Top 10 Largest Cruise Ships in the World

With cruise lines building new larger cruise ships every year, the list of the top 10 largest cruise ships in the world is constantly changing.  In the past 12 months, 2 new ships have joined the list of world’s largest cruise ships.  Out of the top 10 largest ships, 9 are from Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Cruise ships are measured by gross tonnage which is a figure calculated from the total enclosed volume of the ship.  For a good comparison of how large today’s cruise ships are, the Titanic was 46,000 gross tons in size.

1. Allure of the Seas: The largest cruise ship in the world continues to be Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas coming in at 225,282 gross tons.  The Allure was completed in 2010 but will be soon surpassed in size when Royal Caribbean completes the 3rd Oasis Class ship.  The ship is 1,187 feet long and is able to hold over 6,000 passengers.

2. Oasis of the Seas: The 2nd largest cruise ship in the world is the Oasis of the Seas, the sister ship to the Allure.  Although the Oasis is technically the same size as the Allure, the Allure is a couple inches longer.

3-4. Quantum of the Seas/Anthem of the Seas:  Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas are the most technologically advanced cruise ships ever built and come in at 168,000 gross tons in size.  Features included on the Quantum class ships include virtual balconies on all inside staterooms, robotic bartenders, a wave pool, and a skydiving simulator.  The ships also have more internet bandwidth than every other cruise ship in the world…combined!

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5. Norwegian Epic: Coming in 5th is the Norwegian Epic at 155,573 gross tons.  This is the first 4,000+ passenger ship from Norwegian and is 1,081 feet long.

6-8. Freedom of the Seas/Liberty of the Seas/Independence of the Seas:  The 3 Freedom Class ships from Royal Caribbean take the 6th-8th spots and come in at 154,407 gross tons.  The Freedom of the Seas was the largest cruise ship in the world when she was completed in 2006.  The ships are 1,112 feet long and can carry up to 4,375 passengers.

9. Queen Mary 2: The only Cunard ship to make the top 10 is the ocean liner Queen Mary 2 at 148,528 gross tons.  The ship was the largest passenger ship in the world (2004-2006) until the Freedom of the Seas was completed 2 years later.  Queen Mary 2 is 1,132 feet long and can carry 3,000 passengers.

10. Norwegian Breakaway: The 2nd Norwegian ship to make the top 10 is the Norwegian Breakaway at 146,000 gross tons.  The Breakaway is the largest cruise ship to sail out of New York City and made her debut in the spring of 2013.  The ship is 1,068 feet long and can carry over 4,000 passengers.

Cruise Ships Under Construction

1. Harmony of the Seas 2016 by Royal Caribbean (227,700 GT)
2. Ovation of the Seas (2016) by Royal Caribbean (168,600 GT)
3. MSC Meraviglia 2017 by MSC Cruises (167,600 GT)
3-4. Norwegian Escape (2015), Norwegian Bliss (2017) (163,000 GT)

Although Carnival Cruise Line has the most cruise ships out of all the cruise lines at 24, they do not have any cruise ships in the top 20.  They were however the first cruise line to build a ship (Carnival Destiny, now the Carnival Sunshine) over 100,000 gross tons in 1996.


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  1. Jack says

    Too bad Norwegian couldn’t make the Escape just 5 GT larger, just to knock down some of the RCI ships; since many people are all about cruise ship size.

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