The 10 Largest Cruise Ships in the World – (2024 Updated)

Oasis of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Queen Mary 2, NCL Encore are ships classified as the largest cruise ships in the world. Who owns them? How much do they weigh? And, most importantly, how many meters long are they? Below we give some answers.

In recent years, the cruise market has experienced enormous expansion and a very high growth rate. Companies have quadrupled, the itinerary offerings and ports of call have expanded and, with them, cruises have multiplied at an exponential rate. Increasingly larger, more equipped, more technological and modern,  today’s ocean liners are true jewels, masterpieces made in shipyards

More than a means of transportation or an instrument for leisure with which to visit different countries in the world, nowadays, ships have become destinations in themselves. Well, they are true floating amusement parks.

The 10 Largest Cruise Ships in the World

With ships sometimes larger than the Eiffel Tower or equivalent to four football fields joined together, shipping companies put all their imagination into action to compete, among themselves, in this crazy race to turn their ships into the largest cruise ships in the world.

Note: For the writing of this classification, as the main characteristic, we have followed the criterion of the length of the vessel. Passenger weight or capacity has been taken into account in a second stage, but is not the basis for our classification.

1.- Symphony of the Seas

Launched in May 2014 by  Royal Caribbean Group,  Symphony of the Seas is currently the largest cruise ship in the world. With a length of  362.15 meters  (the Empire Building measures 381 meters without the antenna), a  beam of 66 meters and a  draft of 9  meters, this ship is number 25 in the RCCL fleet. She weighs no less than  228,081 tons and can take on about 6,680 passengers and  2,384 crew members.

Symphony of the Seas is, by just a few centimeters longer than her sister ship Harmony of the Seas,  the largest cruise ship in the world.

The summary, in figures, of the Symphony of the Seas is:

  • Cruising speed of 23 knots
  • 16 covers
  • A giant 24 meter zip line
  • Two climbing walls
  • Two surf simulators
  • 11 swimming pools
  • 3 water slides
  • A bionic bar
  • More than 30,000 different plants planted on the ship
  • 300 individual menus in 23 different restaurants

It is a colossus of the seas that offers a wide range of innovative and fun experiences and activities, becoming over time the flagship for families. Among other things, on board you can compete in a laser tag, delve into the entrails of a fish on the vertiginous slide, The Abyss (the highest slide in the sea) or get a tan and have fun in the two areas of the Aquak Parks.

2.- Harmony of the Seas

It is not surprising that we find in second place the sister ship of the  Symphony of the Seas, the Harmony of the Seas.

Built by Astilleros l’Atlantique, in Saint-Nazaire (France), delivered and in service since 2016,  it is the third ship of the Oasis class.

With a length of 362 meters (two meters more than the previous Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas), and 47 meters wide, Harmony reaches a total of 226,963 T.

The summary, in figures, of Harmony of the Seas is:

  • 15 bars and lounges
  • 25 restaurants
  • 10 Jacuzzis
  • 24 elevators
  • 4 swimming pools, plus a jogging track, a basketball court, an ice rink and a tennis court.
  • 1 water pit with a depth of 5.4 meters

Harmony of the Seas can carry around  6,350 passengers and  2,100  crew members with a total of 2,700 cabins and  16 different decks. A true floating city that includes, among other things, a small central park, a shopping street, walks, attractions, shops, restaurants, swimming pools and Spa.

A ship that is much more than a means of transportation, Harmony of the Seas has become the destination, in itself, for new cruise passengers.

3. Allure of the Seas / Oasis of the Seas

A winning trio for  Royal Caribbean, as it is another ship of the company that is in third place in this ranking. The Allure of the Seas, the second ship of her class and sister ship to the previous ones. Unlike her sister ships,  Allure of the Seas was not built at the Astilleros de l’Atlantique but at the Meyer shipyards in Turku (Finland).

When it entered service for its first cruise in 2009, Allure of the Seas was considered the largest active ship in the world. In fact, this giant of the seas is  360 meters long, 72 meters high, 60.5 meters wide and weighs 225,285 tons.

