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Top 10 List of World’s Largest Cruise Ships [2021]

Largest Cruise Ships

Cruise ships are luxurious large passenger ships designed to provide holidays and vacationing afloat. The ships are designed as a hotel accommodation fitted inside a ship, where public spaces and leisure areas demand larger space. The cruise ship operates with the usual ship’s crew to operate the ship’s various machinery and equipment and navigate the ship. Besides, complete hospitality staff to service the guests and visitors.

 

The Mega Cruise Ships do not only provide spacious public spaces and leisure areas but feature amenities such as fine-dining restaurants, sports facilities, fitness centers, spas, simulators, onboard zip lining and rock climbing, snow room, amusement park, casinos, theaters, and much more. Cruise ship passengers typically embark on round-trip voyages to various ports where they may go on tours on each port-of-call; these tours are known as “Shore Excursions.”

 

Cruise ship size and capacity development

 

Cruise ships are ranked as the largest ships in the world by gross tonnage (GT), more significant than many cargo ships. These ships are designed and built to carry thousands of passengers on a single trip. In the last two decades, the cruise ships grew in length from 268 m, the longest ship at that time to 362 m as of today, doubled their widths from 32.2 m to 65.7 m, doubled the total passengers from 2,744 to 6,780, and tripled in volume from 73,000 GT to 228,000 GT. The world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, has a gross tonnage of 228,081, is 361 meters long, 65.7 meters wide, and holds up to 6,680 passengers.

 

List of the 10 largest cruise ships

 

The following is a list of the ten largest cruise ships worldwide, ranked in order of their gross tonnage.

 

Cruise Ship List

 

 

1. Symphony of the Seas

 

Symphony Of The Seas

 

Symphony of the Seas was built in 2018 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France; the ship is owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. Symphony of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage at 228,081 GT.

 

The ship features various facilities and amenities, including a park, a zip line that is ten decks high, an indoor theater with 1400-seat, an outdoor aquatic theater, a children’s water park, an ice-skating rink, 13 m rock-climbing walls, and a full-size basketball court.

 

Symphony of the Seas is powered by six marine-diesel generating sets, three 16-cylinder engines (Wärtsilä 16V46D) and three 12-cylinder engines (Wärtsilä 12V46D). The ship is fitted with a 2 MW steam turbine to recover waste heat from the engines and converting it into energy to power a portion of the onboard hotel load. The ship uses three Azipod thrusters, which are electric. In addition to the three Azipod thrusters, there are four bow thrusters used for ship maneuvering, each with 5,500 kilowatts of power or 7,380 horsepower.

 

Symphony of the Seas uses 25% less fuel compared with her similar class ships due to the implementation air bubble system that releases tiny air bubbles under the hull to enable the vessel to glide more smoothly through the water and reduces excitation from the propellers, which cuts noise and vibration levels in the aft part of the ship.

 

Ship particulars

Capacity: 6,680 passengers.
Length: 361 meters.
Beam (Width): 65.7 meters.
Built: 2018.
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International.

 

2. Harmony of the Seas

 

Harmony of the Seas

 

Harmony of the Seas was built in 2016 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France; the ship is owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. Harmony of the Seas is the second-largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage at 226,963 GT.

 

The ship features various facilities and amenities, including a central park, boardwalk, several water-based attractions, including a large dry slide complex, two surf simulators, and 23 swimming pools, 20 dining venues, a 1,400-seat theatre, and 11,252 works of art.

 

Harmony of the Seas uses a waste heat recovery system utilizing steam turbines and drives three Azipod propellers from the recovered energy. Harmony of the Seas uses 20% less fuel compared with her similar class ships due to the implementation air bubble system that releases small air bubbles under the hull to reduce drag and glide more smoothly through the water and reduces excitation from the propellers, which cuts noise and vibration levels in the aft part of the ship.

 

Ship particulars

Capacity: 6,687 passengers.
Length: 362.1 meters.
Beam (Width): 65.7 meters.
Built: 2016.
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International.

 

3. Oasis of the Seas

 

Oasis of the Seas

 

Oasis of the Seas was built in 2009 by STX Europe Turku Shipyard, Finland; the ship is owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. Oasis of the Seas, at the time of construction, set a new capacity record of carrying over 6,000 passengers. Oasis of the Sea’s gross tonnage (GT) was 225,282 at the ship’s launch, but it was expanded to 226,838 GT when additional cabins were added to Deck 14 in 2019.

 

The ship features various facilities and amenities, including a zip-line, an ice-skating rink, a surf simulator, an aquatic amphitheater, a moving bar, a casino, a miniature golf course, multiple nightclubs, several bars and lounges, a karaoke club, comedy club, five swimming pools, volleyball and basketball courts, youth zones, and nurseries for children.

 

Oasis of the Seas is powered by six marine-diesel generating sets, three 16-cylinder engines (Wärtsilä 16V46D) and three 12-cylinder engines (Wärtsilä 12V46D). The ship is fitted with additional power that comes from solar panels, which provide energy for lighting in the promenade and central park areas. The ship uses three Azipod thrusters, which are electric. In addition to the three Azipod thrusters, there are four bow thrusters used for ship maneuvering, each with 5,500 kilowatts of power or 7,380 horsepower.

