From holidays to haulage, how technology has changed a life at sea

The days of tall ships, pirates and cannon may be well behind us but the desire for some to spend a life, or at least a considerable amount of time at sea, never seems to fade. True, life may have been more exciting (if not more dangerous) in the time of Jack Sparrow, but there’s clearly something about sailing away on the oceans that captures our hearts and minds.

Luckily, as time has gone on, technology has advanced and now a life at sea, accompanied by technology is increasingly safer as well as exciting.


Star gazing might be an interesting pastime, and it certainly can be breathtakingly stunning, but as a means of navigation, it’s somewhat laboured in the modern age. With the rise of GPS technology and wireless internet connections, the ships in our oceans are better connected to each other and the rest of the world, and indeed space, than ever before. With advanced GPS technology, captains can not only see where they are but where others nearby are, where there are dangers lurking and what weather fronts are on the horizon. All this together meaning they can plan better and keep their crews, cargo and/or passengers safe.

Ice Breakers

No, this isn’t the cocktail party on the first night of a cruise. These monster ships work in the most difficult of conditions in the arctic and Antarctic circles to break up large flows of ice to allow ships to continue to pass through the waters. Using technology to seek and destroy the ice, they protect other ships from potential damage as well as ensuring that vital goods can continue to be transferred across the oceans for businesses and consumers to use.

Fleet Management

Carnival Corporation and PLC is one of the world’s largest ship owners with over 100 vessels across 10 major cruise line brands, including P&O Cruises, Aida, Cunard and Princess, to name just a few. These enormous ships can carry thousands of passengers at a time, contain hundreds of staff, mountains of luggage and often goods too. On board you find a number of bars, restaurants, night clubs, state of the art performance spaces and, of course, rooms and cabins of all shapes and sizes.

Ships of all kinds, from little rowing boats to these huge cities on the seas require regular maintenance to ensure they are sea-worthy to carry their cargo. For a fishing boat on a lake, that’s not too taxing, but for a fleet the size of Carnival Corps’, it’s a mammoth task.

Thankfully, technology provides assistance here too. From robotic machinery and tooling, which automates some of the ship building and maintenance tasks to fleet management, there is a range of technologies out there which enable ship builders and owners to ensure their fleet is ship-shape and ready for action.

For fleet management, that means owners can have instant access to data and processes as well as dock management, timescales and scheduling for maintenance meaning there is less time when the ships are not able to be at sea. You can read more here about fleet management from Sertica and their products.

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