The Allure of the Seas numbers are:

  • 16 bridges
  • 2,700 cabins
  • 5,400 passengers and 2,700 crew members
  • 21 pools, with jacuzzis, including two wave pools
  • 12,175 different plant varieties, including 62 vines
  • 2,700 m2 of space dedicated to young people

Like its sister ships, there is also a giant zip line, climbing walls, surf simulators, a mini-golf course, a basketball court and a tennis court.

4.- Spectrum of the Seas

Spectrum of the Seas is the first ship of the Quantum-Ultra class, a high-end upgrade of the Quantum class that began in 2016. This ship has been created and designed specifically for the Chinese market and offers packages specially developed for the Asia-Pacific region.

The Spectrum of the Seas is part of Royal Caribbean’s wide selection of ships and is included in this article for its magnificent numbers:

  • 348 meters in length
  • 41 meters high
  • Capacity for 4,900 passengers

However, Spectrum of the Seas does not weigh much compared to the previous RCCL vessels seen in this article, as it “only” weighs 169,379 tons. On the other hand, inside it it is possible to find:

  • The Skypad (a mix of trampoline and virtual reality)
  • The North Star
  • A surf simulator, the Flowrider.
  • A free fall simulator, the iFly
  • A restaurant with the colors of Alice in Wonderland
  • The largest sports complex at sea

5.- The Quantum / Anthem / Ovation of the Seas

After this post, we promise you that Royal Caribbean will no longer be in the ranking. In fifth place are the three Quantum class ships, the category immediately lower than the one mentioned above and which began, in 2014, with the launching of the Quantum of the Seas. This ship was followed by the Anthem of the Seas (2015) and then the Ovation of the Seas (2016).

With the exception of the Ovation of the Seas, which has a length of 368 meters, the three ships share exactly the same characteristics:

  • 347 meters in length
  • 41 meters beam
  • 168,066 tons
  • Cruising speed of 22 knots
  • 2090 cabins
  • A free fall simulator
  • A 9m high climbing wall
  • Seaplex
  • An inline skating rink
  • A surf simulator

The little extra on the Quantum Class ships is the company’s latest attraction: the  Record by iFly, a sensational free fall simulator. Another innovation of the Quantum Class is the ” North Star ” observation tower, located at the forward end of the upper deck. This attraction consists of a 7.1-ton glass capsule placed at the end of a 41-meter-long crane arm, which can be raised to a height of more than 91 meters. That’s the size of Big Ben!

6.- Queen Mary 2

Mythical, magnificent and historic, the Queen Mary 2 has marked history both for its construction and its characteristics. This liner chartered by the  Cunard company and built in the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, in Saint-Nazaire (France), entered service in 2004. Regularly sailing between Southampton and New York, the Queen Mary 2 is a  high-end ship, famous as much for its prestigious image as for its refined decoration and impressive technical specifications. That is to say:

  • 345 meters in length
  • 41 meters beam
  • Cruising speed of 29.3 knots
  • 17 bridges
  • Capacity for 2,691 passengers

Despite her impressive length, which competes with the largest ships in the RCCL, the Queen Mary 2 is a very small ship, weighing only 76,000 tons, making her, from a technical point of view, one of the ships Less large. On board you can find around  300 works of art, representing around 4.4 million euros, around twenty restaurants and an open-air cinema. As a feature, she has a kennel and a veterinarian since the Queen Mary 2 is the only ship that accepts pets! The dogs and cats staying will feel like kings and will be true protagonists on the outer decks of the liner.

