delays and bad weather, identifying the best return route and schedule so that ships don’t sail empty.
Carnival’s Ocean Medallion is a wearable which brings luxury to cruise ships. The devices are connected with smartphones and are synchronized through satellites to the cloud services. Ocean Medallion helps to set up the cruise luxuries before leaving home, it can answer health questions, select food preferences, give access to stateroom without a key. Geolocation and BLE help the passengers approaching their rooms to get the lights turned on and adjust the air-conditioner. Also, restaurant reservations can be made, food preferences can be remembered.
It is also possible to track the children which are important on a 19th floored ship.
Cyber-crime in Maritime Industry
Marine IT and telecommunication face the risk of penetration. The container lines are most vulnerable to hackers, followed by the cruise ships. It is predicted that involving big data in the maritime industry will increase the vulnerability to cyber-crime. A major cyber-attack may lead to disruption in food and energy
Apart from the basic operations on any ship, IoT and AI in cruise ships can bring more personalized services to the willing to spend population. The distinction between ocean liners and cruise ships is sharply fading, which possibly opening up the possibility to use the latest technologies to help and entertain the premium customers.