Which Cruise Ships Have Underwater Rooms & Windows?

Have you ever wondered if any cruise ships have underwater rooms and if so do they have any windows?

This is quite a common question, and you can see why. The thought of seeing the underwater world so close up is seemingly pretty appealing.

Imagine seeing a shoal of fish, an octopus, a smack of jellyfish, or maybe even dolphins and whales.

Underwater Room view of the sea

But is it feasible in reality?

Do any cruise ships have them?

If they do, what can you see from them?

Let’s take a look.

Do Cruise Ships Have Underwater Rooms?

There are many underwater rooms on a cruise ship, although typically, they are not staterooms booked out to passengers.  They are generally rooms used by the cabin crew as well as rooms for running the ship, like the engine room and storage rooms.

Many rooms on the lower decks aren’t usually shown on deck plans that are out of bounds for passengers.

Even if some cruise lines start their deck numbers at Deck 1 for passengers, there will always be lower decks, some of which are underwater level.

The lowest passenger staterooms are usually on the deck just above the waterline.

Deck 1 Carnival Cruise Ocean View
Carnival Cruise ocean view deck 1 above sea level

Many of the rooms are geared around the actual all running of the ship providing sleeping and private socializing rooms for the crew, storage of all the food and drinks, and many engine and plumbing-related rooms.

The lower deck rooms underwater level include:

  • Crew cabins
  • Crew social and dining rooms
  • Fridges for fresh food
  • Freezers for frozen foods
  • Wine Cellars
  • Engine Rooms
  • Laundry Rooms
  • Brig (Jail)
  • Morgue
  • Medical Center

Under Water Rooms for Passengers on a Cruise?

There are no underwater rooms for passengers on any of the main cruise lines.  Only about 10% of a cruise ship is underwater and these lower decks are taken up with rooms and equipment required to keep the ship running as smoothly as possible and all out of sight of the passengers.

If cruise ships moved any of these rooms to higher decks, it might affect the passenger’s experiences in other ways, for example, who wants a brig or jail or cruise ship morgue on their deck.  

Or to be next to a loud laundry room.

Water treatment and engine rooms
Water treatment and engine rooms are underwater level

Do Cruise Ships Have Underwater Windows?

There are no underwater windows on a cruise ship with all staterooms above the water level.

There are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, if you have ever been on a glass-bottomed boat, you would know that when the boat is moving, all that can be seen through the glass is the rushing water the boat is passing through.   Only when you stop the boat in calm waters can you see anything clearly.

It would be the same on a cruise, but tenfold when the cruise ship moves.   Even when the cruise ship stops, it would often be in port areas where ocean views are not maybe as idyllic as you might expect.   Also, that’s often when you will be getting off to explore.

There would also be issues of keeping the windows clear and clean, so you could see anything through them.

Another reason is that cruise ships are predominantly made of steel to withstand the pressures of powerful large waves, and replacing critical areas of the ship with much weaker glass, by comparison, starts becoming a potential safety issue.

Although when glass is used for underwater parts of the ship, it can be up to 18 layers thick as in the case of the Blue Eye Lounge.

The nearest you might get to an underwater window on a cruise ship is your stateroom is on a low deck in rough seas.

As you can see in the video below, taken from an Ocean View cabin on Carnival Pride.  The sea waves are so large they submerge part of the cruise ship up to cabin level.

As an example, this isn’t far off what you could expect to see even if your room window was below water at all times.  

Cruise Ship Underwater View

Underwater view of gray shark
Imagine sights like this gray shark

There is one new recent innovation by French luxury cruise company Ponant who recently launched six new explorer vessels featuring an underwater lounge in the hull of the ships below the waterline with windows offering a view of the water.

The 6 Ponant Explorers are:

  • Le Bellot
  • Le Bougainville 
  • Le Champlain
  • Le Dumont-d’Urville
  • Le Jacques-Cartier
  • Le Lapérouse

Underwater Blue Eyed Lounge Room

The whole idea behind the design of the Blue Eye Lounge is that you are actually inside a whale looking out through eye-like portholes.

