I love the sea. It’s a delight to swim in when calm and a wonderful sight when agitated. I always wished I could live closer to the sea or the ocean, but I’m stuck miles away for now. So I started thinking – what’s the best way to express my love for the infinite blue? Well, a tattoo of course.Nautical tattoos have been around for years and they never stopped being trendy. We have your classical sailor tattoos that I’m hearing will make a comeback this year, anchor tattoos for when you want to show the world that you’re strong and grounded, or more elaborate landscape tattoo that display the sea front and center. If you’re looking for a fun design to showcase your love for all things sea-related, we’ve got you covered. Here are 100 cool nautical tattoo ideas for the sea lover inside.
Nautical tattoos have been around for years and they never stopped being trendy. We have your classical sailor tattoos that I’m hearing will make a comeback this year, anchor tattoos for when you want to show the world that you’re strong and grounded, or more elaborate landscape tattoo that display the sea front and center. If you’re looking for a fun design to showcase your love for all things sea-related, we’ve got you covered. Here are 100 cool nautical tattoo ideas for the sea lover inside.
A prime example of an elaborate, eye-catching design featuring a ship and a few angry waves. For when life gets complicated and you need to remind yourself to hold steady while the storm passes.
Don’t be afraid to use color when picking a nautical tattoo. It gives the design a bit of an edge, don’t you agree?
Two matching tattoos of a helm and an anchor. Minimalistic and lovely. I’m especially digging the placement – discreet, but still eye-catching.
A ship at sunset? Wonderful. Especially when the tattoo artist is skilled enough to capture that amount of detail in a single design. I’m in awe.
Aaaargh! If you’re into pirates, incorporating a skull in your tattoo design is the way to go.
A classic example of a sailor tattoo, featuring the name of a ship and a helm. It doesn’t get more basic than this.
When you’re lost at sea, you need a compass to guide you. I don’t know about you, but just looking at this ink makes me want to book a cruise.
While ages ago it was believed that anchor tattoos belonged solely to those who worked in businesses associated with the sea, they’ve become much more popular in recent years. Plus, an anchor symbolizes strength and stability, so it’s a good choice for those looking for a daily reminder of how invincible they are.
The ship alone would have made for an awesome design, but the anchor really makes this tattoo stand out from the crowd.
If you’re really trying to make a statement with your ink, your fingers are prime tattoo spots.
This tattoo is kind of 3D, which only makes me appreciate it even more. The amount of detail is stunning.
Another fine example of a gorgeous 3D tattoo, this time featuring a compass.
Dolphins are smart, great-looking sea creatures, so they make a good choice for a nautical tattoo. Additionally, the blue waves give the design a bit of a whimsical feel.
If you want to fit as many sea-related symbols in a design as humanely possible, here’s the right way to do it. A gorgeous design incorporating plenty of nautical symbols.
You can also go the more patriotic way and pick a design to showcase your love for the US. A great pick for someone who’s in the Marines, right?
I’m in love with this tattoo partly because of the artist’s amazing work, and partly because it gives off a mysterious vibe.
If this the key to a magical treasure buried a sea? One can only guess.
For hip moms doing their best to support their Marine sons, here’s something to give you a hand.
In my experience, girls are more likely to go for an anchor tattoo, not sure why. In any case, I’ve always liked rib cage tattoos, and this one doesn’t make an exception.
Lots of symbols that go well together, making you think about which came first.
If you don’t think this ink is interesting, I don’t want to be friends anymore.
The ship is cool, but the waves are the focal point of attraction here, and I whole-heartedly approve.
Oh, hello, Captain. You sure are fashionable. Love the hat. Plus, the tattoo has a tattoo of its own. How cool is that?
A very artistic and eye-grabbing design. It’s very elegant as well.
Pairing your nautical tattoo with a quote can look great. Case in point. Not only is the design awesome, the saying also reminds the owner of the fact there’s still hope in the world. And that hope can only come from the inside.
That splash of color is to die for. I am deeply in love with this design and I want the name of the artist ASAP.
Although the eagle is most commonly associated with the United States, this majestic bird has also long been a symbol of spirituality, wisdom, and power. Something to think about.
Another anchor, this time with some add-ons that help it pop.
Did you see it yet? No? It’s kinda scary, but also kinda awesome.
A simple design featuring the classic anchor, this time a bit more stylized.
Not sure what to make of this? I’ll help you out. Semper fidelis is a Latin phrase that means “always faithful.” In the United States it is best known as the motto of the United States Marine Corps. Don’t you watch NCIS?
And the classic sailor girl makes a special appearance.
Another great example of how to make color your friend. Black and white tattoos are cool and all, but sometimes you really need some color to help a tattoo make a splash.
Simple, elegant, eye-catching.
Anchor + roses = instant awesomeness.
A menacing pirate ship going through a storm. The amount of detail in this design is completely mesmerizing.
Love is usually the thing that helps us stay grounded and gives life meaning; and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to express this very fact.
Because there are many ways to express your dedication and loyalty.
Such a whimsical, delicate, and feminine design! I especially like the flowers, but the anchor is also great.
A design that now only displays the owner’s love for the sea, but also her dedication to her family. Gorgeous.
