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How Many People Could Fit on Every Cruise Ship in the World? (Updated)

After adding up the capacity of over 300 cruise ships from over 30 cruise lines the total number of cruise passengers equal a major U.S. city. This data is updated to include ships debuting in 2024.

Have you ever wondered how many people could fit on every cruise ship in the world?  What if we added up just how many people it would take to fill every berth on every ship?

Costa Maya cruise port with Celebration, Seaside and Allure of the Seas
What is the total capacity of every cruise ship in the world? (Photo Credit: Cruise Fever)

It might seem like a useless exercise, but I’m a curious person. So, once the thought entered my mind, I just had to figure out what the maximum capacity would be of every cruise ship in the world if added all together.

With cruise lines building more and more ships that can carry more people than ever, I wanted to see the actual numbers.

The data below was compiled from available data on cruise ship capacity, crew counts, and which ships are both currently sailing and about to be launched within a year.

 

What ships were included in this list?

This list includes some cruise ships that are due to come out later this year or in 2024.   This was done so the information will still be relevant over the next couple of years at least.

River cruise ships were excluded from the count, in addition to some small yacht companies with very few vessels.

The total count includes both passengers and crew, but you can see the separate numbers below as well.

In total, the passenger and crew capacity from 325 cruise ships and from 36 cruise lines were used to compile this data.   There are a few other ships that could have been included but this sum represents all the major cruise lines currently operating with a few single-ship operators as well.

All of the cruise lines and how many ships were included with each line can be seen in the data below.

Read more: The true cost difference between a balcony and inside cabin on a cruise ship

 

What capacity numbers were used?

Cruise ships generally do not sail at maximum capacity but rather at full capacity.  The difference is that max capacity means that every berth on a ship is occupied.

Full capacity usually means double occupancy.  This is why you will see that some cruise ships will sail at 110% capacity or more, meaning that some staterooms have more than 2 passengers.  Since the goal of this task was to see how many people could fit on every cruise ship in the world, max capacity was used for the totals.

 

What is the total capacity of every cruise ship in the world?

After adding up the max capacity of every cruise ship on our list the total number of people would be 1,102,209.

Out of this number the total number of passengers would be 824,706.

The total crew count totals 277,457.

The 3 cruise lines with the most passengers + crew capacity are as follows:

  1. Royal Caribbean International:
    • Passengers at max capacity: 124,374
    • Crew: 39,543
    • Total onboard (passengers + crew): 163,917
    • Ships:  28
  2. Carnival Cruise Line:
    • Passengers at max capacity: 103,318
    • Crew: 31,809
    • Total onboard (passengers + crew): 135,127
    • Ships: 27
  3. MSC Cruises:
    • Passengers at max capacity: 97,868
    • Crew: 29,623
    • Total onboard (passengers + crew): 127,491
    • Ships: 23

*Remember this includes some cruise ships that are yet to be launched this year and into 2024.

These numbers mean that Royal Caribbean alone will account for 14.91% of all people on a cruise ship after the debut of its newest ships in 2023-2024.

If the total of 1,102,209 people were equated to the population of a U.S. city it would be the 10th largest city in the U.S, right behind Dallas, Texas.

Even if we just took the total number of cruise passengers on every cruise ship in the world, the 824,706 passengers would equate to the 17th largest U.S. city just behind Charlotte, North Carolina.

Read more: Cruise debates: 7 things that always divide cruisers

Below is the breakdown of passenger capacity by cruise line

 

Aida Cruises

Total ships: 14
Passengers at max capacity:  42,452
Crew: 10,467
Total onboard:  52,919

 

Azamara

Total ships:  4
Passengers at max capacity: 3,114
Crew: 1,589
Total onboard:  4,703

 

Carnival Cruise Line

Total ships:  27
Passengers at max capacity: 108,334
Crew: 33,759
Total onboard:  142,093

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CSSC Carnival China / Adora Cruises

Total ships:  4
Passengers at max capacity: 15,681
Crew: 4,622
Total onboard:  20,303

 

Celebrity Cruises

Total ships:  15
Passengers at max capacity: 42,469
Crew:  14,503
Total onboard:  56,972

 

Celestyal Cruises

Total ships:  3
Passengers at max capacity: 4,628
Crew: 1,506
Total onboard:  6,134

