The international cruise industry is expanding rapidly. It shows no signs of slowing down anytime in the near future. According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry is expected to witness the arrival of 26 new cruise ships worldwide in 2017, as the cruise lines are all set to serve an estimated 25.3 million passengers this year. The CLIA report suggests that a total of 97 new cruise ships are expected to enter the scene in between 2017-2026 with an estimated investment of $53 billion.
As more new ships enter the scene, the industry is more equipped to offer best vacation experiences to its guests across the world. In order to meet the various preferences of travellers, the new technologically advanced cruise ships come in bigger sizes, with better amenities, and indeed, as luxurious it can be. Here we have a list of the world’s largest cruise ships, ranked in terms of their size and passenger capacity, among others in 2017.
1. Harmony of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-Class vessel, Harmony of the Seas, is currently the world’s biggest cruise ship. Built by STX France at its Saint-Nazaire shipyard, the third vessel in the series, Harmony of the Seas, was delivered in May 2016. Offering a seven-night western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona and Civitavecchia, the ship made her maiden voyage in June last year.
With a gross tonnage of 226,963 GT, Harmony of the Seas has a length of 362.12m and maximum beam of 66m. Featuring 2,747 staterooms with virtual balconies, this biggest vessel is capable of accommodating 5,479 guests at double occupancy.
Similar to its sister vessels, Harmony of the Seas offers all Royal Caribbean’s exclusive features including Central Park, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Centre, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade and Entertainment Place, among others.
2. Allure of the Seas
Another 362m-long Oasis-class cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, stands second after her sister vessel on the list. Built at the STX Europe shipyards in Turku, Finland, Allure of the Seas is the second Royal Caribbean cruise ship in the Oasis-class series. Before the arrival of Harmony of the Seas, this was the largest passenger ships in service. The vessel has a gross tonnage of 225,282GT, height of 72m and maximum beam of 60.5m.
Delivered in October 2010, Allure of the Seas has the capacity to house 5,400 passengers at double occupancy. Features of the luxurious cruise ship include a two-deck dance hall, a theatre with 1,380 seats, an ice skating rink, a concierge club and spa as well as fitness facilities, among others. The vessel also has 25 dining options that include the first Starbucks coffee shop at sea. A state-of-the-art Fitness Center that offers classes like yoga and tai chi, and a number of whirlpools, including those overlooking the ocean enriches the vacation experience abroad Allure of the Seas. The vessel recently underwent extensive drydock revitalisation.
3. Oasis of the Seas
The first vessel in the Oasis-class cruise ships of Royal Caribbean, Oasis of the Seas, was the largest cruise ship when it entered the service in 2009. Ordered in February 2006, the vessel was launched from STX Europe’s Turku Shipyard in 2008, marking the entry of new class vessels in the fleet of Royal Caribbean International. Oasis of the Seas measures 361.6m in overall length, 72m in height above the water line and 22.55m in depth, while it has a gross tonnage of 225,282.
With 16 passenger decks, the vessel has the capacity to accommodate 5,400 passengers at double occupancy and serve a maximum 6,296 passengers. For its guests, Oasis of the Seas will offer options from two-story loft suites and luxury suites with balconies.
Introduced many amenities for the first time in the industry, Oasis of the Seas features an outdoor Aqua Theater and open-air corridor that is carved out along the length of the vessel and eatery-filled Central Park. In addition, Glass-covered Solarium with pool, surf simulators, Zipline and rock-climbing walls are the other best entertainment options available on the cruise ship, while the lists of sports amenities include five swimming pools, volleyball and basketball courts.
4. Quantum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is the first of three cruise ships in the Quantum-Class. The 168,666 GT cruise ship was constructed by Meyer Werft and made its inaugural journey from New Jersey in November 2014. The vessel later repositioned to China in May 2015 and started sailing from Shanghai to Japan and Korea. The 347.08m long Quantum of the Seas has a maximum beam of 49.47m and draught of 8.8m.
With 16 passenger decks, Quantum of the Seas can house a total of 4,180 passengers in double occupancy, while the maximum guests the vessel can serve is 4905. The vessel has a total of 2,090 staterooms, including balcony staterooms, ocean-view staterooms and inside staterooms. The Quantum of the Seas transformed the cruise experiences to a new level with the introduction of innovative features including the North Star, Ripcord by iFLY, SeaPlex and Two70, among others.
5. Anthem of the Seas
The Anthem of the Seas, a sister vessel of Quantum of the Seas, has a gross tonnage of 168,666 and measures 348m in length and has a maximum beam of 49.4m. This Meyer Werft built vessel, which can cruise up to 22 knots, was launched in February 2015 and began its maiden voyage in April of the same year.
