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Containerized Cruise Vacation

Take advantage of the container handling network to vastly expand cruise possibilities
  [vote for,

Cruise ships are a modern horror/marvel depending on your individual perspective. A large custom-built ship is crammed with as many passenger compartments as possible with entertainments, food and drink to keep them occupied as the ship makes its way from the port of origin to a selection of highlight destinations.

They work very well at what they do and as much as anything, they are a wonder of project management and economics. The ships take advantage of catering for a defined number of people for a defined length of time. The fuel is untaxed and crew can be sourced from anywhere. There are enormous economies of scale to be had in things like catering and laundry etc when all the variables are controlled.

However, being one of 6 cruise ships to dock in La Spezia on any given day disgorging 3000 people each to disperse and overwhelm the Cinque Terre is ruining such destinations with industrial efficiency.

So lets take people to different places, almost anywhere, in fact. Another modern marvel is containerized shipping. The 40'x8'x8'6" container invented* in 1956 is now a global standard. They fit on trucks and trains which travel to ports where they're moved around by standard cranes and loaded onto ships of all sizes bound for almost anywhere in the world you would like to send them. Often, the containers are coded and the loading is highly automated and efficient. A container can be loaded onto a ship in Los Angeles and be routed to anywhere, via anywhere. Shipping containers are so ubiquitous that they're starting to behave like a raw material, increasingly they're used architecturally, converted into small dwellings or put together to make larger houses.

So, let's take a shipping container and make it into a self-contained cruise cabin: shower, toilet sink etc. forming a bathroom at one end, bedroom at the other and a living space in the middle. We add windows in the side and we're good to go. The specification will depend upon the number of people to be accommodated and how independent the cabin will need to be regarding water/food/power supply etc. Now, we can invite our passengers to board the container and strap in/hold on as the container is loaded to the candidate cargo ship. The position of containers is already coded so that the heavier containers are positioned low down and central. Our containers will be relatively light and coded so that they're positioned high up and on the outermost layer. Once installed, the passengers open up the shutters and start their cruise vacation. Electricity is required for many cargo containers for heating/cooling, so this can be connected by the crew as normal.

As the number of passengers grows, the company organizing the cruise can add additional containers. Behind the cabin layer, a mostly empty set of containers with doors acts as a corridor/interconnect. At the end, several containers joined together now form, for example, a small casino, staffed by people housed in a staff container... it's limited only by imagination.

Now you can cruise any route in the world that a container can access** and you won't be stuck gazing at the Amalfi coast, no, now you'll be taking efficient routes in straight lines! Infinite ocean on both sides!

*is defining the dimensions of a metal box inventing something? Life was easier in the 50's

**Rotterdam, Shanghai, Rotterdam again...

bs0u0155, Oct 23 2023

Cruise on cargo ship https://voyagesenca...om/freighter-cruise
[bs0u0155, Oct 23 2023]

Overnighters vaguely [pocmloc, Oct 23 2023]

Containers https://en.wikipedi...ntermodal_container
Details [neutrinos_shadow, Oct 23 2023]


       // is defining the dimensions of a metal box inventing something? //   

       Not to my way of thinking. It may qualify as an invention if defining the dimensions is relevant to describing how a new thing is made.   

       As for whether your idea is truly new ... that may take a little looking around. The real challenge is building a search phrase.
a1, Oct 23 2023

       //As for whether your idea is truly new //   

       Huh, the <link> shows a similar idea. I did only cursory googling if I'm honest. I think having a scalable system with custom routing is a part of this idea that isn't there. They seem to describe just being on a cargo ship. That's going to be conditions you'd want to be paid for vs pay to experience.
bs0u0155, Oct 23 2023

       I agree - that link doesn't have the key points of your idea. The containers do not serve as living quarters, nor is it scalable.
a1, Oct 23 2023

       Do the passengers stay in their containers during loading by crane and trucking?
Because I'm voting plus if true.
Loris, Oct 23 2023

       //Do the passengers stay in their containers during loading by crane and trucking?//   

       Why not? Probably sensible to take a seat and possibly strap in, but containers aren't typically subject to a lot of acceleration in loading.
bs0u0155, Oct 23 2023

       //Not to my way of thinking//
Then you probably need to fix your way of thinking. Dismissing one of the most useful & revolutionary ideas of modern shipping so flippantly is incredibly naïve. Would you dismiss metric bolt dimensions as "not an invention" too?
Standardisation of shipping containers is more than just the overall dimensions, but those are incredibly important. Corner fittings, door specs, permissible loads are also well-defined. There's also the "how" of USING the standard containers & their associated fittings.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 23 2023

       I don't dispute the value of picking a size and standardizing it. But the exact size itself is not the invention.
a1, Oct 23 2023

       //Our containers will be relatively light and coded so that they're positioned high up and on the outermost layer//   

       We need another solution here. Containers placed high will experience the worst of the pitching and rolling inevitable on a large ship. By the time the next port is reached your luxury cruisers will need to be shoveled into sturdy bags for disposal. The lower down and closer to the center of the see-saw you are the more comfortable you will be. This is relative. Container ships do not have the sophisticated stability control that cruise ships have. In a moderate 20°roll a passenger in their cosy box 130’ above the water will be whipsawed like a polesitter in a hurricane. You’ll need dedicated locations with bearings at each end of the box that allow it to move counter to the rolling. Nothing short of a specialized ship can be done for pitching.
minoradjustments, Oct 24 2023

       //Would you dismiss metric bolt dimensions as "not an invention" too?//   

       Metric bolt dimensions didn't do anything that wasn't already happening. The point was standardization.   

       Standardization crept for a number of reasons, metal being one. If you're screwing into wood, your thread will work no matter what. With metal, you need to match male and female, so a machine is preferable. That's where Maudslay turns up in around 1800 making thread cutting machines, taps and dies to standardize things around his workshop.   

       Things take off somewhat when an arms giant like Armstrong*-Whitworth adopts a standard. Something as huge as WW1 drives standardization, forced by the recruitment of additional companies in diverse countries.   

       If you can build a post Dreadnought battleship, you clearly have screwing things together in your skill range, and the British, French, Americans and Japanese were doing that with independent standards for threads. It's not even a major problem moving something like a warship from one system to another. Although with something like that, things are either quite big/low tolerance or extremely high tolerance, like guns, and things are machined to final fit.   

       While metric bolts are all well and good, I can't help but think that there's a political angle. Initially, there were a ton of separate standards in Britain, companies would settle on a standard and often this would propagate to industries Raleigh bikes dominated for decades and they are still running around in their millions with oddball 26tpi bottom brackets. French bicycles inherited a suspiciously non-metric 25.4mm seatpost standard. It takes something like an existential threat-level war to get people on the same page.   

       Still, the world is a lot less metric than it seems. NATO standard ammo of 5.56mm, so they tested 5.55mm and it wasn't quite enough? No, it's 0.22". 7.62mm? that's just old 0.303". Give it a metric dimension and it plays well with the scandinavians/Soviets etc. Every microscope I've used still has objectives threaded with RMS (Royal Microscopy Society) a derivative of Whitworth.   

       Containers of course, not metric.   

       *Built a hydroelectric power plant at his Northumberland house and used it for electric lighting 2 years before Edison's invention of the electric lightbulb.
bs0u0155, Oct 24 2023

       //your luxury cruisers will need to be shoveled into sturdy bags for disposal.//   

       Not a bug, a feature.
bs0u0155, Oct 24 2023


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