Top 24 Largest Cruise Ships In 2024

The international cruise industry has expanded rapidly in the last few years, and it showed no signs of slowing down till the coronavirus pandemic hit the world.

The world witnessed what was never thought of, i.e., a complete halt of the cruise business. However, cruise shipping companies did everything possible to sustain these challenging times. The industry returned with some of the largest and most technologically advanced cruise ships in 2023, and more ships will enter the market in 2024.

As more new ships enter the scene, the industry is more equipped to offer the best vacation experiences to its guests worldwide.

To meet the various preferences of travellers, the new technologically advanced cruise ships come in bigger sizes, with better amenities, and indeed, as luxurious as they can be.

Here is a list of the world’s largest cruise ships in 2024.

Related Read: How Are Cruise Ships Powered?

1. Icon of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship in the world. It is said to debut in Jan, 2024 and is the lead ship of the Icon Class.

It is 364.75 m long and 48.47 m wide and has a gross tonnage of 250,800. It has 6 multi-fuel Wartsila engines that can run on LNG and also distillate fuel. It can also utilise fuel cells to generate electricity, becoming the first Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship to have this technology.

The ship has a 2350-member crew and can accommodate 7600 guests. It has 20 decks, 7 swimming pools and 6 water slides. Royal Caribbean claims that the ship has the tallest waterfall, waterslide and also the biggest waterpark among all cruise ships. 

It was designed by the finest designers and architects, such as Wison Butler Architects, Gensler and Skylab Architecture. 

2. Wonder of the Seas

The Wonder of the Seas weighs 236,857 Gross tonnes and is owned by Royal Caribbean International. It was delivered in January 2022. The 1,188-foot-long vessel will start operations in March 2022.

It is the fifth vessel in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class of cruise ships. This floating civilization can accommodate 6,988 passengers in addition to 2,300 crew members. The wonder of the seas has four bow thrusters, with 7500 Horsepower each. This ship can reach cruising speeds up to 22 knots.

Wonder of the seas
Image Credits: Royal Caribbean

The Wonder of the Seas is built differently than her sister vessels, boasting few amenities such as a suite-neighbourhood, fully redesigned pool decks, and even an all-new Aquatheatre.

3. Symphony Of the Seas

This giant cruise ship has 228,081 gross registered tons, measures 238 feet tall and spans 361.011 meters long.

Image Credits: Business Insider – YouTube / Royal Caribbean

Symphony of the Seas is the ultimate family vacation destination with a bold lineup of energy-filled, heart-pumping experiences.

This cruise ship offers the chance to go head-to-head in a glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure, take the plunge down the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea towering ten stories high – or soak up some sun after getting drenched on epic waterslides and FlowRider surf simulators.

The third biggest cruise ship was delivered in April 2018.

4. Harmony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-Class vessel, Harmony of the Seas, follows closely behind her sister ship. STX France built it at its Saint-Nazaire shipyard. The third vessel in the “Oasis-Class” series, Harmony of the Seas, was delivered in May 2016.

Image Credits:

With a gross tonnage of 226,963 GT, Harmony of the Seas has a maximum beam of 66m. This biggest vessel has 2,747 staterooms with virtual balconies and can accommodate 5,479 guests at double occupancy.

Like its sister vessels, Harmony of the Seas offers all of Royal Caribbean’s exclusive features, including Central Park, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Centre, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade and Entertainment Place.

Watch: Harmony of The Seas Welcomed By Sister Ships

5. Allure of the Seas

Another 362m-long Oasis-class cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, stands fifth in 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. At one point, she was the largest passenger ship in service.

The vessel has a gross tonnage of 225,282 GT, a height of 72m and a maximum beam of 60.5m.

Delivered in October 2010, Allure of the Seas can 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, and fitness facilities, among others.

Allure of the Seas
Representation Image

The vessel also has 25 dining options, including the first Starbucks coffee shop. A state-of-the-art Fitness Center that offers classes like yoga and tai chi and several whirlpools, including those overlooking the ocean, enrich the vacation experience of Allure of the Seas. The vessel also underwent extensive drydock revitalisation.

6. Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas, the first vessel in the Oasis-class cruise ships of Royal Caribbean, was the largest cruise ship when it entered 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 into the fleet of Royal Caribbean International.

Oasis of the Seas measures 361.6m in overall length, 72m in height above the waterline and 22.55m in depth, while it has a gross tonnage of 225,282.

Oasis of the Seas
Representation Image

With 16 passenger decks, the vessel can accommodate 5,400 passengers at double occupancy and serve a maximum of 6,296 passengers. Oasis of the Seas offers options for its guests, from two-story loft suites and luxury suites with balconies.

Oasis of the Seas has introduced many amenities in the industry and features an outdoor Aqua Theater. An open-air corridor carved out along the vessel’s length and an eatery-filled Central Park.

In addition, the other best entertainment options on the cruise ship are the glass-covered Solarium with pool, surf simulators, Zipline and rock-climbing walls. At the same time, the list of sports amenities includes five swimming pools and volleyball and basketball courts.

7. MSC World Europa

MSC World Europa was constructed at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. It began operations on 20th December 2022 and functioned as a hotel ship in Doha during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

It has a length of 333.3 m and a 47 m beam. It is 68 m high and has a gross tonnage of 215,863 tonnes. It has 22 decks and can attain a speed of 22.7 knots. The ship can accommodate 6,762 guests and has 2,138 crew members. 

It is powered by LNG, so it decreases sulphur dioxide emissions, nitric oxide emissions and carbon dioxide emissions considerably compared to non-LNG-powered vessels. She is also the world’s first cruise ship to implement an LNG-powered fuel cell.

8. Costa Smeralda 

Named after the Emerald Coast of Sardinia, the Costa Smeralda is a technologically advanced LNG-powered Cruise ship operated by the Italian Cruise line Costa Cruises.

It is the largest cruise ship commissioned by Costa Cruises, with 185,100 GT measuring 337 m long and 42 m wide. It can carry a maximum of 6554 passengers and 1646 crew members.

Costa Smeralda
Image Credits:

She set out on her maiden voyage in December 2019 and operates in the Mediterranean Sea.

The ship is designed with different sustainable technologies, making it a “Smart floating City” that provides luxury to its passengers and helps the environment reduce its carbon footprint.

It is powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). This is one of the ships delivered just before the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

9. P & O Arvia

This Excellence-class Cruise Ship was constructed by Meyer Werft in Papenburg and delivered in 2022 to P & O Cruises. With a gross tonnage of 184,700, it is the biggest cruise ship commissioned for the British market. 

Arvia can welcome 5200 passengers and her maximum capacity is 6264 guests. It is 344.5 m long and 42 m wide with a draught of 8.5 m. 

This cruise ship has more than 30 bars and restaurants and four swimming pools. It also has 20 whirlpools and a skydome with a retractable glass roof, an outdoor cinema screen, a ropes course and an adventure gulf. One can also experience onboard spa, sauna, salt steam and much more.

10. P&O Iona

Another LNG-powered cruise ship from the house of P&O Cruises, Iona, was supposed to start its operation in May 2020. However, its delivery was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the P&O cruise received it only in October 2020.

P&O Iona
Image Credits: Youtube/ P&O cruises

Iona is the largest cruise ship built to sail for any U.K.-based cruise line and the seventh largest globally. It measures 345 meters in length and has 17 passenger decks. At 185,000 Gross tonnage, Iona can accommodate 5,200 passengers and 1,800 crew members for a high-end hospitality experience.

11. MSC Euribia

This cruise ship is named after the ancient goddess Eurybia, who is believed to control the winds, weather and constellations.

It has a gross tonnage of 183,500 tonnes and has 2419 cabins. The ship can accommodate 6327 guests and can attain a speed of 22 to 30 knots easily. MSC Euribia is 331 m long, 43 m wide and 65 m high.

It is powered by LNG and has many exciting features like 5 swimming pools for guests. It also has the most spectacular dome at sea, lined with shops and restaurants. 

The Youth Centre is the perfect place for teens and children to hang out while adults can relax at the onboard Balinese Spa.

