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 gross tons.

The list constantly changes as new mega-ships from different cruise lines enter service. So, what’s the largest cruise ship in the world right now?

Since being delivered from the shipyard to the cruise line in November 2023, Icon of the Seas overtook Wonder of the Seas as the world’s largest cruise ship. The new-class Icon of the Seas is an impressive 250,800 gross tons and can hold 5,610 passengers at double occupancy. The giant ship that Meyer Turku built in Finland can also hold 2,350 crew members. and is 1,198 feet long.

The crown of the world’s biggest cruise ship previously went to Wonder of the Seas, an Oasis-class vessel operated by Royal Caribbean. The ship is similar in design to her sister ships but adds some additional features and evolves the class. Wonder of the Seas is a massive 236,857 gross tons with a guest capacity of 5,734 at double occupancy. You can check the current top biggest cruise ships in the list below.

On November 27, 2023, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas was officially delivered from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland to Royal Caribbean. This means that the cruise line takes over responsibility for the giant ship, and the vessel officially becomes a part of the fleet. It now means that Icon of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship, overtaking Wonder of the Seas, which is also operated by the same cruise line.

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas (Photo Credit: Jouni Niskakoski)

Icon of the Seas is the first in its class and is powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). The massive ship brings loads of new innovations and features to the industry across its eight neighborhoods, including six record-breaking slides, the first swim-up bar at sea, the first suspended infinity pool, a suite sun deck, a breathtaking AquaDome venue, a three-level Ultimate Family Townhouse, and more than 40 ways to dine and drink.

Icon of the Seas Stats

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Entered Service: January 2024
Gross Tonnage: 250,800
Length: 1,198 ft
Passenger Decks: 18
Staterooms: 2,805
Passenger Capacity: 5,610
Crew Capacity: 2,350

Wonder of the Seas, the fifth Oasis-class vessel, took the world’s largest cruise ship title from her sister Symphony of the Seas in 2022. However, since the arrival of the much-anticipated new-class Icon of the Seas, the vessel has now lost that crown. The ship was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France, and delivered to the cruise line on January 27, 2022.

Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Just like her sister ships, Wonder of the Seas is divided into themed neighborhoods, but this ship has the addition of a new Suite Neighborhood. The eighth neighborhood offers Royal Suite Guest a Suite Sun Deck with a plunge pool, private restaurant, deck bar, and lounges. The area also has the largest Ultimate Family Suite.

Worth Reading: Wonder of the Seas vs. Titanic – A Giant Comparison

Other new features include a new southern restaurant named the Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar, Wonder Playscape, and The Vue Bar. The world’s largest cruise ship departs on her maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on March 4, 2022.

Wonder of the Seas Stats

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Entered Service: March 2022
Gross Tonnage: 236,857
Length: 1,188 ft
Passenger Decks: 16
Staterooms: 2,867
Passenger Capacity: 5,734
Crew Capacity: 2,300

Symphony of the Seas is the fourth Oasis-class and 25th cruise ship from Royal Caribbean. It is slightly larger than her sister ships that were built earlier, making her the third largest cruise ship.

Photo Credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

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 has been based in PortMiami, Florida since 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

Harmony of the Seas overtakes its older Oasis-class ships just slightly, making her the fourth-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.

Photo: Royal Caribbean

Harmony of the Seas was the first in the class to feature the 10-Story Ultimate Abyss slide, which is located aft of the ship above the AquaTheater. The slide has since been a major feature on new Oasis-class vessels and added during refurbishments.

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

This is the ship that helped push the cruise industry to new heights. Oasis of the Seas was the first of its kind when she 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.

In 2019, The Royal Caribbean cruise ship underwent a massive $165 million upgrade, which did not just add new water slides, but also The Ultimate Abyss aft slide, new dining venues, and a refreshed look. The amplification increased the ship’s gross tonnage, and she now overtakes sister ship Allure of the Seas in the list of the world’s top 10 largest cruise ships.

Oasis of the Seas Stats

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Entered Service: Dec 2009
Gross Tonnage: 226,838
Length: 1,186.5 ft
Passengers: 5,400
Crew: 2,394

This ship is huge and the second in the record-breaking Oasis class for Royal Caribbean. Allure of the Seas has seven distinct neighborhoods and too many dining spaces to count!

Photo Via: Royal Caribbean

The vessel is different from other large ships in the cruise industry and 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

This is the first world-class vessel from the fast-growing MSC Cruises and was built at the popular Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France. Since her delivery in October 2022, she has been the largest MSC cruise ship ever. That will be until the sister ship MSC World America arrives in 2025.

Photo Courtesy: MSC Cruises

MSC World Europa is the second largest cruise ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and takes the cruise line into a new era of sustainability, which it’s taking very seriously. The 7th world’s biggest cruise ship features more than 30 different dining venues and a new thrilling 250-foot Drop slide located aft of the ship.

MSC World Europa Stats

Cruise Line: MSC Cruises
Entered Service: 2022
Gross Tonnage: 215,863
Length: 1,094 ft
Passenger Capacity: 6,762
Crew Capacity: 2,138

Arvia is the second Excel class cruise ship for British-based P&O Cruises. The vessel is slightly larger than its sister ship Iona and was constructed at the popular Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. She is currently the largest in the P&O fleet and is the largest ever constructed vessel purposely for the British market.

Photo Courtesy: P&O Cruises / James Robinson for Christopher Ison

Arvia Stats

Cruise Line: P&O Cruises
Entered Service: 2022
Gross Tonnage: 184,700
Length: 1,130 ft
Passenger Capacity: 5,200
Crew Capacity 1,800

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.

Photo Credit: maudanros / Shutterstock.com

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

Costa Toscana is the second Excel class vessel built for Carnival-owned Costa Cruises. The LNG-powered cruise ship is the flagship of the fleet and was constructed at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. She’s almost identical to the Costa Smeralda, including gross tonnage and size. The only reason she is lower than her sister ship in the largest cruise ships in the world is that she entered service in 2021.

Costa Toscana Stats

Cruise Line: Costa Cruises
Entered Service: 2021
Gross Tonnage: 185,010
Length: 1,106 ft
Passenger Capacity: 5,224
Crew Capacity: 1,678

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 Meyer Werft shipyard in Papengburg, Germany, which is where the vessel was constructed.

Photo Via: Meyer Werft

P&O Iona Stats

Cruise Line: P&O Cruises
Entered Service: 2020
Gross Tonnage: 184,089
Length: 344 Meters
Passengers: 5,200
Crew: 1,800
Guest Decks: 15

What is the largest cruise ship in the world?

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas became the new world’s largest cruise ship when she was delivered to the cruise line in November 2023, at a massive 250,800 gross tons and a length of 1,198 feet. The LNG-powered vessel will also have a guest capacity of 5,610 at double occupancy, which can reach a maximum of 7,600. There will be a capacity for 2,350 crew members.

What was the previouslt largest cruise ship in the world?

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas was previously the world’s largest cruise ship in most of 2023. The Oasis class vessel is 236,857 gross tons and has a passenger capacity of 5,734 at double occupancy, but that goes up to 7,084 at maximum capacity. The giant cruise ship also has a crew capacity of 2,204, and there are a total of 18 decks.

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