Background: The prevalence of motion sickness approaches 100%on rough seas. Some previous studies have reported a strong association between location on a ship and the risk of motion sickness, whereas other studies found no association. This study was undertaken to determine if there is a statistical association between the location of the passenger cabin on a ship and the risk of motion sickness in unadapted passengers.
Method: Data were collected on 260 passengers on an expedition ship traversing the Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica, during rough sea conditions. A standard scale was employed to record motion sickness severity.
Results: The risk of motion sickness was found to be statistically associated with age and sex. However, no association was found with the location of the passenger cabin.
Conclusions: Previous research reporting a strong association of motion sickness and passenger location on a ship, studied passengers in the seated position. Passengers who are able to lie in a supine position are at considerably reduced risk of motion sickness. Expedition or cruise ships that provide ready access to berths, allow passengers to avoid the most nauseogenic positions. The location of the passenger cabin does not appear to be related to the likelihood of seasickness.