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The 21 largest cruise ships in the world.

Book your next cruise vacation on one of these floating megaresorts.

The Largest Cruise Ships in the World

Aerial of Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas.

Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

With every year comes bigger and grander cruise ships.

Just when you think cruise ships can't get any larger, a major cruise line unveils yet another longer, taller and grander state-of-the-art vessel – with the capacity to carry the population of a small town. To put the size of today's megaships into perspective: They often stretch three times longer than a 120-yard football field, and some feature nearly two dozen decks or measure more than 215 feet wide.

So, if you're looking for a vacation aboard a large-scale vessel, consider booking a voyage on one of the biggest cruise ships in the world. With cutting-edge technology and entertainment, world-class dining, and endless attractions and activities for cruisers of all ages, you may not even want to leave the ship. Here are the biggest cruise ships, arranged by gross tonnage.

  • 1. Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas
  • 2. Royal Caribbean Utopia of the Seas
  • 3. Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas
  • 4. Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas
  • 5. Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas
  • 6. Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas
  • 7. Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas
  • 8. MSC World Europa
  • 9. Costa Smeralda
  • 10. Costa Toscana
  • 11. P&O Cruises Arvia
  • 12. AIDAcosma
  • 13. P&O Cruises Iona
  • 14. AIDAnova
  • 15. Carnival Jubilee
  • 16. Carnival Celebration
  • 17. MSC Euribia
  • 18. MSC Virtuosa
  • 19. Carnival Mardi Gras
  • 20. MSC Meraviglia
  • 21. Norwegian Encore

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Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas

Thrill Island water park on Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas

Length: 1,198 feet

Width: 213 feet

Gross tons: 250,800

Maximum number of passengers: 7,600

Icon of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship afloat when it debuts in January 2024. The next-level megaship is Royal Caribbean 's first Icon-class vessel and the first of three ships powered by liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which is considered a more sustainable alternative to other fuel options. The ship will have 2,805 staterooms and carry up to 2,350 crew. There's no end to the fun with eight unique neighborhoods, including the new Surfside: a stay-all-day space designed specifically for families.

Other features on the ship include seven pools, nine whirlpools and six record-breaking waterslides. There are also more than 20 new dining venues, such as the swanky Empire Supper Club, which features an eight-course tasting menu; the AquaDome Market, the line's first food hall; and sushi restaurant Izumi in the Park. Cruisers will also find other international cuisine, including Japanese, Mexican and Italian fare, as well as The Lemon Post, the Surfside Eatery and Pier 7 in the Surfside neighborhood.

Read: The Newest Royal Caribbean Ships

Royal Caribbean Utopia of the Seas

The Ultimate Abyss slide on Royal Caribbean's Utopia of the Seas.

Length: 1,188 feet

Width: 211 feet

Gross tons: 236,860

Maximum passengers: 6,788

Royal Caribbean's first LNG-powered Oasis-class ship will sail its debut voyage in July 2024. The new ship will have 2,834 staterooms and up to 2,290 crew members, as well as eight neighborhoods to keep passengers entertained. Ten complimentary dining venues include the line's new food truck concept, The Spare Tire, which serves up handheld eats on the pool deck. The ship will also feature sloping beach-entry and resort-style pools, plus three Lime & Coconut bars on the outdoor deck.

In total, there are more than 40 dining options, bars and lounges on Utopia of the Seas. Many of Royal Caribbean's specialty dining and bar favorites are returning, such as Chops Grille, Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Rising Tide Bar and Vue Bar. Guests will also find familiar entertainment offerings with rock climbing walls, the AquaTheater, Splashaway Bay, laser tag, mini-golf, the Sports Court, Studio B and much more. With two casinos, five pools and a visit to private island Perfect Day at CocoCay, you'll never run out of things to do.

Read: The Top New Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas

Side of Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas at sea.