7.- Disney Dream / Fantasy

“Disney Dream”, just its name makes us dream, travel and remember the famous big-eared mouse. After entering the film industry and, later, the entertainment industry, with the opening of its first amusement park in Florida,  Disney rushed to address a sector with a future: cruise ships. With a fleet of four ships (soon to be five), we will focus especially on the  Disney Dream and the  Disney Fantasy, as they are the two ships of this company with the necessary characteristics to enter the ranking of the most cruise ships. big. With a length of 339.8 meters and a beam of 37 meters, the Disney Dream has:

  • Capacity for 4,000 passengers and 1,250 crew
  • A weight of 129,690 T
  • Seven restaurants and 18 bars
  • A theater/cinema that sometimes broadcasts firsts from the Disney factory
  • An open-air cinema, where Disney movies are constantly shown

With ships ideal for both children and adults,  Disney Cruise Line manages to adapt to all passengers, matching all offers. 

8.- AIDA Nova

The  AIDA Nova is the first cruise ship of the German group  AIDA Cruises, a subsidiary of Costa Cruises and part of the Carnival group. Built in 2017 at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Pepenburg (Germany), and inaugurated in 2018, the AIDA Nova is the first ship to run on LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)  and the largest ship put into service in Germany.

The AIDA Nova,  337 meters long, 42 meters wide and 69 meters high, has more than  2,600 cabins that can accommodate approximately  6,600 passengers. Weighing  183,858  tons, this ship can reach a speed of  17 knots  (31.5 km/h) and is, therefore, one of the largest ships in the world.

The AIDA Nova is the first boat to receive the “Ange Blue” label for its ecological design. Following AIDA Nova, Carnival Corporation has ordered 10 new generation “green” cruise ships that, with delivery dates between 2019 and 2025, will be fueled by LNG, both in port and at sea.

9.- Costa Smeralda

Costa Cruises does not stand out for the large size of its large ships, however, with its latest addition, the Costa Smeralda, the shipping company deserves to be at the top of this ranking. At  337 meters long 42 meters wide and with a  gross weight of 182,700  tons, the Costa Smeralda is one of the heaviest (or “largest” cruise ships in the world) and the eighth longest. In addition, the Costa Smeralda has a very special feature, since it is the first ship with an LNG engine from the Italian company. This makes her one of the cleanest boats in the world.

With its 2,612 cabins, the Costa Smeralda can transport more than  6,600 passengers and  1,682  crew members. Built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Turku (Finland), this ship is therefore the largest ship in the Italian fleet. The ship is composed, among other things, of:

  • 11 restaurants
  • 19 bars and lounges
  • a spa
  • It also includes a museum called  Costa Design Museum, which takes a tour of the company’s history over the years.

10.- Norwegian Encore

Part of the  Breakaway Plus class,  Norwegian Encore is the largest ship in NCL’s fleet to date. No doubt, for good reason, her numbers are:

  • 333.5 meters in length
  • 48 meters high
  • 41 meters beam
  • 167,800 tons
  • 2174 cabins
  • Capacity for 3,998 passengers and 2,100 crew members

While Norwegian Encore is ranked tenth in the world’s largest cruise ship ranking, it holds the gold medal for the longest karting track at sea. With a length of 333 meters, the  Speedway Encore is a thrilling attraction for young and old. In addition, it is worthy of being in this ranking thanks, among other things, to its impressive virtual reality area of ​​1,000 square meters, its 10 specialty restaurants, its water slides and the outdoor laser game.

For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest ship, we invite you to read the detailed tour article.

Read Also: The 10 Best Travel Agencies In The United States

Bonus: the “largest” cruise ships in the world

To conclude this classification, we will dedicate this last part to the “largest” ocean liners in the world. In other words, instead of relying on the length of the boat now, for ranking, we rely on the weight (tonnage) of the boat. This is how it would look:

1.- Symphony of the Seas (228 081 T)

2.- Harmony of the Seas (226,963 T)

3.- Oasis of the Seas (226,838 T)

4.- Allure of the Seas (225,282 T)

5.- Costa Smeralda (185,010 T)

6.- AIDA Nova (183,858 T)

7.- MSC Grandiosa (181,541 T)

8.- MSC Meraviglia and Bellissima (171,598 T)

9.- Spectrum of the Seas (169,379 T)

10.- Norwegian Encore (169,116 T)

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