12. AIDA Nova

AIDA Nova by AIDA Cruises is the world’s first cruise ship that can be powered at sea and in port by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The AIDA Nova has over 2,600 passenger cabins, with a gross tonnage of about 183,900 GT, a length of 337 meters, and a width of 42 meters. AIDA Nova is the first ship of the Helios class that MEYER WERFT built for the cruise line AIDA CRUISES.

Image Credit:

Following AIDA Nova, Carnival Corporation has an additional ten next-generation “green” cruise ships on order that will be powered by LNG in port and at sea, with expected delivery dates between 2019 and 2025, leading the cruise industry’s use of LNG to power cruise ships.

13. MSC Grandiosa

MSC Grandiosa, launched in November 2019, is a Meraviglia Plus – A class cruise ship, i.e. it is bigger than its predecessor MSC Meraviglia, which was launched in 2017.

Sun-kissed MSC Grandiosa sails during a sunset
Image Credits: MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises operates it, and this new flagship is 331 meters long (16 meters longer than MSC Meraviglia). With 181 541 GT, it can carry 6334 passengers in its 2421 cabins. In addition, it has the largest capacity shopping area inside the cruise ship.

MSC Grandiosa resumed its operation on 24th Jan 2021 from Genova in the Mediterranean route.

14. Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is a 180,000 Gross Tonnage LNG-powered cruise ship operated by the world’s largest cruise ship operator – Carnival Cruise Lines.

Built by Meuer Turku Shipyard amid the pandemic, it was delivered in December 2020.

Mardi Gras Sea Trials
Image Credits: Meyer Turku – Facebook

The ship incorporates a pandemic-proofing plan with a state-of-the-art medical centre for testing and caring for needy passengers. It will carry 1745 officers and crew, serving 6630 passengers on board.

Mardi Gras is a tribute to the first-ever cruise ship of the company, TSS Mardi Gras, launched in 1972.

15. MSC Meraviglia

MSC Meraviglia is 315 metres long, 43 metres wide and 65 metres high, measuring 171,598 GRT. She can travel up to 22.7 knots and has been designed to operate in all seasons and be able to call in most of the world’s international cruise ports.

MSC Meraviglia
Image Credits:

Since joining the service in June 2017, MSC Meraviglia has been making waves in the cruise and tourism industry and collecting prestigious awards for her superior product.

The ship has been recognised for bringing some of the latest advances in customer-centric technology, digital innovations and new guest experiences to the sea.

In addition to this industry-wide recognition, the ship is awarded for its state-of-the-art Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental (QHSE) management.

16. MS Freedom of the Seas

MS Freedom of the Seas of the Royal Caribbean International belongs to the Freedom Class of cruise ships. It can accommodate 3634 guests and 1300 crew members. It has 15 passenger decks and four crew decks. 

It was the biggest passenger ship by gross tonnage when it was constructed in 2006, until its sister ship, the Liberty of the Seas, was built in 2007. 

MS Freedom of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Blog / YouTube

Freedom of the Sea was constructed in Finland. It measures 338.74 m lengthwise and 38.60 m breadthwise. 

It has four bow thrusters and can attain a speed of 21.6 knots. It utilises 12,800 kg of fuel in 60 minutes. 

It has an inner promenade and three swimming areas. It also has a water park, a pool solely for adults, a sports area on deck 13 with a climbing wall, a golf course, a basketball court and much more. One can enjoy ice skating on the cruise ship. It also has a casino and a Broadway-style theatre. 

17. Liberty of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas entered service just a year after its sister ship, MS Freedom of the Seas, in 2007. It was to be named Endeavour of the Seas, but it was changed later. 

It has a gross tonnage of 155,889 tonnes and is 338.91 m long and 57 m wide with a 9 m draught. It has 18 decks, 15 accommodating 3634 passengers and 3 for 1360 crew members. 

Liberty of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Blog / YouTube

The ship has many attractions, including a FlowRider wave generator for guests to enjoy surfing, an interactive water park for children, play areas, a fitness centre and 2 whirlpools. It has many dining areas with stunning views, too. 

A water slide complex with two racing slides was added in 2016. Most of the cruise ship’s interiors are done by muralist Clarissa Parish. 

18. MSC Virtuosa

MSC Virtuosa is a Meraviglia-Plus-Class Cruise Ship, operated by MSC Cruises. It was constructed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France, and is the sister ship of MSC Grandiosa. 