 

Costa Cruises

Total ships:  11
Passengers at max capacity:  43,774
Crew:  13,317
Total onboard:  56,991

 

Crystal Cruises

Total ships:  2
Passengers at max capacity:  2,294
Crew: 1,165
Total onboard:  3,459

 

Cunard

Total ships:  4
Passengers at max capacity:  11,616
Crew: 4,278
Total onboard:  15,894

 

Disney Cruise Line

Total ships:  5
Passengers at max capacity: 15,378
Crew: 6,360
Total onboard:  21,738

 

Emerald Cruises

Total ships:  4
Passengers at max capacity: 656
Crew: 306
Total onboard:  962

 

Explora Journeys

Total ships:  2
Passengers at max capacity: 1,844
Crew: 822
Total onboard:  2,666

 

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Total ships:  4
Passengers at max capacity: 5,731
Crew: 2,147
Total onboard:  7,878

 

Holland America Line

Total ships:  12
Passengers at max capacity: 28,613
Crew: 9,968
Total onboard:  38,581

 

Hurtigruten

Total ships:  15
Passengers at max capacity:  6,939
Crew: 1,180
Total onboard:  8,119

 

Lindblad Expeditions

Total ships:  9
Passengers at max capacity:  866
Crew: 418
Total onboard:  1,284

 

Marella Cruises

Total ships:  5
Passengers at max capacity: 11,799
Crew: 4,085
Total onboard:  15,884

 

MSC Cruises

Total ships:  23
Passengers at max capacity: 97,868
Crew: 29,623
Total onboard:  127,491

 

Norwegian Cruise Line

Total ships:  19
Passengers at max capacity: 69,458
Crew: 24,416
Total onboard:  93,874

 

Oceania Cruises

Total ships:  8
Passengers at max capacity: 9,044
Crew:  4,691
Total onboard:  13,735

 

P&O Cruises (UK and Australia)

Total ships:  10
Passengers at max capacity: 37,228
Crew:  12,180
Total onboard:  49,408

 

Phoenix Reisen

Total ships:  4
Passengers at max capacity: 3,350
Crew: 1,437
Total onboard:  4,787

 

Princess Cruises

Total ships:  16
Passengers at max capacity: 60,642
Crew:  19,595
Total onboard:  80,237

 

Quark Expeditions

Total ships:  15
Passengers at max capacity: 2,922
Crew:  1,682
Total onboard:  4,604

 

Resorts World Cruises

Total ships:  2
Passengers at max capacity: 6,152
Crew: 3,000
Total onboard:  9,152

 

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Total ships:  6
Passengers at max capacity: 4,600
Crew:  2,828
Total onboard:  7,428

 

Royal Caribbean International

Total ships:  28
Passengers at max capacity: 124,374
Crew:  39,543
Total onboard:  163,917
*Includes Icon of the Seas and Utopia of the Seas

 

Saga

Total ships:  2
Passengers at max capacity: 1,998
Crew: 1,060
Total onboard:  3,058

 

Seabourn Cruise Line

Total ships:  7
Passengers at max capacity: 3,530
Crew: 1,890
Total onboard:  5,420

 

Silversea

Total ships: 13
Passengers at max capacity: 5,722
Crew:  3,724
Total onboard:  9,446

 

TUI Cruises

Total ships:  8
Passengers at max capacity:  23,582
Crew:  8,100
Total onboard: 31,682

 

Viking (ocean and expedition)

Total ships:  12
Passengers at max capacity: 10,036
Crew: 5,170
Total onboard:  15,206

 

Virgin Voyages

Total ships:  4
Passengers at max capacity: 11,440
Crew: 4,640
Total onboard: 16,080

 

Windstar Cruises

Total ships:  6
Passengers at max capacity: 1,492
Crew: 766
Total onboard:  2,258

 

Single ship cruise lines

Margaritaville at Sea

Total ships:  1
Passengers at max capacity:  1,680
Crew: 620
Total onboard:  2,300

 

Aroya Cruises

Total ships:  1
Passengers at max capacity: 3,400
Crew: 2,000
Total onboard:  5,400

 

Read more:  10 ways that Royal Caribbean is dominating the cruise market

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on dozens of cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 9 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
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