While you can’t see much when the ship is moving as the sea hits the bow, being expedition cruise ships when they anchor in remote areas such as the tropics of Africa and the Caribbean, the ocean views can be stunning.

Inside the lounge area, giant hydrophones transmit the sounds from the seawater outside the lounge to give you a truly immersive experience.

At night the lighting is at its bluest, attracting inquisitive wildlife to the ship.

In the video below, you can see the two whale eye-like portholes. At first, you see the water passing by, but when the ship has stopped, you can see a guest watching penguins swimming past.

Looking out through whale eye window

While you can’t see much when the ship is moving as the sea hits the bow.

However, the ships are expedition cruise ships when they anchor in remote areas in the tropics, such as Africa and the Caribbean.

Inside the lounge area, giant hydrophones transmit the sounds from the seawater outside the lounge to give you a truly immersive experience.

At night the lighting is at its bluest, attracting inquisitive wildlife to the ship.

Are There Any River Cruises with Underwater Rooms?

Underwater cabins are more common on river cruises.

Under water level cabins on river cruise ship

Viva Cruise sare an example of a cruise ship with cabins below the water.

The windows are around head height for the average person when standing and are just above the waterline.

In this video, you can see the underwater room from the inside and the square windows from the outside, which overlook the river’s surface.

Although the rooms are underwater, it’s not the underwater experience most people are looking for, and hence why these types of rooms are usually one of the cheapest on a river cruise.

Are There Any Bedroom Underwater Cruise Ship Rooms?

The only underwater bedrooms on a cruise ship are for the crew, which, bearing in mind some ships have 800-1000+ crew members, requires a lot of rooms.

Even if there were underwater bedrooms for guests on a cruise, the lower decks are not the best place to be on a cruise ship.  

There would be all kinds of loud noises from engine rooms and all kinds of other machinery rooms to keep the ship running.

There are also things like being near the propellors, which are also very loud, or when the ships anchor drops.

While this might be okay for the crew, it would not be ideal for paying guests.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any Luxury Underwater Cruise Ship Rooms?

The French luxury cruise company Ponant has six cruise ships that feature the Blue Eye Lounge.  This is an immersive underwater room and experience like no other.  

Limiting to a small number of people at any one time is a truly relaxing experience when the ship anchors and relaxing sounds are played. You can also hear the actual sounds from the ocean outside the two whale-eye-shaped port windows.

Is There an Underwater Room With Ocean View Cruise?

The Blue Eye Lounges are the only known underwater rooms with a view of the ocean.  While relaxing in this blue-lit room, you’ll hopefully be able to witness all types of sea life, including fish and various swimming mammals you might expect to find in tropical waters, dolphins, and even penguins.

Why Don’t Cruise Ships Have Underwater Views?

Cruise ships don’t offer rooms with underwater views for various reasons.  The main ones are that glass is not as strong as steel which is needed to withstand the constant pressures of the sea. 

Secondly, the underwater decks are already fully utilised and serve the mechanical and crew needs of the ships. 

Finally, for the vast majority of the time, there would be nothing to see other than passing water.  Even when docked, it’s likely the waters would be murky.  

So it wouldn’t be an experience worth marketing to a limited few.  

It would be far better to take advantage of the sea views from the decks or balconies and save underwater ocean views for ships designed explicitly with that in mind, like the Ponants or a small glass-bottomed boat trip.


Although underwater rooms are not available on the most commonly known ocean-going cruise ships, there are smaller luxury market expedition cruise ships that do offer an underwater room experience.

River cruises also have rooms below the waterline, but the windows are above the surface, so they are not as appealing.

Your best option for seeing life in the ocean might be to book a glass bottom boat excursion which is designed purposely for comfortably seeing sea life in ideal locations.

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