How Long Does It Take a Ship to Cross the Atlantic?

An ocean liner travels across the Atlantic Ocean from a western European port to New York City in about one week. That is in sharp contrast to a plane, which takes less than eight hours to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Though ships still move significantly more slowly than planes, ocean travel has sped up dramatically since early trans-Atlantic voyages. For example, at the start of the 17th century, British explorer Henry Hudson sailed from Amsterdam to North American on his ship, the Half Moon, in two months. While exploring for the Dutch East India company, Hudson had hoped to find a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, but he never succeeded.