Cruise FactsTop 5 Cruise Lines by Number of Total Berths: Now and Into...

Top 5 Cruise Lines by Number of Total Berths: Now and Into the Future

Total of number of passengers at double capacity that each cruise line can carry across all ships.

Which cruise line can carry the largest number of passengers across its entire fleet?   We tallied up the number of berths on each cruise ship and listed the top 5 results.

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MSC and Royal Caribbean ships in port. Cruise lines with most berths passenger capacity
Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

Cruise lines are building and ordering more ships and larger vessels, so this number is changing all the time. 

In this article we will highlight the cruise lines that have the current largest number of berths available. 

By “berth” we mean lower beds in each cabin.  This is also a measurement of double capacity. 

Even though many cabins can hold more than two passengers, when a ship averages two guests per cabin it is considered at 100%.    A ship can sail over 100% when some cabins have 3 or 4 passengers in them.

OK, now that we’ve clarified all of that, let’s see which cruise lines have the largest capacity.  By the way, the combined number of berths with these 5 cruise lines is 368,563.

Keep in mind that these numbers are close approximations based on available data.

1. Royal Caribbean International: 98,118

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas (Left) is the largest cruise ship ever built and will sail its inaugural cruise this weekend.
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas (Left) next to Vision of the Seas at Perfect Day at CocoCay.  Photo Credit: Cruise Fever.

With 27 cruise ships in service, Royal Caribbean has the largest number of berths on its vessels at 98,118

And with Utopia of the Seas coming in July of 2024, that number will rise to 103,786, if estimates are correct. 

Wonder of the Seas has the largest number of lower berths with the cruise line at 5,734.

After Utopia of the Seas, there are three more ships expected to be built through 2028. 

With a second Icon-class ship (Star of the Seas), a third unnamed Icon-class ship, and a seventh Oasis-class ship due in 2028, the total number of berths could be just over 120,000 in the next four years.


2. Carnival Cruise Line: 84,874

Carnival Cruise Line Celebration in Mahogany Bay
Carnival Celebration. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

With the coming inaugural voyage of Carnival Firenze, Carnival will match Royal Caribbean’s number of ships in service with 27, for at least a couple months.

For now, Carnival’s total number of berths is 84,874.  With Carnival Firenze added to that number fleetwide berths will hit 89,082.

Excel-class ships with the cruise line have the largest passenger capacity at 5,282.

Two more Excel-class ships are on the way for the cruise line as well.  Adding in all the ships on order and scheduled for delivery by 2028, Carnival’s total number of berths should be around 99,646.


3. MSC Cruises:  78,178

MSC World America cruise ship

MSC Cruises currently has 22 ships in its fleet. The private company’s ambitious approach to ship building has made it one of the fastest growing cruise lines in the world.

Across the fleet, MSC Cruises has a total of 78,178 berths.  This is excluding the luxury Explora-class vessels.

The largest capacity vessel with MSC is the latest World-class ship MSC World Europa with a double capacity of 5,400.

There are three ships currently on order from MSC, each expected to be around 215,000 in gross tonnage and to be delivered in 2025-2027.

With the addition of these new ships the cruise line’s total number of berths should be about 94,378 by sometime in 2027.


4. Norwegian Cruise Line: 56,851

Photo credit: Canaveral Port Authority

Norwegian Cruise Line currently has 19 ships in its fleet.  The Breakaway Plus class is the largest vessel with the cruise line.  Each of these ships can carry around 4,000 passengers at double capacity.

This current fleet of ships have a total of 56,851 berths.

Recent news this week revealed the cruise line’s largest order in its history, with four mega ships at 200,000 gross tons and a 5,000 passenger capacity expected to be built by 2030.

With the addition of these new ships and the four expected Prima-class vessels coming over the next four years, Norwegian’s total number of berths will be approximately 91,293.

That is an expected increase of over 60%.


5. Princess Cruises: 50,542

Sun Princess cruise ship
Image Credit: James Morgan, Getty Images for Princess Cruises

With the recent addition of Sun Princess to the Princess Cruises fleet, the cruise line now has a total of 50,542 berths.

This was the 16th ship to be added to current service and was also the largest at 175,500 gross tons and a double capacity of 4,314.

Another Sphere-class vessel is coming to Princess Cruises as the company expects to receive Star Princess in 2025.  This would bring the total number of berths in the fleet to approximately 54,856.

Pie chart for total berths for 5 biggest cruise lines

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on 50+ cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor, 15-year writer on the cruise industry, and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 10 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
Cruise FactsTop 5 Cruise Lines by Number of Total Berths: Now and Into...

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