Michel Verdure | Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Gross tons: 235,600

Maximum passengers: 7,084

Royal Caribbean's current largest ship at sea, Wonder of the Seas , first set sail in March 2022. The Oasis-class vessel has 2,867 staterooms and carries as many as 2,204 crew members. While you may get lost on this ship, you'll never be bored. Features include eight unique neighborhoods – such as Central Park, the Boardwalk, and the new Suite Class neighborhood, an exclusive space for suite guests.

Take advantage of the AquaTheater, an outdoor live entertainment venue with a 30-foot diving platform and incredible ocean views. Wonder Playscape is an underwater-themed outdoor space for kids filled with slides, climbing walls, games and more. You can also enjoy a few of Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class favorites, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, the rock climbing wall or laser tag at the Battle for Planet Z. If you dare, head into the Ultimate Abyss: Billed as the tallest waterslide at sea, it towers 150 feet above sea level and features an exhilarating 13-second ride through 10 stories of dark, winding tunnels.

When hunger strikes, dine at your pick of more than 20 complimentary and specialty restaurants, including the new Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar. If you're craving a cold beer, a cocktail or a cup of Starbucks coffee, you'll have roughly a dozen bars and lounges at your disposal.

Read:  The Top Party Cruises

Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas

Aerial of Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas.

Width: 215.5 feet

Gross tons: 228,081

Maximum passengers: 6,680

Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas , another Oasis-class ship, debuted in April 2018. This ship features 2,759 passenger staterooms and accommodates 2,200 crew members. There are seven distinct neighborhoods, four pools, roughly 20 restaurants (about half of which are specialty venues), and about a dozen bars and lounges. The ship even boasts two robotic bartenders that whip up drinks at the Bionic Bar.

Adults can enjoy Broadway-style shows in the onboard theaters and major international sports games at Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade. Meanwhile, kids can cool down at the Splashaway Bay water park, soar on a zip line nine decks high through the Boardwalk neighborhood, try out rock climbing or attend a show at the AquaTheater.

Read:  Royal Caribbean vs. Carnival

Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas

Aerial of Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas.

Gross tons: 226,963

Maximum passengers: 6,687

Another Oasis-class ship, Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas has been sailing since May 2016. The vessel features 2,747 staterooms and up to 2,200 crew members. Cruisers have plenty of places to dine thanks to eight complimentary venues – including the main dining room and Windjammer Marketplace, a globally inspired buffet – as well as nine specialty restaurants serving everything from burgers and shakes to Italian fare. The Boardwalk, one of the ship's seven neighborhoods, is a favorite spot for cruisers; it contains casual eateries, retail shops and carnival games.

Harmony of the Seas also has Splashaway Bay, the Ultimate Abyss waterslide and a trio of slides called The Perfect Storm. In the evening, don't miss a pre-dinner cocktail at the Rising Tide Bar, which offers a ride between the Central Park neighborhood and the Royal Promenade with dazzling skylight views. Sit back and sip your drink while the entire bar slowly floats between the decks.

Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas

Central Park neighborhood on Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas.

Simon Brooke | Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Length: 1,187 feet

Width: 215 feet

Gross tons: 226,838

Maximum passengers: 6,771

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was the largest cruise ship in the world when it was launched in 2009. The line's debut Oasis-class ship is nearly five times bigger than the Titanic by gross tonnage; it has 2,801 staterooms and carries 2,109 crew members.

Oasis of the Seas was reimagined in 2019, with many added amenities that are on newer Oasis-class ships, such as FlowRider simulators, the Perfect Storm waterslides, the Ultimate Abyss and Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade. Across the ship's seven distinct neighborhoods, you'll also find state-of-the-art technology such as VOOM, billed as the fastest internet connection on the high seas – plus exciting live performances and theater productions, laser tag, escape rooms and more.

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas leaving Fort Lauderdale.

Gross tons: 225,282

Maximum passengers: 6,826

Embarking for the first time in 2010, Allure of the Seas was Royal Caribbean's second Oasis-class vessel. The ship underwent a refurbishment in 2015. Allure of the Seas has 2,748 staterooms and 2,054 crew. Onboard highlights include seven neighborhoods, four pools, and several whirlpools and hot tubs, plus more than 20 dining venues and too many bars and lounges to count.