A great placement for an anchor tattoo, don’t you think?
Interesting combination, to say the least. The rope really ties the design together.
Another great use of rope accompanying a helm. I think keeping the design black and white was a good choice in this instance, as it makes it look more elegant somehow.
A massive anchor tattoo showing that the owner means business.
America is great. So is this tattoo design.
Another massive tattoo, this time featuring several sea-related symbols.
The eagle and anchor combo seems to be particularly popular among sea lovers.
Simple, elegant, wonderful.
Colors of the world, spice up your life! A lively tattoo is the quickest way to do just that.
Fall is best spent in the proximity of the sea. I stand by my statement.
This time the eagle has the rope, so it’s up to him to guide you to reach the stars. Maybe? We’ll have to ask the owner of the tattoo if this is what he had in mind when he picked this particular design.
Boxing gloves would go well on a ship. A friendly match is a great way to pass the time during those long hours spend on sea.
The pirate skull makes another appearance, this time looking even more menacing.
A simple helm for the captain looking forward to go back at sea.
This is absolutely lovely. I have no words.
Another great design for someone who’s a Marine.
The majestic ship, the waves, the roses… The details are what really makes this design stand out from the crowd.
This great tattoo reminds me of a quote by Kristin Cashore. “What she really loved was to hang over the edge and watch the bow of the ship slice through the waves. She loved it especially when the waves were high and the ship rose and fell, or when it was snowing and the flakes stung her face.” (Graceling) I love to hang over the edge as well.
Great 3D tattoo. The “ripped effect” really catches you eye here.
I’ve always dreamed of finding a pearl in a shell. If you’re like me, getting a tattoo of one is the next best thing.
A skull can make a long-lasting impression when it’s styled in the right way. Meaning lots of funky details, as showcased here.
Who wouldn’t like to have a third eye? Getting one inked seems like a good idea, especially when it’s accompanied by an anchor, a life ring, and some sturdy rope.
Feathers are often viewed as messages from the spirit world. Pair it with an anchor and you get a powerful tattoo that symbolizes spirituality.
The more detailed a tattoo is, the more eye-grabbing it becomes.
The opposite can also be true, since sometimes less is more. You just have to figure out which design works best for you. While some go for simple tattoos, others want their designs to go into as much detail as possible and incorporate multiple elements. It’s up to you to decide which way to go. Tip: there’s no right choice is, as it all comes down to personal preference.
Another menacing skull, this time in a more unexpected location.
That’s a very impressive design, don’t you think? The details, the shadows, the waves… it definitely catches you eye.
Interesting fish I must say. A peculiar choice, but you have to agree it looks pretty awesome.
Since I’ve always been fascinated with underwater life, I’m a little in love with this. The colors are so vibrant, and the fish look really friendly.
Kind of abstract, but the coloring gives it a bit of an edge.
A pretty neat way to honor someone.
We all live in the b/w submarine, b/w submarine, b/w submarine… OK, it doesn’t really work, but you have to give me bonus points for effort.
Now that’s what I call a glorious tattoo. It really commands one’s attention.
Besides friendly fish, there can be some really scary stuff at the bottom of the sea as well. Just saying.
How cute is this? The ombre effect is absolutely lovely.
Simple, minimalistic, elegant.
In complete contrast with the previous ink, here’s a complex design to satisfy even the most extravagant taste.
We all need a bit of guidance in life.
Interesting, to say the least.
An anchor tattoo doesn’t have to be boring. You can work with the artist to come up with a unique design that showcases your personality. In this case, the owner added some rope and a snake.
The colors here really allow the design to shine.
Underwater life, take two. If you want a colorful and complex tattoo, this is the way to go.
Two tattoos, one theme. To say they look great would be an understatement.
Another fine example on how to incorporate multiple symbols and come up with a unique and eye-grabbing design.
I would love to be aboard that ship. Wouldn’t you?
And what do we have here? A classic sailor girl incorporated in a modern and colorful design. I told you the classics are making a comeback.
Some additional anchor love, if you’re still in need of inspiration.
Remember what I said about guidance? So you’ll never forget where North is.
Minimal design, maximum effect.
Getting matching tattoo is kind of bold, but also kind of badass.
Loving this mesmerizing shade of red.
An anchor lost at sea. If you’re looking to get lost, this is the design for you.
Roses are not only beautiful flowers, but also a popular choice for a tattoo since the 1930’s. They can be a depiction of love, so pairing them with an anchor can symbolize one’s search for a committed, stable relationship.
This one is kind of whimsical, right?
Pirates will always be cool. That’s all I have to say here.
An anchor that made me think about Sailor Mood. I have to revisit the series ASAP.
If you’re lucky, the world should know it.
I’m going to leave you with another anchor, because anchors are awesome. Especially this one. The sea is vast and mysterious. When you’re ready to tell the world how crazy about it you are, the examples above should provide tons of inspiration. Settle on the one that suits you best and find a way to make it your own. All that’s left is to give your favorite tattoo artist a call.
The sea is vast and mysterious. When you’re ready to tell the world how crazy about it you are, the examples above should provide tons of inspiration. Settle on the one that suits you best and find a way to make it your own. All that’s left is to give your favorite tattoo artist a call.