Advanced Search


1. Category

This category is for vessels in service as Passenger Vessels at the time the photo was taken. If unsure of the vessel classification, use the Research Sources below.

Several large sailing Cruise ships can be uploaded as Passenger Vessels in the appropriate sub category. Such ships must have a gross tonnage of greater than 1000. A reference source such as Equasis with that information shown must be included in the description.

If the photo has more than one vessel in it and one is not a Passenger vessel, add it to the Shipping category. If one is a passenger vessel and the other a Cruise Ship, upload to the root Passenger Vessel sub-category. If there is more than one Cruise ship in the photo and each is in a different sub-category (i.e. date of build) then the photo remains in Cruise Ships. If both are in the same sub-category they can be moved to that sub-category

If applicable, upload the photo to the Ships Under Construction category or the Ships in Dry-dock category. Where such a vessel is under maintenance and parts of the vessel are obstructed by cranes or other dockside equipment, the Administrator will use his / her discretion in allowing obstructed vessels to remain on site.

Where using the sources below a vessel is found in two different categories over a period of time, e.g. where a vessel was launched as a passenger vessel and later converted to a cruise ship, then the classification in Equasis should be used.

Unless in use for shipping industry or public transport, small boats of less than 20 metres / 65 feet in length will not be accepted and will be transferred to the Consider for Deletion Category. The proof of use must be provided by the member uploading.
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2. Sub


These are divided into separate year built sub-categories. Ensure that such photos are uploaded correctly by using the drop down list seen while uploading. If unsure, use the Research Sources below. If possible, and it is not already provided, please add the Vessel’s IMO Number.


Refer to the Research Sources below

If the description is Ferry, upload to this sub-category unless the vessel is a commuter ferry (see below).

If the description is Passenger/RO/RO Cargo Ship, upload to this sub-category. The ship is a passenger ferry or a Ro-Pax ship which has space for cargo (lane metres) and also a larger capacity for passengers. Some ships with this description may have ramps.

If the description is RO/Pax, or other information that describes a vessel with both RO/RO and passenger facilities for more than 12 passengers - upload to this sub-category.

For further clarification. See the FAQ titled Differences between Ro/RO ships and Ferries at (link


Use this subcategory for vessels whose main use is as tour vessels, or as vessels afloat that are restaurants, or as commuter ferries that operate only in estuaries or other outlets to the sea.

Vessels that are in dry-dock belong in Ancient Motor Vessel/Museum ships, or Ships in Dry Dock Categories.
Passenger vessels that operate only on inland waterways belong in Inland Passenger Ferries/Ferries sub-category of Inland Vessels


High Speed Vessels must be capable of 30 knots and be Passenger Vessels such as Jetfoils, Hydrofoils and Fast catamarans. In Equasis and similar, they may be shown as Passenger Vessels. This may well include vessels that could also be classified as Ferries, Harbour Tour Boats and Commuter Vessels.


This subcategory is for Motor Yachts only.

Vessels must have a minimum LOA of 20 metres/65 feet, any pictures of yachts under this length will not be accepted. The only exceptions will be motor yachts converted from other ship types which have originally qualified in their category."

All Sailing Yachts should be uploaded to the appropriate Sub Category in the Sailing Vessel category.

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3. Required


- Show additional information from the Resource Sources below as far as possible.
- Add other information of general interest. Say passenger capacity, tonnage/displacement or anything that may be of general interest to other members or viewers of the site.
- Subject to the condition below, it is permissible to include links to other websites that give further information.
- Do not include promotional information or links for vessels, shipping companies or Travel Agents


- Comply with the requirements of the Upload a new photo page
- Enter only the name of the vessel in the Title Box.
- Enter any IMO number in the IMO Number Box. Check for this before or during uploading. .
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4. Research

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5. Site
Standards For This Category


We have site standards to ensure that the Shipspotting site maintains its focus on good images of ships themselves. In addition to these general standards, some categories have specific variations. Please use the Forum to raise any queries, or contact us at [email protected]

1. Size of image: The resolution must be between 768 x 1024 (or 1024x768) pixels and 10000 x 10000 pixels, files have to be jpeg format. Please make sure that the size you select to post will show a photo that is sharp at the maximum size it will visible on the site. Members should be constantly aware of the limitations of their cameras. Preferably the aspect ratio (width x height) should not be below 3 to 1, to give a view that corresponds to the dimensions of normal screens (viewfinder or computer).

2. Sharpness: Images must be sharp. In a sharp image, names, windows, cranes and other ship details will be clear. Moderate digital enhancement for sharpness is acceptable, but the image must remain sharp in at least one of medium/full screen/original sizes on a screen of at least 280mm. It is accepted that older images, processed from prints, negatives or transparencies may not be as sharp as modern digital photographs, although also in may cases digital photographs will benefit from sharpening

3. Exposure: All images should be appropriately exposed to show the ship clearly, and without large white or black areas. Silhouettes are not accepted.

4. Level: The horizon must be level and verticals should appear so. The image should be straightened where necessary. Some inclination for verticals at the edges of a photo can be allowed.

5. Distortion and enhancement: Photos taken with fish eye or other lenses that produce distorted images are not allowed. Black-and-white images are accepted only if that was the original medium; similarly for colour images. All manipulation of digital images should maintain a “natural” contrast and colour. For further guidance on digital enhancement see

6. Full ships only: For all views except those specifically for part-ship categories, bows, sterns and masts should not be cropped. Bow and stern shots are acceptable if they show the vessel from the waterline to the top of the superstructure.

7. Obstructions: Foreground obstructions should not restrict the view of the ship. Equipment and other vessels that are associated with the normal working of the ship (such as container cranes, tugs or bunkering barges) are acceptable provided they do not dominate the image. For ships alongside quays, the whole length of the ship should be in sight.

8. Main subject: The ship must be the main subject. Distant views where the ship is a small part of the image are not accepted.

9. People: The incidental presence of crew, passengers or shore workers in normal activity (ie not posed) is acceptable. Photographs showing people in the foreground, or others that may invade personal privacy, are not permitted.

10. Borders and watermarks: New digital images should not have added borders. Scanned historic images may retain a border provided it is unobtrusive and not decorative. Watermarks are acceptable provided they are discreet and do not impinge on the ship image. QR electronic codes are not permitted.

11. Small boats: Unless in use by the shipping or fishing industries or public authorities, small boats of less than 20 metres/65 feet in length are not accepted.

12. Multiple photos: When posting multiple photos of the same vessel taken on the same Date, the submission must be restricted to a maximum of 4 photographs with a significant change of Aspect/Angle between the photographs.

13. Date and location of photo: These must be included in the Description, if not added from the Location and Date of photo menus on the Upload page.

14 Old photos or negative scans from members archives must comply with Site Standards. Scratches or other blemishes should be removed, which may require the use of more advanced software.

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