There are also plenty of entertainment options for guests of all ages, including an ice skating rink, the Sports Court, a nine-deck-high zip line, two rock climbing walls and two FlowRider simulators (a Royal Caribbean favorite). Kids will especially enjoy the interactive H2O Zone Water Park. Adults on this ship will appreciate Broadway productions like "Mamma Mia!," aerial acrobatic performances in Oceanaria (an original AquaTheater production) and '70s disco dance parties. If you find yourself on board for business reasons, rest assured that the ship's conference facilities can host as many as 1,394 guests.

Find a Royal Caribbean cruise on GoToSea.

MSC World Europa

Zen Pool on MSC World Europa.

Courtesy of MSC Cruises

Length: 1,093 feet

Width: 154 feet

Gross tons: 215,863

Maximum passengers: 6,762

MSC World Europa was one of the most anticipated new cruise ships when it launched in December 2022 as the first vessel in the line's MSC World-class fleet. It's also the first LNG-propelled ship by MSC Cruises , reaching a maximum cruising speed of 22.7 knots.

The ship's futuristic interior and exterior design features a 341-foot-long promenade. Half the promenade is covered with the Meraviglia-class LED sky screens, while the other half is open-air and offers ocean views. MSC World Europa features 2,626 staterooms and can house 2,138 crew members. As a special touch, each passenger deck is named after an international city, including London, Paris, Lisbon and Rome.

The ship is divided into distinct areas, with a quiet zen district for adults and a family zone that has bumper cars and roller skating. At the fleet's largest onboard water park, younger cruisers will find a twisty, stainless steel tunnel slide towering 11 decks high at the center of the ship. Luna Park Arena, the ship's 300-seat multifunction entertainment venue, can accommodate almost any performance or event.

When you're exhausted from all of the action, grab a bite to eat at one of 13 restaurants or a drink at a selection of bars and cafes. Then, take time to relax and unwind with a signature treatment at the Balinese-inspired MSC Aurea Spa. For an all-inclusive VIP experience during your voyage, book stateroom accommodations in the MSC Yacht Club. This exclusive part of the ship boasts premium suites, a separate pool, a private restaurant and lounge, butler service, and other amenities.

Costa Smeralda

Pool inside the Costa Smeralda.

Courtesy of Costa Cruises

Length: 1,106 feet

Width: 138 feet

Gross tons: 185,000

Maximum passengers: 6,554

Costa Smeralda was the first of the two Excellence-class vessels in the Costa Cruises fleet. The vessel debuted in 2019 as the Italian cruise line's largest ship to date. It was also the line's first vessel to use LNG power at sea and in port. The ship has 2,612 staterooms and can carry as many as 1,678 crew members.

Cruisers will never go hungry or thirsty, thanks to the 11 restaurants and snack bars plus 19 bars and lounges on Smeralda . One of the most notable dining venues on board is Archipelago, which serves innovative cuisine created by three world-renowned chefs. If you're interested in culinary pursuits, join other passengers for a cooking class at sea in the Food LAB. When it comes to entertainment, centrally located Colosseo – modeled after the piazzas across Italy – is the place to go for socializing and live performances. What's more, the ship also has 13 pools and hot tubs, an aqua park, the Beauty Spa Solemio, and the Squok Club for kids ages 3 to 11.

Costa Toscana

Deck at sunset on the Costa Toscana.

Costa Toscana, Costa Cruises' newest flagship and the second Excellence-class vessel in the fleet, set sail on its debut voyage in March 2022. Similar in size and passenger capacity to Costa Smeralda, Toscana is also LNG-powered. This vessel has 2,663 staterooms, and there can be up to 1,678 crew members on board.

