With the internet, communication, and GPS satellites no part of the world has been left untouched. We can get real-time information whenever and wherever we want it. Thus, the process of tracking ships has also become very easy and accurate as there are several ship tracking websites that allow you to do just that.
Most of the ship tracker websites use the Automatic Identification System (AIS) to make this possible and satellite-based Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS). Google Earth is probably the most popular and feature-rich web application that can be used for this purpose. With its help, you can access almost every public detail about any ship that you need.
In spite of some of these websites claiming to provide real-time location data, in reality, they are always behind by at least a few minutes up to several hours. Hence, one should never rely on these services for navigational purposes.
Related article: A Guide To Ship Prefixes For Naval And Merchant Vessels
List of Top Ship Tracking Websites
Here we have listed 10 of the top vessel tracker websites and applications that are commonly used for tracking ships. They give information not just related to the location, but also other technical details that one might require. They even provide photographs. The ship-tracking websites are as follows:
1) Marine Traffic
Marine Traffic is probably one of the most widely used ship tracking websites in the world. The popularity might be a direct result of it being so feature-rich.
It helps display real-time positions of vessels like ships and yachts all over the world as accurately as possible.
It has an advanced search feature and the AIS system that it uses has a massive database that stores the details of every possible kind of ship. Apart from the regular features it also tracks the number of ports around the world.
It is a paid app that can be downloaded on phones and tablets. It has more than 500,000 downloads on the Google Play Store.
2) Find Ship
Find Ship is an application that allows people to search vessels by sorting through various options like the ship’s number, owner, type of construction, etc. and everything you search gets stored in their database just like many other websites that provide search functionality so that the next time you are looking for something you previously searched you will get faster access. This website also has a premium membership option that one can opt for in case they need some of the more advanced features. It has free live ship tracking also.
3) Fleet Mon
Fleet Mon is one of those services that have apps for both iOS as well as Android. It was established in 2007. One of the features that make it stand out is the FM explorer that all registered users have access to. It has customers across 164 countries of the world. Some of its prestigious customers are Tesla, Microsoft, Bosch, Lloyd’s Register, DHL, etc. It has got almost all the features that Marine Traffic and Ship Finder offers and happens to be one of the finest ship tracking services available.
Also read: Top Websites For Merchant Navy Jobs
4) Vessel Finder
Vessel Finder is another important website and one of my favorite ship tracking websites for free AIS ship tracking. Apart from the free real-time tracking solution, the newer version offers an OpenStreetMap interface, which makes the task of AIS Live vessel tracking even easier. One positive point about Vessel Finder is the fact that one need not register to use the site. Vessel tracking by name is available to users as well as search by IMO number, MMSI. Users can search through a database containing over 150,000 vessels. One can get to know the time of an arriving or a departing vessel or browse the gallery containing photographs of the vessels.
Shipfinder.co is actually a companion app from my.pinkfroot.com which is a social network for a growing community of aviation and marine enthusiasts and professionals. Apart from the usual search functionality based on name, MMSI, IMO, destination, callsign, or location it has some extra features like the ability to embed location-specific maps in your own website, playback of historic journeys, a Google Earth “Sail Me” simulator, etc.
Vesseltracker is a website that can accurately track Marine vessels and find ship locations with more than a hundred thousand being in its database. It is user-friendly as it helps the client to track the desired vessel with the help of maps and nautical charts. It can provide real-time as well as historical data of vessels all over the world. It was started in 2006 and is also compatible with all types of devices and several languages.
7) VT Explorer
VT Explorer is a ship-tracking website that provides real-time AIS ship position data to the users along with other technical data. It is said to monitor 150,000 vessels on a daily basis. It can also provide the user with pictures of vessels. It is compatible with phones, computers, tablets, etc. It is a paid service which initially provides users with a free trial version.
Cruisemapper is a cruise ship tracker that provides the location and schedules of cruise ships all over the world. It is unique as it is one of the very few tracking websites providing features and technical details of cruise ships. It is compatible with all devices.
Myshiptracking is a website that provides the user with the real-time location and position of ships and vessels all around the world. It is useful in analyzing as well as controlling maritime traffic. It is available as a website and an app on both android and iOS.
Equasis is a website that gives services in providing ship details. It is available free of cost. A user simply needs to register and log in to the official website in order to access all of the services it provides.
Here are the links for tracking ships of some of the biggest logistic companies in the world
1) Maersk Vessel Tracking
2) MSC Vessel Tracking
3) Hapag Lloyd Tracking
4) CMA CGM Vessel Tracking
5) Cosco Vessel Tracking
Also read: How is Ship Container Tracking Done?
Cruise Ship Trackers
You may want to track ocean and river cruise ships and cruise ferries. Here is a list of cruise ship tracking websites:
Cruisin is a trusted cruise ship tracker which allows the user to search by Ocean, river, ferry cruise ships and also watch the cruise ship cameras. Cruisin has links to more than 300 cruise ships and ferries.
Cruisemapper has a very intuitive layout and provides a lot of details such as the course and speed of the cruise ship. The map shows all the ships on the globe.
CruiseVillage is another very well-made cruise ship tracker. The positions of the ships are updated in real-time when the ships are in satellite range.
Cruisecrazie provides an interactive map that allows users to track the location of cruise ships.