Over the past few decades, cruise ships have grown both in number and in size. The Sovereign of the Seas, which the world’s first mega-ship built in 1988, was a marvel of the time, and it was almost inconceivable to imagine a vessel bigger than that. Today, however, the largest cruise ships are nearly three times bigger with incomparable advancements in luxury and amenities.
Here is a list of some of the ten biggest cruise ships in terms of passenger capacity and gross tonnage:
1. Symphony of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
The Symphony of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean International, currently boasts the distinction as the world’s largest cruise ship, with its gross tonnage peaking at a staggering 228,081 GT. It’s the 25th ship in the fleet and measures 1188 feet long and 238 feet tall. For many, the cruise ship is the ultimate family vacation destination packed with heart-pumping and energy-filled experiences. The vessel offers a range of thrilling adventures, including the tallest sea slide, FlowRider surf simulators, and more.
2. Harmony of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
Harmony of the Seas is an oasis-class ship built in Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, by STX. The vessel has a gross tonnage of 226,963, placing it ahead of her sisters Oasis and Allure of the seas as the second largest ship in operation today. While the Symphony of the Seas is bigger in other aspects, Harmony of the seas retains its position as the world’s longest cruise ship.
3. Allure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
Also owned by the Royal Caribbean, Allure of the seas was the planet’s biggest passenger ship in 2010, a position it held for only six years. The vessel measures 1187 feet long with a gross tonnage of 225,282. Its steel hull weighs a staggering 54,000 tones. Some of the ship’s most popular attractions include its zip line rides, an excellent entertainment system, as well as an interactive h20 zone water park.
4. Oasis of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)
The Oasis of the sea, which marked its debut in 2009, is among the biggest cruise ships in the world today. The vessel is owned by the Royal Caribbean and is known for being rather a couple friendly. With space for over 6000 fun seekers, the Oasis of the Seas holds the record for having the most extensive space. Oasis of the Seas was christened with seven godmothers Michelle Kwan, Gloria Estefan, Dara Torres, Shawn Johnson, Daisy Fuentes, Jane Seymour, and Keshia Knight Pulliam, as a representation of the different neighborhoods available to its guests.
5. Mardi Gras (Carnival Cruise Line)
Carnival Cruise Line owns Mardi Gas, the newest cruise ship among the largest ships in the world. Although the ship’s debut has been pushed back several times, it is expected to take to the seas this summer. The vessel weighs an astounding 181,808 GT and feature’s the seas first-ever roller coaster and six distinct onboard zones.
6. Iona (P&O Cruises)
Iona is also among the newest ships we have today. The vessel is LNG-powered and belongs to the house of P&O Cruises. Although Iona was scheduled to kick off its operations around the mid-last year, the coronavirus pandemic its release, but it was eventually received in October last year. The ship is based in Southampton in the UK.
7. AIDAnova (AIDA Cruises)
This is an excellence-class cruise ship owns by Aida cruises, with its weight checking in at an impressive 183,858 GT and a length of 1,106 feet. AIDAnova was delivered in the last quarter of 2018 and held the record as the first cruise ship ever to operate entirely on liquefied natural gas (LNG)
8. Costa Smeralda (Costa Cruises)
Costa Smeralda is Costa Cruises’ largest ship, with a gross tonnage of 185,010. It’s currently the largest ship entirely powered by LNG. The ship made its debut in 2019 and is scheduled to welcome its bigger sister Costa Toscana at the end of the year.
9. MSC Grandiosa (MSC Cruises)
MSC Grandiosa, owned and operated by MSC Cruises, is among the three Meraviglia Plus class cruise ships that carry at least 6000passengers. The vessel was built in France and entered service in 2019 after completing high sea trials. MSC Grandiosa became the first major passenger vessel to return to the sea in 2020 after hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The vessel has a gross tonnage of 181,541 GT and a length of 331 meters.
10. MSC Meraviglia & MSC Bellissima
Both of these cruise ships are identical, and so they come in 10th together. MSC Meraviglia started its operations around mid-2017 while MSC Bellissima got delivered in 2019. Perhaps the biggest highlights of these ships are the large LED display on the roof and an AI device in every stateroom of MSC Bellissima, the first of its kind in the industry. Both vessels weigh 171,598 and measure 316 meters in length.
The cruise ship industry had witnessed impressive growth over the last few years until the onset of the coronavirus era, when the industry took a pause. However, bigger and more equipped ships are entering the industry to offer even better vacation experiences to tourists across the world.