Almost exactly 100 years ago, on April 14, 1912, the British luxury passenger liner Titanic sunk off the Nova Scotia coast during its maiden voyage. The supposedly "unsinkable" Titanic set sail for New York on April 10 and met disaster in the form of an iceberg just four days later, killing around 1,500 passengers and ship personnel. But although carelessness and pride may have been involved in the disaster, recent research shows it may not have been all the captain's fault. In 1912, the moon passed closer to the Earth than it had in 1,400 years, within one day of the Earth's closest approach to the sun (which occurs once per year), also during a full moon. These astrological events led to abnormally high tides, which caused an unusual number of icebergs to break free.
With so many variables in play -- and so many lives in potentially at risk -- cruises can shift from pleasant idylls to nightmarish ordeals. As Ross Klein writes for FP, "The facts are that 16 cruise ships have sunk since 1980, 99 have run aground since 1973, 79 have experienced onboard fires since 1990, and 73 have had collisions since 1990. Since 2000, there have been 100 incidents where ships have gone adrift, lost power, experienced severe lists -- when a ship nearly tips -- or had other events that pose a safety risk to passengers. " Here, we look at some of the most terrifying cruises gone wrong over the last 100 years.