Our investigation into which is the ‘greatest ever movie or film set on board a cruise ship’ turned up hundreds of possible options (most of them disaster or horror films), but we managed to whittle the list down to a top 10 after spending countless hours sitting on the sofa watching films – in fact; we could have been on a cross-Atlantic cruise in the same amount of time as it took to get through these. There are literally thousands of movies that have featured a cruise ship in them so we reduced the list of possibilities by only having films where ‘at least’ an hour was set on board a cruise ship and that a ‘named ship’ could only feature on the list once (there are hundreds of films about a certain unsinkable cruise ship that sank on its maiden voyage).
We know it sounds like a movie about an 18-wheel truck, but it’s arguably one of Richard Harris’ best films. Explosives expert Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Fallon (Harris) is parachuted on board a luxury cruise ship to save the passengers from a crazy terrorist guy called (you guessed it) Juggernaut.
9) Out to Sea
A beautiful romantic comedy featuring the classic duo of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon posing as dance teachers.
8) Deep Rising
There had to be a horror on the list and it’s Deep Rising. Take a newly unveiled ship; Argonautica, a jewel thief, a massive monster with tentacles, and you have the necessary ingredients for an afternoon on the sofa.
7) Speed 2 – Cruise Control
So bad that even Keanu Reeves decided to give this one a miss. Nominated for eight Golden Raspberry Awards, and won the award for "Worst Re-Make or Sequel" Cruise Control has to be seen by any serious watcher of Cruise Ship films. The end of the movie where the Seabourn Legend is crashed into Saint Martin is an absolute must see. Cringe worthy, but legendary in its own way.
6) An Affair to Remember
Widely considered to be the ‘most romantic films of all time,’ this 1957 classic staring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is a must see for anyone hoping to find love on-board a cruise ship.
5) The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
They loved a disaster film in the 1970s and cruise ships were never going to escape. With Leslie Nielsen as the captain, the SS. Poseidon sets sail from New York to Athens on its last voyage before it’s due to be scrapped. After an earthquake in the Mediterranean Sea a giant rogue wave capsizes the doomed liner and the passengers struggle to survive. Starring Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine and Shelley Winters, parts of the film were actually shot on-board the real RMS Queen Mary. By the end of the 1970s The Poseidon Adventure ranked in the top most successful movies of all time and so has to be in our top 10.
4) Death on the Nile (1978)
We all know who did it by now, but any film with Peter Ustinov and a long list of stars including David Niven, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, George Kennedy, Angela Lansbury, Simon MacCorkindale and Maggie Smith is always going to be worth a watch. A must-see for anyone considering a river cruise, the movie was actually filmed on location in Egypt. Just keep a close eye on the other passengers on your Nile river cruise…
3) Carry on Cruising
The SS Happy Wanderer with Sid James as Captain Wellington Crowther sets sail from Southampton for a cruise calling at ports in Spain, Italy and North Africa. All of the mishaps you would expect from the Carry on team, with disaster after disaster befalling the crew. As with all Carry on films though, everything turns out for the best in the end. P&O are thanked in the credits so we assume that some of the filming was shot on-board one of their cruise ships.
2) Titanic (1997)
It is quite probably the most famous of sea going vessels in history, and we bet you were thinking that James Cameron’s Titanic would be our number one film? Not the greatest advert in history for a maiden cruise that sailed from Southampton, but we love this film none-the-less.
1) Boat Trip
So yes, our ‘number one’ cruise ship film of all time is Boat Trip. Panned by critics at the time, we are sure that one day this movie will be regarded as a genuine comedy cruise ship classic. The exterior was filmed on a cruise ship sailing out of Athens and calling at the ports of Alexandria, Istanbul and Rhodes, with the island scenes filmed on Hydra, Greece. We’ve been trying to find out what the name of ship that was used in Boat Trip and we think it might have been the now out of service Olympic Voyager. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. it is one of the most fun, easy to watch, romantic comedies about life and adventures on a cruise ship that you will find and a worthy winner.