Similar to Smeralda, Colosseo is the centerpiece of Toscana; you'll find live entertainment and themed bars in this area. There are 11 restaurants and snack bars plus 19 bars and lounges on the ship. For a refreshing aperitif with a view, head to the Aperol Spritz Bar, which features special beach cocktails. Another dining highlight is Sushino at Costa, the line's new sushi bistro. After dinner, take in unparalleled views of the sea along the Volare Skywalk, the highest point of the ship, which towers more than 200 feet above sea level.

Explore Costa Cruises deals on GoToSea.

P&O Cruises Arvia

Grand Atrium on the P&O Cruises Arvia.

Courtesy of P&O Cruises

Length: 1,130 feet

Maximum passengers: 5,200

Arvia joined the P&O fleet as sister ship to Iona in December 2022. It is also LNG-powered, has 2,614 cabins and carries up to 1,800 crew. The family-friendly ship offers guests many firsts, including Altitude, a new activity area with an escape room, a high-ropes experience, the Splash Valley aqua zone, the Sports Arena and much more.

Arvia has 30 bars and restaurants. New dining venues include the American-inspired 6th Street Diner and Green & Co. feat. Mizuhana, which focuses on sushi and plant-based dishes. For entertainment, plan to see the line's production of "The Official Take That Musical," an adaptation of London West End musical "The Band." Guests can also head to the dome beneath the SkyDome retractable roof for live performances, aerial displays, movies on the giant SeaScreen and DJ parties under the starry skies.

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AIDAcosma at sea.

Courtesy of AIDA Cruises

Gross tons: 184,600

Maximum passengers: 6,654

The sister ship to AIDAnova, AIDAcosma set sail in early 2022. The partly LNG-powered AIDA Cruises vessel has 2,732 staterooms and the capacity for up to around 1,500 crew members. With 17 restaurants and 23 bars and cafes, AIDAcosma offers passengers a seemingly endless number of venues to dine and imbibe. Other onboard attractions include a four-deck outdoor area, complete with an infinity pool and an expansive area for sunbathing; an indoor playground with a bouldering wall and ropes course; the Body & Soul Spa; and a 360-degree stage at the Theatrium.

P&O Cruises Iona

SkyDome on the P&O Cruises Iona.

Length: 1,129 feet

Gross tons: 184,000

P&O Cruises' Iona, which launched in spring 2021, has the distinction of being the first LNG-powered British cruise ship. The family-friendly vessel has 2,614 cabins and carries 1,800 crew members. Iona's top features include the two-story SkyDome, a gin distillery, four pools, 10 entertainment venues, and 30 restaurants and bars offering a wide variety of food and beverage options.

With selections ranging from casual eateries to gelaterias to Indian- and British-inspired cuisine at Sindhu, you won't get bored with the restaurant choices. For an especially unique meal, dine and sip wine while watching aerial performances in the Grand Atrium at The Glass House. Or, enjoy dinner at The Limelight Club, an adults-only supper club venue featuring vocal performances and other live music. After dinner, check out the entertainment around the ship, including aerial productions in the Grand Atrium, guest and crew shows in Headliners, late night dancing in The Club House, and performances in partnership with the entertainment company Creativiva in the SkyDome.

AIDAnova at sea.

Gross tons: 183,900

When German line AIDA Cruises' first Helios-class ship, AIDAnova, debuted in December 2018, it was the first LNG-powered cruise ship in the world. The ship is equipped with 2,626 staterooms, including the two-deck Penthouse Suite, and carries around 1,500 crew members. You won't miss this ship when it's docked in port: It features the line's signature exterior design, with bold red lips at the ship's bow and blue-and-yellow eyes on the port and starboard sides.

While on board, passengers can check out 17 restaurants, along with 23 bars and lounges; party the night away at the Beach Club; and take in live performances on the 360-degree stage in the Theatrium. When it's time to relax, head to the Body & Soul Spa, where you can book a massage, spend time in one of the hot tubs or saunas, take a dip in the private pool, and chill out on the private spa sun deck.