 

Ship particulars

Capacity: 6,780 passengers.
Built: 2009.
Length: 360 meters.
Beam (Width): 60.5 meters.
Royal Caribbean International.

 

4. Allure of the Seas

 

Allure of the Seas

 

Allure of the Seas was built in 2009 by STX Europe Turku Shipyard, Finland; the ship is owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. Upon her launch in November 2009, she became the world’s largest passenger ship. The gross tonnage of Allure of the Seas is 225,282, and her displacement is equal to that of Oasis of the Seas, which is estimated to be around 100,000 metric tons.

 

The ship features various facilities and amenities, including a two-deck dance hall, a theatre with 1,380 seats, an ice skating rink, seven distinct “neighborhoods,” and 25 dining options, including a Starbucks coffee shop at sea.

 

Ship particulars

Capacity: 6,780 passengers.
Length: 360 meters.
Beam (Width): 60.5 meters.
Built: 2010.
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International.

 

5. Costa Smeralda

 

Costa Smeralda

 

Costa Smeralda was built in 2019 by Meyer Turku Oy Shipyard, Finland; the ship is owned and operated by Costa Cruises, a Carnival Corporation & plc subsidiary. Costa Smeralda is the largest ship commissioned for and to ever operate for Costa and is the fifth-largest cruise ship globally, with a gross tonnage of 185,010 (GT).

 

Costa Smeralda is the second cruise ship in the world to be fully powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), after sister brand AIDA Cruises became the first in 2018. The ship is fitted with four 16-cylinder dual-fuel hybrid engines (MaK 16VM46DF Model).

 

Ship particulars

Capacity: 6,554 passengers.
Length: 337 meters.
Beam (Width): 42 meters.
Built: 2019.
Cruise Line: Costa Cruises.

 

6. MS Iona

 

IONA

 

MS Iona was built in 2020 by Meyer Werft GmbH shipyards, Germany; the ship is owned and operated by P&O Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc. MS Iona is the sixth-largest cruise ship globally, with a gross tonnage of 184,089 (GT).

 

The ship features various facilities and amenities, including 17 different eateries, including eight restaurants designated as ‘select dining,’ and 12 different bars, 16 whirlpools, and four swimming pools, an entertainment venue topped by a 105-ton, 340-pane, 970-square-meter glass dome with a retractable stage for shows, and a three-deck atrium flanked by triple-deck glass panels projecting outwards.

 

Ship particulars

Capacity: 6,600 passengers.
Length: 334.5 meters.
Beam (Width): 42 meters.
Built: 2020.
Cruise Line: P&O Cruises.

 

7. AIDAnova

 

AIDAnova

 

AIDAnova was built in 2018 by Meyer Werft GmbH in Papenburg, Germany; the ship is owned and operated by AIDA Cruises. AIDAnova is the seventh-largest cruise ship globally, with a gross tonnage of 183,858 (GT).

 

AIDAnova is the first cruise ship in the world that operates completely using liquefied natural gas (LNG); the ship has four dual-fuel hybrid engines, which can use either LNG or traditional fuel oil.

 

Ship particulars

Capacity: 6,654 passengers.
Length: 337 meters.
Beam (Width): 42 meters.
Built: 2018.
Cruise Line: AIDA Cruises.

 

8. Mardi Gras

 

Mardi Gras

 

Mardi Gras was built in 2020 by Meyer Turku Oy Shipyard, Finland; the ship is owned and operated by Carnival Cruise Line. Mardi Gras is the world’s eighth-largest cruise ship, with a gross tonnage of 181,808 (GT).

 

The ship features various facilities and amenities, including six zones incorporating themed elements and spaces that host activities and events and also house various dining and shopping outlets, an “Ultimate Playground” zone, the world’s first shipboard roller coaster, self-propelled cars that ride on an 800-foot track, an extensive water park, and sports center.

 

Ship particulars

Capacity: 6,630 passengers.
Length: 344 meters.
Beam (Width): 42 meters.
Built: 2020.
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line.

 

9. MSC Grandiosa

 

MSC GRANDIOSA

 

MSC Grandiosa was built in 2019 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France; the ship is owned and operated by MSC Cruises. MSC Grandiosa is the ninth-largest cruise ship globally, with a gross tonnage of 181,541 (GT).

 

Ship particulars

Capacity: 6,761 passengers.
Length: 331.4 meters.
Beam (Width): 43 meters.
Built: 2019.
Cruise Line: MSC Cruises.

 

10. MSC Virtuosa

 

MSC Virtuosa

 

MSC Virtuosa was built in 2021 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France; the ship is owned and operated by MSC Cruises. MSC Virtuosa is the tenth-largest cruise ship globally, with a gross tonnage of 181,541 (GT).

 

Ship particulars

Capacity: 6,334 passengers.
Length: 331.4 meters.
Beam (Width): 50 meters.
Built: 2020.
Cruise Line: MSC Cruises.

 

 

Related Article: Top 10 List of World’s Largest Container Ships.

 

Images Credits: Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

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