Some of you know that I have been having some fun lately using cruise ships in FS9.
Two excellent freeware cruise ships have recently been added to the flight sim world by Mitsuya "Hama" Hamaguchi. The first is the Asuka, a 28,856 ton vessel with a passenger capacity of 592. The second, and most recent, is the Queen Mary 2, at 151,400 tons and a capacity of 2,620 passengers.
The Asuka is available in the Flight Sim.com library under the name “asukav03.zip”. The Queen Mary 2 can be downloaded from http://fs-shipyards.com; the file name is “ship-QM2.zip”. (Be sure to get the correct file; there is an AI version of the QM2 there as well.) While you are at FS-Shipyards take a look around at their excellent download library. Some great work is going on and you will find ships of all kinds there.
Piloting the cruise ships is easy. Be sure the water rudders are down (Control W) and full throttle will deliver about 40 knots at maximum speed. Use the slew controls to maneuver in tight quarters and when departing and arriving in ports. The QM2 performs much better in turns thanks to improvements made by the author. The bridge of the QM2 is simply fantastic as you will see in the screenshots below.
Piloting is done manually, since the autopilot and FSNav autopilot are not available when on the surface, be it land or water. FSNav navigation course planning can be done quite nicely, however, allowing you to take the ships over long distances using only a very few course heading changes.
Speaking of pics, here are a few from my recent travels:
Asuka docked along Front Street in Hamilton, Bermuda
Asuka departing Freeport, Bahamas
Bridge of the QM2
QM2 docked in in Southampton
Download and install the ships in your FS9 aircraft folder so you can see me as you fly overhead. I’ll be out there on our FSHost server looking for you in the FS9 multiplayer world.