what frequency does the cruise ship use?

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#1
Florida
8,609 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
DH might want to bring a small radio with us.

He asked me to ask if anyone knows what frequency the cruise ship uses to communicate with ports, other cruise ships, pilot boats.

Anyone know
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#2
Florida
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I think it is mostly VHF: 156-162 mhz or so:
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/marcomms/vhf.htm U.S.
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/marcomms/apps18.htm international

There are Medium and short wave frequencies assigned, also. They are probably listed on the above site.

Sorry I can't be specific as, in spite of being a ham, I don't listen to the public service frequencies at all.
#3
Hudson Valley New York
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http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/marcomms/vhf.htm
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#4
The Big Easy
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Joined Oct 2006
The hailing frequency is ch 16, 156.8 mhz. From there, the pilots, harbor masters, etc, will direct the ship to another idol channel.
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#5
Florida
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Joined Aug 2003
good info.

thanks everyone!
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#6
424 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
You'll find the Ship-to-Port stuff on Marine VHF like the other users have spoken. (Just program in the entire slate of Marine VHF and scan them).

Tender-to-shore is also on VHF.

Tender-to-Cruise Ship and also comms on the ship itself are usually on UHF (460mhz range).

Do a google search for "Cruise Ship Frequencies" -there's a pretty good website that has a variety of them.

Also, depending on how saavy your husband is with radios, he may want to look at setting up an "AIS" receiver - couple that with maps and a GPS, and you can plot ships and see the info on neighboring ones.
#7
Quincy, Mass
128 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
As mentioned by one Poster, the VHF Marine channels [can be too much to listen to IN Port, if busy] are used for ship-ship, Pilots, Air-Evac ! and Coast Guard communications.

If you are going to program the scanner for the VHF Marine channels, also look for a list of International VHF channels, not just the USA Channels.

Additionally, the Ships themselves employ a UHF Radio system [1, 2, some 4 Repeater channels with some using 16 channels] and Disney uses an 800 Trunked system.

Much of the information is available at my home page http://scanmaritime.com We always appreciate new Cruise Ship information



Originally posted by crule
You'll find the Ship-to-Port stuff on Marine VHF like the other users have spoken. (Just program in the entire slate of Marine VHF and scan them).

Tender-to-shore is also on VHF.

Tender-to-Cruise Ship and also comms on the ship itself are usually on UHF (460mhz range).

Do a google search for "Cruise Ship Frequencies" -there's a pretty good website that has a variety of them.

Also, depending on how saavy your husband is with radios, he may want to look at setting up an "AIS" receiver - couple that with maps and a GPS, and you can plot ships and see the info on neighboring ones.
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#8
6,249 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
They are on the VHF frequencies. Channel 16 is the hailing frequency. You might also listen in on Channel 9 and 13. If you use the scanner feature, you should be able to hear what's going on.
#9
Quincy, Mass
128 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Depending on the Port Ch.20 could be in use for the Pilots [Boston]
161.6000 R / 157.0000 input


Originally posted by ehfl
They are on the VHF frequencies. Channel 16 is the hailing frequency. You might also listen in on Channel 9 and 13. If you use the scanner feature, you should be able to hear what's going on.
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#10
23 Posts
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Where can I buy a radio receiver to listen to this? What do they cost? Anyone have any links?
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#11
Quincy, Mass
128 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Radio Shack
Scanner World
Scannermaster.com
Ham Radio Outlet

Plenty of other places out there, all depends on where you live/work/travel

Originally posted by chrise718
Where can I buy a radio receiver to listen to this? What do they cost? Anyone have any links?
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Cruise Ship Frequencies
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#12
Tucson, AZ, USA
1,810 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Enlightening thread. Just the other day I was wondering if the Ships had a channel to listen to like United Airlines does with their "Channel 9". Would be cool if the ship would make it available to passengers to listen to on the in room TVs.
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#13
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Better yet, cruise on a ship with an "Open Bridge" policy and you'll hear everything live and in person.
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#14
Melbourne Fl, Originally Cambridgeshire UK
6,662 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by ecps92
Depending on the Port Ch.20 could be in use for the Pilots [Boston]
161.6000 R / 157.0000 input
Marine VHF Ch. 12 in Port Canaveral
#16
Crown Isle, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
26,722 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Various ports and traffic control areas use different frequencies for instance I monitor the ships going to Alaska and from Vancouver to the middle of Vancouver Is. there are 3 different marine traffic control areas all using a different channel. You really don't hear much all they do is check in with traffic, they tell traffic their routing and their ETA at a certain point and traffic tells them what traffic is in the area. As the ship leaves the respective traffic area it advises traffic control that they are leaving their area and switching over to the frequency of the other control area, traffic acknowledges that and usually wishes them a good day. As noted above all vessels monitor channel 16 which is the hailing channels however you seldom hear a cruise ship using it as they know what frequencies to use and go directly to them.
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#17
south Florida
347 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by klfrodo
Interesting thread.
For security purposes, I would have thought that these communications would be encrypted.
The internal systems might be encrypted but the external communications are unencrypted for safety and compatibility. Channel 16 (VHF) is the international hailing and distress frequency. All ships at sea are required to monitor channel 16 at all times. The maximum range for VHF is about 30-40 miles even with the antenna high on a ship's mast. Generally the traffic on the VHF channels used on a ship is safety related anyway and security is less of a concern than being heard by as many people near by as possible.
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#18
south Florida
347 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by mapsmith
Enlightening thread. Just the other day I was wondering if the Ships had a channel to listen to like United Airlines does with their "Channel 9". Would be cool if the ship would make it available to passengers to listen to on the in room TVs.
Most of what you would hear would be very boring. VHF is not used, or not supposed to be used, like CB radios for idle chatter. There are channels reserved for less critical communication boat to boat, like channels 68,69.
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#19
Melbourne, FL
8,112 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
the requirement for larger vessels to use AIS has significantly cut down the bridge to bridge chatter that happened on VHF-FM in the past. Most of the questions that were asked bridge to bridge about intentions, course speed etc are automatically sent by a ship and rec'd and displayed on all other ships in the area - all the same data you see on sites like MaritimeTraffic.com

Similarly commercial vessels no longer use HF radio to talk to the home office. That satellite based web access was not put in for pass' use! We get to use the excess bandwidth after the businesss end is done like processing your ATM withdrawls for the casino . . .

In the harbors you'll pickup a little chatter channel 13 is bridge to bridge, pilots usually on 12, 16 distress and general calling.

if you want to listen in on VHF-FM you can buy a handhelp at any decent boat supply or better sporting goods in boating areas for as little as $50. Even at best buy!

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Uniden+-...FQixnQodhD4AVA

but do NOT use it like a CB and call ships to chat . . .
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#20
Quincy, Mass
128 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Not at all, just like Aircraft Comms.

Plenty to listen to, altho there are now a few fleets running MotoTRBO which can not be decoded with just a scanner [for now] Lots to listen to as your ship communicates with Master of the Port, the Port Pilots, the Line Crews during docking and then the missing passenger checks before departing.

Click on the link below for a list of the Reported [always looking for recent reports and new info] on a majority of ships across the fleets.
If your ship is listed, but there are no frequencies, it just means that no one has shared the info as yet.

Originally posted by klfrodo
Interesting thread.
For security purposes, I would have thought that these communications would be encrypted.
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Cruise Ship Frequencies
http://scanmaritime.com