With 20 passenger-accessible decks, Anthem of the Seas can serve up to 4,905 passengers at a time, offering 1,570 balcony staterooms, 147 ocean-view staterooms, and 373 inside staterooms. Facilities abroad Anthem of the Seas includes a glass-canopied solarium pool, a new indoor pool with openable roof, 40ft long surf simulator, a children’s aqua park known as H2O Zone and a rock-climbing wall. It also houses one of the prominent features of the Quantum-class vessel, the North Star; a jewel-shaped glass capsule above the top deck that can hold 14 people and raises 300ft above the ocean, providing guests with 360° view of the sea.
6. Ovation of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Cruises’ third Quantum-class ship, Ovation of the Seas, was launched in February 2016 and entered service on 14 April 2016. The 168,666 GT vessel started her maiden 52-night Global Odyssey cruise from the Port of Southampton in the UK in the first week of May last year. The 348m long Ovation of the Seas has a maximum beam of 48.9 m and draught of 8.5m. Powered by Wartsilä 12V46F engines, the ship can travel at a top speed of 22 knots.
Featuring 16 passenger decks, the Meyer Weft-built vessel can accommodate a maximum of 4,905 guests in 2,090 staterooms. Abroad Ovation of the Seas, in addition to North Star, the ship hosts a lounge with a bar and dance floor, SeaPlex multifunctional venue, whirlpools, H2O Zone kids’ water park, a casino and a 220ft outdoor poolside movie screen, among others.
7. Norwegian Joy
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class of cruise ships, Norwegian Joy, is currently under construction at Meyer Werft’s facility in Papenburg, Germany. Expected to enter service in June this year; Norwegian Joy becomes the first vessel to find a place in the list from cruise lines other than Royal Caribbean International. The 333.46m long Norwegian Joy has a beam of 41.4m, draught of 8.722m, and a gross tonnage of 167,725.
With 20 decks, the vessel will be able to serve a total of 3883 passengers. Being the first vessel to feature a Ferrari-branded race track, the Breakaway Plus class Norwegian Joy will have an open-air laser tag course, hovercraft bumper cars, and multi-storey water slides. In addition, the vessel will feature an exclusive, luxury complex named the Haven, which will house personal butler service, priority access to entertainment and dining, an enclosed courtyard etc.
Powered by main engines with total output power of 102,900 hp, the vessel will have a maximum speed of 22.5 knots. Built specifically for the Chinese market, the home ports of Norwegian Joy will be Shanghai & Tianjin.
8. Norwegian Escape
Norwegian Cruise Line’s another Breakaway Plus Class cruise ship Norwegian Escape is the biggest cruise ship in NCL’s fleet that is currently in service. Built by Meyer Werft in Germany, the Norwegian Escape has an overall length of 325.9m, a maximum beam of 46.5m and gross tonnage of 165,300.
With a capacity to accommodate a total of 4,266 guests, the luxurious vessel will offer options from a range of suites that include The Haven by Norwegian, Mini-Suites, Balcony and Ocean view staterooms, among others. The Waterfront and the 678 Ocean Place, the popular features of the ship offer restaurants, bars and entertainment and gaming zones in the middle of the ocean.
Delivered in October 2015, her inaugural cruise was from Southampton to Miami, carrying 3500 passengers abroad.
9. Liberty of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International Freedom-class cruise ship, Liberty of the Seas, is 338.92m long vessel with 155,889GT. Featuring 1,817 staterooms, the 18-deck ship can house 4,960 passengers and average of 1,300 crew members. In addition to a variety of staterooms, the vessel offers a range of suites including the President’s Suit, the Owner’s Suite, the Royal Family Suite, and the Royal Suite.
Delivered in April 2007, Liberty of the Seas features extensive facilities including the Day Spa and Ship Shape Fitness Centre, the H2O Zone water park with three pools and six whirlpools, an ice skating rink, a boxing ring, and even a wedding chapel.
10. Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic is one of the most innovative cruise ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet, offering world class experiences to passengers. Built by STX France Cruise, the 4100 passenger ship, which was delivered in June 2010, has a gross tonnage of 155,873. The 329.45m long Norwegian Epic has a beam of 40.64m and a height 61m.
Guests abroad Norwegian Epic have access to the courtyard villa complex that features a private pool, two whirlpools, saunas, sun deck, fitness facility, and so on. In addition to 20 different dining options, passengers will be treated with two new Broadway shows: Ballroom Blitz and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
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