What is Port Side on a Cruise Ship? What Color is Port Side on a Cruise Ship?
Did you just book a cruise and are interested in the terminology that will be used on your trip? Have you heard the term “port side” and are curious about what it means? Or, perhaps you know what port side means, but are just interested in what color port side is. Regardless, below we have the answers and more for you.
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What is Port Side on a Cruise Ship?
The port side is always the left side of the cruise ship when you are facing the bow or front. On the other hand, starboard is the right side of the ship when you are facing the front. These terms remain consistent for every maritime vessel across the world. Port and starboard are also common terminologies for aircraft and spacecraft.
It is important to recognize that port and starboard are defined in terms of their relation to the front or bow of the cruise ship. They are not defined by the position of an observer or passenger on the vessel. If port or starboard is mentioned, it does not matter which direction a passenger or observer is facing, they are always referring to the same side of the cruise ship. Port is always on the left when facing the front of the cruise ship. Starboard is always on the right when facing the front of the cruise ship.
This means that when a passenger is facing the rear of the cruise ship or stern, their left is not considered to be the port side, but it is instead the starboard side. This is because if the passenger were to turn around and face the front of the boat, the side that was previously their left is now their right. Port and starboard are thus used instead of left and right to avoid confusion when discussing vessels.
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How to Remember Which Side is Port Side on a Cruise Ship
There are several ways you can remember the port side on a cruise ship is the left side when facing the front of the ship. Here is our favorite.
- The length of the word “left” is four letters just like “port”. Therefore, we can remember port side is the left side when facing the front since the two words have the same number of letters. On the other hand, “right” and starboard” do not have the same number of letters.
What Color is Port Side on a Cruise Ship?
The port side of a cruise ship is always red. The starboard side of a cruise ship is always green. Navigation lights with these colors show the port and starboard sides of a cruise ship from dusk to dawn. The International Maritime Organization set these standards for ships around the globe. The United Nations set up this agency to ensure the safety and security of ships at sea.
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Why is Port Side on a Cruise Ship a Specific Color?
The port side and starboard sides on a cruise ship are specific colors for several reasons. Firstly, the lights help illuminate the ship in poor visibility and at night. This allows other vessels at sea to clearly see the position of the cruise ship.
Secondly, red always being on the port side and green always being on the starboard side allows other ships and observers to know the direction in which a cruise ship is traveling. For example, if you see a ship in the distance and you see a red light on its left side and a green light on its right side, you know the ship is traveling away from you since the red light is always on the left when you face the front of the boat. On the other hand, if you see a ship with a red light on its right side and a green light on its left side, then it must be coming towards you.
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How to Remember the Color of Port Side on a Cruise Ship
There are several ways you can remember the color of the port side on a cruise ship is red. Here is our favorite.
- Port wine is typically a red-colored wine. If you think of port as a red wine, you will never forget that the color of the port side on a cruise ship is red.
Further Reading: Where Can I Cruise Without a Passport?
The port side is the left side of a cruise ship when facing the front (bow). In fact, the port side is the left side of any maritime vessel.
The port side of a cruise ship is red.
The port side on a cruise ship is a specific color so that other vessels can clearly spot the cruise ship in poor visibility or at night. Additionally, other ships can use the red color to know the direction in which the cruise ship is traveling.
No. The port side is always the left side when facing the front of the ship and the port side color is always red regardless of cruise ship or country.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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