She was scheduled to enter service in 2020. However, it got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, it was delivered to its owner on 1st February 2021 and entered service two months later, in May. 

MSC Virtuosa
MSC Cruises Official / YouTube

She is 331 m long, 43 m wide and 64.9 m high. She has 16 decks and can accommodate around 6000 people and 1700 crew.

The cruise ship boasts the longest LED Dome at sea. Its indoor promenade is known for its speciality restaurants, serving cuisines from all over the world. It also has many shops and boutiques featuring top brands. 

The LEGO Group has designed the children’s area to be fun and interactive. A health and wellness spa onboard offers professional massages, beauty treatments and all types of facials. This amazing cruise ship has a panoramic gym, five swimming pools, and more. 

Additionally, the vessel is eco-friendly and equipped with a catalytic reduction system that decreases nitrogen oxide emissions by 80%. The closed-loop exhaust gas cleaning system decreases sulphur emissions by 97%. 

19. Carnival Celebration

Carnival Celebration is the second ship of the Carnival fleet’s Excel Class. She has a gross tonnage of 183,521 tonnes, making it the largest ship in Carnival’s fleet. The cruise ship was ordered in 2016 and was completed in 2022. 

She is 344.5 m long and 42 m broad. She has 19 decks capable of accommodating 6500 guests and 1735 crew. The ship can attain a speed of 23 knots. 

Carnival Celebration
Carnival Cruise Line / YouTube

Carnival Celebration has six zones with themed elements for guests to enjoy and relax. The top decks have the ‘Ultimate Playground’ zone, famous for its roller coaster called Bolt. Close to it are the water park and the sports centre. Another zone called the Gateway has a bar and a lounge. 

The cruise ship offers many wellness facilities. For instance, fitness enthusiasts can spend time in the gym, the jogging track or the mini golf area. Those wanting to relax can go to the Cloud 9 Spa. Refreshing drinks can be enjoyed at the RedFrog Tiki Bar, the Havana Bar, or Seuss of Sea. 

20. MSC Bellissima

MSC Bellissima is a cruise ship operated by MSC Cruises. She was built at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France. She has a gross tonnage of 171,598 tonnes and can accommodate 4500 guests. 

She debuted in 2019 and gained a lot of popularity. The cruise ship has 2,244 cabins and 1418 balconies. She measures 315.83 m lengthwise and has a width of 43 m. 

MSC Bellissima
MSC Cruises Official / YouTube

The central attraction of the ship is Galleria Bellissima, a 96 m-long promenade with boutiques, shopping areas, dining spaces, restaurants, etc. At night, it becomes lively with music, parties and entertainment. The ship’s London Theatre invites guests to see international artists performing top-notch shows. The ship has an imperial casino, a bowling alley and an arcade.

Among the cruise ship’s many amazing features is the virtual assistant ‘Zoe’, a voice-enabled AI Device fitted in all cabins to assist guests. Also, this is the first virtual assistant featured on a cruise ship.

21. MSC Seashore

MSC Seashore is an EVO-class cruise ship of MSC Cruises. It was built at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. In 2021, she emerged as the lead ship of her class, a sub-class of Seaside-class ships with larger dimensions. 

MSC Seashore is bigger than her sister ships. She is 74 m tall, 339 m long and 41 m wide. She has a gross tonnage of 170,412 tonnes and has 10,000 square metres of extra deck space.

MSC Seashore
MSC Cruises Official / YouTube

She can accommodate 4540 guests at double occupancy and 5877 at maximum capacity. The huge decks have more space for restaurants and lounges. 

The vessel has been designed to reduce atmospheric emissions and has anti-fouling paint for decreasing wave resistance on the hull. 

She is also the first cruise ship to have advanced air sanitation technology, which decreases the risk of catching viruses.

22. The Spectrum of the Seas

Operated by Royal Caribbean International, the Spectrum of the Seas was built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. Mainly operating in the East Asian region, the ship has a gross tonnage of 169,379 tonnes and became one of the biggest ships in the fleet when it was delivered.