Carnival Jubilee

Width: 137 feet

Gross tons: 183,521

Maximum passengers: 6,631

Carnival Jubilee, as sister ship to Carnival Celebration and Carnival Mardi Gras, will offer many of the same features and amenities as its two predecessors when it launches in December 2023. The new vessel will have 2,687 staterooms, 1,735 crew and six zones of fun. Currents and The Shores are new to Jubilee . Currents is inspired by the underworld of the ocean with mermaids and sea monsters; it's designed with new bars, restaurants, music venues and high-tech spaces, including a wave-shaped LED ceiling and six LED windows that virtually take guests under the sea. The Shores is all about the outdoors, inspired by beaches and boardwalks. Cruisers can grab a slice of pizza at Coastal Slice, a hot dog at Beach Buns and a cocktail at Marina Bar.

On Jubilee, you'll also find Carnival Cruise Line favorites such as BOLT, the first and fastest roller coaster at sea, as well as Waterworks, the onboard water park with twin racing slides, three spiraling slides and more. The line's "next-level fun" ship will also include familiar eateries and lounges like Shaquille O'Neal's Big Chicken, Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, Cucina del Capitano, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and more.

Carnival Celebration

Carnival Celebration in Caribbean waters.

Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Celebration sailed its inaugural cruise in November 2022. Carnival's second-newest ship at sea is LNG-powered and the second in the line's Excel class, with 2,687 staterooms and as many as 1,735 crew. Guests will find new attractions to enjoy on the ship, such as the partnership with the Kennedy Space Center at Space Cruisers: This program is designed for children ages 2 to 11 at Camp Ocean.

Adults can check out the new bar at Latitudes, which features specialty cocktails and outdoor scenery through the virtual windows. Celebration has a variety of complimentary dining venues, including Shaq's Big Chicken, Guy's Burger Joint and Mexican favorites at BlueIguana Cantina. There is also a selection of specialty restaurants like Emeril's Bistro 1397, Rudi's Seagrill, the Steakhouse and Bonsai Teppanyaki. For action and 360-degree views of the ocean from the top of the ship, take a spin around the track on the BOLT roller coaster.

Compare Carnival Cruises on GoToSea.

MSC Euribia

MSC Euribia at sea.

Length: 1,087 feet

Width: 141 feet

Gross tons: 181,541

Maximum passengers: 6,327

MSC Euribia, the newest MSC Cruises ship, debuted in June 2023. The line's second LNG-powered vessel – and the fifth Meraviglia-class ship – has 2,419 cabins and can carry as many as 1,711 crew members. The ship's hull features Alex Flämig's artwork "#SaveTheSea" to highlight the company's dedication to preserving the marine ecosystem.

On board Euribia , guests will find five pools and 11 dining venues, offering everything from sushi and teppanyaki to Latin American street food. There are also 21 bars and lounges, the MSC Aurea Spa, the Ocean Cay Aquapark, luxury retail shopping and more. Two additional highlights are the longest – and most impressive – LED Dome at Sea, which covers the ceiling of Galleria Euribia, and the reimagined Carousel Lounge. The beautiful, updated space features floor-to-ceiling windows, outdoor terraces and cozy seating to enjoy live entertainment, including performances by one of the largest big bands at sea.

MSC Virtuosa

Le Grand Théâtre on the MSC Virtuosa.

Maximum passengers: 6,334

This vessel launched in 2021 as a sister ship to MSC Grandiosa , the line's other Meraviglia Plus-class ship. MSC Virtuosa has 2,421 staterooms and carries around 1,704 crew members. It offers cruisers 11 dining venues plus 21 bars and lounges. At the heart of the ship, Galleria Virtuosa houses the largest shopping area on a cruise ship, with more than 12,500 square feet of retail space. In this area, you'll also find entertainment venues, restaurants and cocktail bars. And don't forget to look up: An impressive LED dome, one of the longest at sea, spans the ceiling of the promenade.

