Top 10 Biggest Cruise Ships in the World

Top 10 Biggest Cruise Ships in the World

Affiliate Disclaimer

Cruise ships are getting bigger and bigger and by the time a new world’s largest cruise ship is built an even bigger ship is already being planned. Cruise Hive looks at the top ten biggest cruise ships in the world by ship size and weight, not by passenger capacity.

The list is also changing as new vessels enter service so hopefully, we’ll be able to keep up with all the new mega-ships that are currently on order. So what’s the largest cruise ship in the world right now?

It’s currently Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas and she’s set to remain number one for many years to come. There are new ships that will come near and enter into the 200,000 gross ton club such as MSC’s new World-class ships, Royal Caribbean’s own Icon-class ships and Genting’s Global-class.

List of Top 10 Biggest Cruise Ships

Take a look at the current largest cruise ships in the industry, as expected it will keep changing as newer more advanced ships are built. Here is a quick list of the top 10 largest cruise ships in the world:

  1. Symphony of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
  2. Harmony of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
  3. Allure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
  4. Oasis of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
  5. Costa Smeralda (Costa Cruises)
  6. P&O Iona (P&O Cruises)
  7. AIDAnoa (AIDA Cruises)
  8. MSC Grandiosa & Virtuosa (MSC Cruises)
  9. Mardi Gras (Carnival Cruise Line)

1. Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas in Miami
Photo Credit: EQRoy /

Symphony of the Seas is the fourth Oasis-class and 25th cruise ship from Royal Caribbean and is slightly larger than her sister ships making her the world’s biggest cruise ship.

Symphony of the Seas was built at the then named STX France shipyard and was delivered to the cruise line on March 23, 2018. The vessel departed on its first one-time special preview sailing on March 31, 2018.

The first official maiden voyage departed on April 7, 2018, on a 7-night Mediterranean voyage from Barcelona, Spain. Symphony of the Seas is based from PortMiami, Florida from November 10, 2018.

Symphony of the Seas Stats

  • Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
  • Entered Service: March 2018
  • Gross Tonnage: 228,081
  • Length: 1,188 ft
  • Passengers: 5,518
  • Crew: 2,100

2. Harmony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas
Photo: Royal Caribbean

Harmony of the Seas overtakes the other Oasis-class ships just slightly, making her the second largest cruise ship in the world. The vessel is the first of two new orders from STX France to expand the large class ships to four. Harmony of the Seas features the 10-Story Ultimate Abyss slide which is located at the aft above the AquaTheater.

Harmony of the Seas Stats

  • Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
  • Entered Service: May 2016
  • Gross Tonnage: 227,500
  • Length: 155.6 ft
  • Passengers: 5,480
  • Crew: 2,100

3. Allure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Felix Mizioznikov /

This ship is just huge and is the second in the record-breaking Oasis class for Royal Caribbean. Allure of the Seas has seven distinct neighborhood and too many dining spaces to count! The vessel is a totally different design to other large ships in the cruise industry and also boasts features like the Zipline and the AquaTheater.

Allure of the Seas Stats

  • Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
  • Entered Service: Oct 2010
  • Gross Tonnage: 225,282
  • Length: 1,187 ft
  • Passengers: 5,400
  • Crew: 2,384

4. Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas
Photo: Royal Caribbean

This is the ship that helped push the cruise industry to new heights. Oasis of the Seas was the first of its kind when it arrived at the end of 2009. The groundbreaking vessel was built at the STX shipyard in Turku, Finland. Oasis of the Seas also boasts features like the Zip-line and the AquaTheater.

Oasis of the Seas Stats

  • Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
  • Entered Service: Dec 2009
  • Gross Tonnage: 225,282
  • Length: 1,186.5 ft
  • Passengers: 5,400
  • Crew: 2,394

5. Costa Smeralda

Costa Smeralda Sea Trials
Photo: Costa Cruises

Costa Smeralda is the cruise line’s first ever cruise ship powered by Liquified Natural gas (LNG). She’s also the largest vessel ever constructed for the Italian-based cruise operator. The ship was finally delivered from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland after a delay on December 5, 2019. Her first regular voyage departed Savona on December 31, 2019 however there was a special voyage for travel agents that departed Barcelona, Spain on December 18, 2019.

