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, 3 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. Quantum of the Seas: The Quantum of the Seas is the most technologically advanced cruise ship ever built and is 168,000 gross tons in size.  Features included on the Quantum include virtual balconies on all inside stateroom, robotic bartenders, a wave pool, and a skydiving simulator.  The ship also has more internet bandwidth than every other cruise ship in the world…combined!

4. Norwegian Epic: Coming in 3rd 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.

5-7. Freedom of the Seas/Liberty of the Seas/Independence of the Seas:  The 3 Freedom Class ships from Royal Caribbean take the 4th-6th 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.

8. 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.  The ship is 1,132 feet long and can carry 3,000 passengers.

9. 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.

10. Norwegian Getaway: The Norwegian Getaway moved into the top 10 this year when the ship was delivered to Norwegian Cruise Line.  The Getaway is the sister ship to the Breakaway and is marginally smaller at 145,655 gross tons.

The Royal Princess, MSC Divina, the Navigator of the Seas, and the Mariner of the Seas fell out of the top 10 over the past 12 months as newer ships were completed.  This current list of top 10 will continue to change as 6 cruise ships are, or will soon be under construction that are all at least 163,000 gross tons.

Cruise Ships Under Construction

1-2. 2 Oasis Class ships (2016, 2018) by Royal Caribbean (227,700 GT)
3-4. Anthem by Seas (2015) , and 3rd Quantum Class ship (2016) by Royal Caribbean (167,800 GT)
5-6. 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 15.  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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