Top 10 Largest Cruise Ships in 2023
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. complete halt of the cruise business. However, cruise shipping companies are doing everything possible to sustain these challenging times. The industry is expected to return soon with some of the largest and most technologically advanced cruise ships in 2023 as well.
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 we have a list of the world’s largest cruise ships, ranked in their gross tonnage and passenger capacity in 2023.
Related Read: How Are Cruise Ships Powered?
1. Wonder of the Seas
The Wonder of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship and weighs 236,857 Gross tonnes. It is owned by Royal Caribbean International and was delivered in January 2022. The 1,188 feet 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 is equipped with four bow thrusters, with 7500 Horsepower each. This ship can reach cruising speeds up to 22 knots.
The Wonder of the Seas is built differently than her sister vessels boasting brand few amenities such as a suite-neighbourhood, fully redesigned pool decks, and even an all-new Aquatheatre.
2. Symphony Of the Seas
The Symphony of the Seas is the second-largest cruise ship in the world. She held the top spot until she was beaten by her sister ship, “Wonder of the Sea”. The giant cruise ship has 228,081 gross registered tons, measures 238 feet tall and spans 361.011 meters long.
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 second biggest cruise ship was delivered in April 2018.
3. 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.
With a gross tonnage of 226,963 GT, Harmony of the Seas has a maximum beam of 66m. Featuring 2,747 staterooms with virtual balconies, this biggest vessel 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, among others.
Watch: Harmony of The Seas Welcomed By Sister Ships
4. Allure of the Seas
Another 362m-long Oasis-class cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, stands fourth 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. 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.
The vessel also has 25 dining options, including the first Starbucks coffee shop at sea. 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.
5. 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. It is the fifth-largest cruise ship in the world. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines hold all top 5 spots.
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.
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 from two-story loft suites and luxury suites with balconies for its guests.
Introduced many amenities in the industry, Oasis of the Seas 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 lists of sports amenities include five swimming pools and volleyball and basketball courts.
6. 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 in length and 42 m in width. It can carry a maximum of 6554 passengers and 1646 crew members.
She set out on her maiden voyage in December 2019 and currently 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.
7. 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.
Lona is the largest cruise ship built to sail for any U.K based cruise line and is the seventh largest in the world. 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.
8. 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). It is currently the 8th largest ship in the world.
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 so-called Helios class that MEYER WERFT builds for the cruise line AIDA CRUISES.
Following AIDA Nova, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 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.
9. 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.
MSC cruises operate 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.
10. Carnival Mardi Grass
Mardi Grass is a 180,000 Gross Tonnage LNG-powered cruise ship operated by the world’s largest cruise ship operator – Carnival Cruise Lines and is currently the 10th largest cruise ship in the world.
Built by Meuer Turku Shipyard amid the pandemic, it was delivered in December 2020.
The ship incorporates a pandemic-proofing plan with a state-of-the-art medical centre for testing and caring for passengers in need. It will carry 1745 officers and crew, serving 6630 passengers on board.
Mardi Grass is a tribute to the first-ever cruise ship of the company, TSS Mardi Gras, which was launched in 1972.
11. 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.
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 to the sea some of the latest advances in customer-centric technology, digital innovations and new guest experiences.
In addition to this industry-wide recognition, the ship is also awarded for its state-of-the-art Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental (QHSE) management.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the largest cruise ship in the world?
The oasis-class Wonder of the Seas is the world’s biggest cruise ship. It is owned by Royal Caribbean International. Delivered in January 2022, it is 1,188 feet long and started operations in March 2022. It can accommodate 6,988 passengers and 2,300 crew members. It has four bow thrusters, with 7500 Horsepower each. It can attain a cruising speed of up to 22 knots.
2. How much does it cost to stay on the symphony of the seas?
The price depends on the season and also demand. However, it costs about 45,000 to 80,000 US Dollars a week. It can vary depending on the suite you choose and the additional facilities you avail.
3. What is the carrying capacity of the Allure of the Seas?
The passenger cruise can carry around 6780 passengers and 2100 crew members and staff. It has 2703 cabins, divided into 43 category types.
4. Is the Oasis of the Seas sailing?
After undergoing repairs, the cruise ship returned to service on 5th September 2021. It sailed several itineraries from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, before returning to its home port from port Miami. In 2022, it is plying on many western and eastern Caribbean routes.
5. What happened to the Harmony of the Seas?
In May 2022, the cruise ship crashed into a dock in Jamaica and suffered damages. It had left Port Canaveral and went to the Bahamas before leaving for Jamaica, where it hit a dock.
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An ardent sailor and a techie, Anish Wankhede has voyaged on a number of ships as a marine engineer officer. He loves multitasking, networking, and troubleshooting. He is the one behind the unique creativity and aesthetics at Marine Insight.
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
Good obsetvation but more like live cattle and sheep export ships like our Australian polititians are too gutless to stop.
all of the ships look almost exactly the same.
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
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.
all of the ships look almost exactly the same.
These ships look big and amazing.
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. ❤️