Costa Smeralda Stats

  • Cruise Line: Costa Cruises
  • Entered Service: Dec 2019
  • Gross Tonnage: 185,000
  • Length: 337 Meters
  • Passengers: 6,600
  • Crew: 1,500
  • Guest Cabins: 2,600

6. P&O Iona

P&O Iona Cruise Ship
Photo Via: Meyer Werft

British-based P&O Cruises took delivery of its largest ever cruise ship and first to be powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) in October 2020. This came after delays due to the global pandemic and the impact on the shipyard. Even though Iona has been delivered she spent many months on hold as the cruise industry suspended operations including P&O Cruises. The vessel is based out of Southampton, UK and will begin sailing on August 7, 2021.

P&O Iona Stats

  • Cruise Line: P&O Cruises
  • Entered Service: 2020
  • Gross Tonnage: 184,700
  • Length: 344 Meters
  • Passengers: 5,200
  • Crew: 1,800
  • Guest Decks: 15

7. AIDAnova

LNG Aida Cruise Ship
Photo: Aida Cruises

The cruise ship which is operated by German-based Aida Cruises is the very first new generation class ordered by parent company Carnival Corporation. AIDAnova entered service in December 2018 and has taken the cruise line into a new era of cruise ship design. The ship is fully powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and built at the popular Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Sister cruise lines including Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and P&O Cruises all have similar class ships.

AIDAnova Stats

  • Cruise Line: Aida Cruises
  • Entered Service: Dec 2018
  • Gross Tonnage: 183,900
  • Length: 337 Meters
  • Passengers: 6,600
  • Crew: 1,500

8. MSC Grandiosa & MSC Virtuosa

MSC Grandiosa at Sea
Photo Via: MSC Cruises

MSC Grandiosa and MSC Virtuosa are both part of the huge Meraviglia-class making them jointly the ninth biggest cruise ships in the world.

MSC Virtuosa was delivered on February 1, 2021 and is set to begin cruising in the Mediterranean in April 2021. She features the world’s first Humanoid Robotic Bartender at Sea!

The ship is the first Meraviglia-Plus class and was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France and delivered at the end of October 2019. She was christened in Hamburg, Germany and has been sailings since November 10, 2019 excluding the 2020 industry shutdown.

MSC Grandiosa & MSC Virtuosa Stats

  • Cruise Line: MSC Cruises
  • MSC Grandiosa Entered Service: Nov 2019
  • MSC Virtuosa Entered Service: Feb 2021
  • Gross Tonnage: 181,541
  • Length: 331 Meters
  • Passengers: 6,334
  • Crew: 1,704

9. Mardi Gras

Carnival Mardi Gras Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line

Mardi Gras is the first XL-class ship in the fleet and takes Carnival Cruise Line into the LNG era. The cruise line took virtual delivery from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland in December 2020 after several delays.

She brings one of the most anticipated new features in years to the industry, the BOLT roller coaster. The first roller coaster at sea is just one of many new features included across six themed zones.

Mardi Gras will finally begin cruises on July 31, 2021 out of Carnival’s new Terminal 3 at Port Canaveral, Florida. She was originally scheduled to debut at the end of August 2020 but the pandemic hit and we know all the rest!

Mari Gras Stats

  • Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line
  • Entered Service: Dec 2020
  • Gross Tonnage: 180,800
  • Length: 1,130 Feet
  • Passengers: 5,282
  • Crew: 1,735
  • Guest Decks: 15

10. MSC Meraviglia & MSC Bellissima

MSC Meraviglia At Sea
Photo By: MSC Cruises

Both ships are identical so come in together as the sixth largest cruise ships in the world. MSC Meraviglia joined the fleet in June 2017 and is the first in the class. One of the biggest highlights on both vessels is the large LED roof display along the promenade. MSC Bellissima which arrived in 2019 also boasts the first A.I. device in the industry in every stateroom.

MSC Meraviglia & Bellissima Stats

  • Cruise Line: MSC Cruises
  • Entered Service: MSC Meraviglia – Jun 2018, MS Bellissima – Mar 2019
  • Gross Tonnage: 171,598
  • Length: 316 Meters
  • Passengers: 4,500

Thanks for reading our top ten biggest cruise ships in the world. Remember that this list will always be changing with new and larger ships already on order. It’s worth checking out New Cruise Ships On Order and Cruise Ship Refurbishments.


We'll send you weekly newsletters to your inbox with the latest cruise news and tips.


Top 10 Biggest Cruise Ships in the World
Copy link