Manufactured by Saud Kruger, the Beluga Liner is a high-end passenger ship for those who value luxury and comfort. With the largest passenger capacity of any Saud Kruger vessel, and the ability to accommodate a luxury-tier passenger cabin, the Beluga is the only choice for those who want to travel in style.
— In-game Description
The Beluga Liner is a ship manufactured by Saud Kruger. Comparable to an Imperial Cutter in mass and even bulkier in volume, the Beluga is a ponderous cruise liner designed to carry passengers to their destination in luxurious comfort. Only the Beluga and its smaller cousins the Orca and the Dolphin can be equipped with Luxury Passenger Cabin modules, allowing them to transport high-paying VIP passengers.
The largest ship in the Saud Kruger line after the Dolphin and Orca, the Beluga Liner is the passenger liner equivalent of the Type-9 Heavy, sacrificing the huge cargo hold to carry luxury VIPs. It is designed to accommodate even more passengers in luxury and comfort than an Orca, but this specialization comes at the cost of speed and maneuverability. The result is a slow, cumbersome ship that is difficult to fit through a station's Access Corridor; deploying the landing gear folds the ship's bulky rear fins down, making it easier to traverse. To compensate, the Beluga features a Class 7 Frame Shift Drive and a 128-tonne Fuel Tank that gives it an impressive travel range for long-distance cruises. The Beluga can also fit a Fighter Hangar to bolster its modest offensive capability, though it is in no way optimized or recommended for extensive combat.
As a trading ship, the Beluga has 368t of potential space. This is fairly poor for a large, expensive ship, only beating the capacity of the significantly cheaper Type-7 Transporter by 60 tonnes. Additionally, for only slightly more than the price of a Beluga Liner, a trader seeking a reliable ship for cargo runs can purchase the higher-capacity Type-9 Heavy. Overall, the Beluga is simply an inefficient choice for trading.
The Beluga Liner makes for an interesting option as an Exploration vessel. With proper Engineering and a Guardian Frame Shift Drive Booster, its jump range tops out at 40-50 ly depending on what other modules it is carrying, but there are cheaper, less unwieldy ships to choose from that can achieve higher jump ranges. What makes the Beluga a decent contender as an explorer is its internal space and ability to equip a Fighter Hangar, it can carry every essential exploration module, a number of non-essential ones, and still have room for modules that have less usefulness out in the black, such as Cargo Racks. Not to be overlooked is the Beluga's open cockpit layout, which provides a wide, unobstructed view.
The Beluga Liner performs poorly in combat. While the ship does boast better hardpoints and maneuverability than the Type-9, the five Class 2 hardpoints are positioned in a way that does not allow them good coverage areas or firing arcs, making it difficult to keep even turreted mounts on targets. The biggest downside is the shield generator and hull mass, which make the Beluga very easy to take down with even moderate fire. Combined with its colossal size making it a ridiculously large target, the Beluga is often easy pickings for many ships, and even a Fighter Hanger only helps so much.
As a dedicated, high-capacity passenger liner the Beluga Liner suffers from a number of shortcomings that restrict its ability to adequately serve other roles. The Beluga cannot hold a Shield Generator larger than Class 6, making it the only ship unable to fit a shield generator that is optimized for its mass. The Beluga also has issues with heat management, which can exceed safe levels during and immediately after a Hyperspace jump due the heat build-up from the charging FSD; this can be partially mitigated by installing a higher-rated Power Plant, but the added mass will hinder the ship's jump range. It also has a worse jump range than the Orca, only marginally better combat potential, and a frustratingly large size that complicates docking. The Beluga is unsurpassed in its capacity for bulk VIP passenger missions, but with its various flaws, the Beluga is in essence cripplingly over-specialized.
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- Main article: Outfitting
All ships are highly customisable through the Outfitting menu of Station Services. Listed below is the default load-out for the Beluga Liner.
|Category||Default System||Default Rating||Default Class||Max Class|
|Medium Hardpoint||Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||2|
|Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||2|
|Reactor Bay||Power Plant||E||6||6|
|Frame Shift Drive Housing||Frame Shift Drive||E||7||7|
|Environment Control||Life Support||E||8||8|
|Power Coupling||Power Distributor||E||6||6|
|Fuel Store||Fuel Tank [x128]||C||7||7|
|Internal Compartments||Shield Generator||E||6||6|
|Cargo Rack [x32]||E||5||6|
|Cargo Rack [x8]||E||3||4|
|Cargo Rack [x4]||E||2||3|
- (L) = Loaned Module
- [x#] = Capacity
- (PAS) = Reserved solely for the Planetary Approach Suite or Advanced Planetary Approach Suite
Whale by name, whale by nature, the Beluga is one of the largest ships in the game. As a specialised Passenger Liner the Beluga has multiple module slots that can accommodate all types of passenger cabins. Well armoured, and decently quick for such a large civilian ship, the Beluga has a similar speed to the Hauler. When escorting passengers across the galaxy you’ll need defence, so the Beluga has 6 utility mounts and 5 medium hardpoints. The Beluga has plenty of mid-range sized internal slots (4 threes, 1 four, 2 fives and 4 sixes). The Beluga can fit a size 7 FSD, but it’s a very heavy ship so it’s more suited for multiple jumps rather than giant leaps.
— From Gamescon 2016 Day One Complete Thread dev post
- The Beluga Liner was added to Elite Dangerous by Elite Dangerous: Horizons The Guardians (update 2.2) on October 25, 2016.
- Elite Dangerous: Beyond Chapter Four removed restrictions from the restricted module slots on the Beluga Liner, Dolphin, and Orca, allowing modules other than Passenger Cabins to be installed in those slots. Previously, these three Saud Kruger ships were the only ships with Passenger Cabin-only slots, a design trait that was intended to reinforce their gameplay niche as luxury passenger vessels.
- The Beluga Liner is the largest pilotable ship in Elite Dangerous, larger than even the Imperial Cutter.