Have you ever wondered what sea creatures lurk beneath your cruise ship?
It is the middle of the day and you are enjoying cocktails up on the lido deck. Do you take the time to think about what sea animals are swimming alongside of the ship?
You may have thought about this when returning to your ship after a fun day ashore, as you can sometimes see schools of fish gathered near the surface.
Greek photographer Odysseas Frolian sent a Go Pro underneath a Celebrity cruise ship to get a glimpse at what this underwater world is like.
The video, which was posted to YouTube on November 21, 2021, showcases two different times of day: during the afternoon and at night.
While Frolian only has amassed around 3,300 subscribes on YouTube, the video has over three million views and 61,000 likes, meaning that people are interested in seeing what life underneath the surface is like!
Note that we are not sure what he is using to lower the camera into the water; however, it can be assumed that it is a fishing rod. Frolian did not reveal the location that this was taken, either.
Here is a breakdown of what is captured by Frolian.
What's underneath the cruise ship during the day?
As soon as the camera breaks the surface, you can see just how large the keel of the ship truly is. This part of the ship remains hidden the majority of the time, unless, for instance, the ship is taken out of service for routine dry dock maintenance.
The keel is a long beam that runs from the bow of the ship to the stern, so even though the bottom of a cruise ship might look flat, it actually is not! It helps to stabilize the vessel.
Additionally, the camera is immediately met by a school of fish. Some even approach the camera out of curiosity.
The camera continues to fall to the ocean's floor, where you see the anchor's chain and another school of fish hanging out. Overall, nothing is too surprising. The camera does not capture any large sea creature during the day, just schools of peaceful fish swimming about!
As the camera begins to move towards the surface, the viewers get a first glimpse as to why the ocean is feared by many: barracudas hanging out near the ship's bow thrusters.
What are bow thrusters on a cruise ship?
Bow thrusters are a type of propellor that face sideways, meaning that when they are activated, they will help push the bow of the ship sideways. This is important to help the ship's captain turn the ship to either the port or starboard side.
What's underneath the cruise ship at night?
Most of the footage is taken during the day; however, some of the most interested in seen during the two-minutes of night footage.
When the photographer drops the Go Pro camera at night, all we initially see are bubbles and other light particles. It is essentially pitch black. In order to effectively capture the ocean at night, he had to add a light to the camera.
After a few moments of darkness and bubbles, a shark enters the frame. Just think, while you are singing karaoke or enjoying a delicious three course meal, there are sharks swimming close to the keel of the ship!
And that is not the only one that we see, either. The footage is cut to show more fish, albeit fewer than earlier during the day. However, as the camera reaches the ocean floor, another shark appears. It does not seem as close as the first one, but nonetheless, it was a shark!
In total, four sharks were captured by Frolian's camera. It is important to note that the exact amount of time that elapsed during footage is unknown. In other words, the footage could have been taken over fifteen minutes or an hour! Regardless, it is safe to say that while you are closer to sharks than you might think while onboard a cruise.
Finally, the camera shows an impressive close up of the ship's keel. In fact, the light showcases some details that may be missed in broad daylight.
Interest in marine life
Since November 2021, over 4,000 people have commented on the view, with the majority of the feedback being positive!
YouTube user Turtledrone said, "I appreciate people like this because rather than doing stuff on the cruise, they decided to throw a gopro in the water to film the ocean, great idea and fantastic video!"
Likewise, user Just Paechy remarked, "The day time was play and enjoyable. When night came and seeing how dark it was with the sharks appearing in and out it was just truly terrifying just thinking about being down there in that pitch black deep ocean."
Frolian is not the only person to upload this type of video to YouTube, either. In September 20212 user Brant P uploaded a video of him dropping a Go Pro underneath a much smaller personal vessel with the intention of capturing what was below.
At first, he was not impressed with what he saw, as it was primarily snappers. They moved to a another location where a pair of dolphins came into frame!
While this footage is not from underneath a cruise ship, it is still interested to see how fish gather around boats and react to being fed.
I am going on a cruise soon. Can I take my own Go Pro to capture footage off the side of the ship?
Let's just say that you should leave what is underneath your specific ship to your imagine. Cruise lines prohibit guests from throwing items overboard. In fact, a few guests were banned from sailing with Carnival Cruise Line in April 2023 after they were caught fishing off of their balcony.
Per Carnival's website, "Any willful or negligent act of discharging or releasing any unauthorized item overboard, without the express permission of the ship's staff may result in a $500 charge, per violation, and reimbursement cost of Carnival property will be posted on the guest’s Sail & Sign® account and may also result in the disembarkation of all guests in the stateroom."
Though the verbatim might vary from cruise line to cruise line, the overall policy is the same. Celebrity Cruises' conduct policy, for instance, states "[t]hat and other foreign objects should never be flushed down a toilet, and guests are not permitted to discard any item overboard." Likewise, guests cannot leave items unattended on balconies, as they could blow into the ocean.
Cruise lines have a commitment to sustainability, and they value environmental stewardship. So, you do not want to be caught throwing anything off the side of the ship, even if you have the intent to reel it back in, as it could disturb the ecosystem below.
The best way to get up close with marine life is to book a snorkeling excursion when docked in port. Depending on where you are going, you may find that you have many opportunities.
If you are going to Belize, you can opt to book a tour that visits the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest reef system in the world that stretches for 190 miles along the coast of the country and is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. You never know what wonders you will see!
Read more: Best Caribbean shore excursions