The ship is 347 m long and 41 m broad with an 8.8 m draught. It has 2137 staterooms and a wide range of amenities for guests. These include an ultimate family suite with a slide from the kids’ bedroom to the living room, a private cinema, a karaoke hall, and a whirlpool balcony. 

The Spectrum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Singapore / YouTube

Its sky pad offers a virtual experience that allows guests to explore planets, stars and space. 

The ship has a glass capsule called the North Star, which takes people 300 ft above sea level. The ship has 2 swimming pools, 4 hot tubs and a movie screen. There are several dining options available as well.

23. NCL Encore

Operated by the Norwegian Cruise Line, the NCL Encore is a part of the Breakaway Plus Class and debuted in 2019. She is one of the largest ships in the company’s fleet, measuring 333.5 m lengthwise and 41.5 m breadthwise with a maximum draft of 9 m. 

She can accommodate 4004 people at double occupancy. The ship has 2043 staterooms and 20 decks. She has a gross tonnage of 169,116 tonnes and a deadweight of 11,700 DWT.

NCL Encore
Norwegian Cruise Line / YouTube

A wide range of activities and entertainment options are available, such as the Galaxy Pavilion and the Aqua Park, with its amazing water slides and a river. The ship also has a two-level race track for guests looking for an adventurous experience onboard. 

The ship has many dining options, and Onda by Scarpetta is quite well-known. The Observation Lounge is a favourite of most guests since it offers panoramic sea views. 

24. Anthem of the Seas

Owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International, the Anthem of the Seas is a part of the Quantum class of ships and was launched in 2015.

She measures 347 m lengthwise and 49 m breadthwise with an 8.8 m draught. She can accommodate 4,180 passengers and has 18 decks.

Anthem of the Seas

Her gross tonnage is 168,666 tonnes, and she can easily attain a speed of 22 knots. She has 18 decks and can accommodate 4905 passengers at maximum occupancy. 

The cruise ship has many dining options, including the most popular Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver and Wonderland, which offers an amazing culinary experience. Other attractions include a FlowRider surf simulator, a skydiving simulator, a solarium, a spa and a fitness centre.

The ship has many pools and hot tubs. It has a theatre where you can enjoy Broadway-style shows and a casino. 


To conclude, the world’s largest cruise ships are true marvels of engineering. They are stylish, modern and built to provide a comfortable experience for sea passengers. 

Their size is impressive, offering state-of-the-art amenities and endless entertainment options. These vessels have revolutionised the cruise ship sector and brought dreams to life.

They have something or the other for all age groups, making them perfect for a family holiday. Each cruise ship is built differently and offers a unique cruising experience. As technological innovations continue rapidly, we can expect even larger cruise ships.

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Disclaimer: The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used in the article, have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendations on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

The article or images cannot be reproduced, copied, shared or used in any form without the permission of the author and Marine Insight. 

About Author

Raunek Kantharia is a marine engineer turned maritime writer and entrepreneur. After a brief stint at the sea, he founded Marine Insight in 2010. Apart from managing Marine Insight, he also writes for a number of maritime magazines and websites.

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  1. Battery hen cages is what these ridiculous ships look like…no wonder when some one gets gastro on one of these cages thousands of people fall sick

  2. Good obsetvation but more like live cattle and sheep export ships like our Australian polititians are too gutless to stop.

  3. I took a cruise once in 2014 along the Brazilian coast in summer. NEVER AGAIN. Like being trapped in a floating shopping mall. Fatties waddle from diner to restaurant to bar in a never-ending hunt for fries and coke. Excursions are for sheep who like to be herded. “Entertainment” was better on the tv show the Love Boat then today. A quiet corner of the sip ? Forget it. Boarding and re-boarding are logistical nightmares if you imagine an airport with 5-8 jumbo jets worth of passengers all trying to board through ONE gate at the same time. Oh yeah ! Fun. NOT

  4. Sour grapes much? Can’t afford cruising so you insult the industry and those who enjoy it? Stay classy, kiddies, Come back when you can discuss like an adult.

  5. See a lot of negative comments here.
    We just came back from a Mediterranean cruise and enjoyed it. I will say that cruising has changed tremendously from years ago.
    I would definitely consider taking another one. ❤️

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