Another highlight to check out during your voyage is the MSC Starship Club, which features Rob, the first humanoid robotic bartender on a cruise ship. The multilingual expert mixologist even tells jokes and will show you a dance move or two. After all the indoor fun, head outside for a cool dip in one of MSC Virtuosa's five pools or take a ride on the slide at the Savannah Aquapark.

Book an MSC Cruise on GoToSea.

Carnival Mardi Gras

Carnival Mardi Gras at sea.

Gross tons: 180,000

Maximum passengers: 6,465

One of Carnival Cruise Line's newest ships, Mardi Gras , debuted in July 2021. Its name honors the line's first ship, the TSS Mardi Gras, which launched in 1972. The original Mardi Gras was around 27,000 gross tons and 650 feet long – in contrast, the new Carnival Mardi Gras weighs more than six times as much and is nearly twice as long. This ship also holds the title as North America's first LNG-powered ship. It has 2,641 staterooms and holds up to 1,745 crew members.

Six themed areas each offer unique dining and entertainment experiences. For New Orleans -inspired cuisine, head to the French Quarter; there, you'll find Emeril's Bistro 1396 and The Brass Magnolia, a bar reminiscent of The Big Easy's jazz culture and Garden District. Don't miss one of the ship's top onboard attractions: the BOLT roller coaster, where riders can hit speeds of nearly 40 mph at 187 feet above sea level.

Read: The Top Themed Cruises

MSC Meraviglia

MSC Meraviglia at Port Miami.

Courtesy of Port Miami for MSC Cruises

Length: 1,036 feet

Gross tons: 171,598

Maximum passengers: 5,655

MSC Cruises' Meraviglia first set sail in 2017 with an impressive 2,244 staterooms and the capacity to carry 1,536 crew members. A dozen restaurants offer a wide variety of cuisines, including a Spanish tapas bar with dishes created by a Michelin-starred chef, Japanese teppanyaki, Italian fare, fresh seafood, steaks and more. There are also 20 bars, lounges and cafes serving everything from Champagne and cocktails to ice cream and crepes.

The central highlight of the ship is Galleria Meraviglia, a 315-foot promenade with eateries, boutiques and evening parties. Nightly entertainment includes live performances and shows in the Broadway Theatre and the Carousel Lounge. Kids will find plenty to do, as well: There's an Aquapark, an F1 simulator, a flight simulator, LEGO play areas, bowling and more. When it's time to wind down, book a signature treatment at the MSC Aurea Spa.

Norwegian Encore

Length: 1,094 feet

Width: 136 feet

Gross tons: 169,116

Maximum passengers: 3,998 (double occupancy)

Norwegian Encore was built in 2019 as one of Norwegian Cruise Line 's Breakaway Plus-class ships. The vessel has 2,040 staterooms and carries 1,735 crew members. There are several complimentary culinary venues on board, including three main dining rooms, The Local Bar & Grill, the Garden Café buffet, and grab-and-go options. Specialty dining restaurants offer a variety of cuisines, from seafood to steak to Japanese teppanyaki.

When it's time for cocktail hour, 14 bars and lounges serve up everything from cold brews to fine wine and whiskey. For a pre-dinner option, head up to the Observation Lounge for panoramic ocean views. Norwegian Encore is also home to several entertainment venues featuring award-winning live shows and performances.

You'll find the most fun on the ship's top decks. First, head to the Encore Speedway race track, which takes thrill-seekers on a heart-pumping ride through high-speed curves extending 13 feet off the side of the ship. Also at the top of the vessel you'll find The Haven: Norwegian's exclusive "ship within a ship" concept boasts luxurious suites, villas and penthouses with balconies. These luxe accommodations include perks like 24-hour butler service, a concierge and a private sun deck.

Find a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise on GoToSea.

Frequently Asked Questions

The largest cruise ship currently in service is Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas, at more than 235,000 gross tons. Icon of the Seas will become the largest cruise ship in the world at 250,000-plus gross tons after its launch, set for January 2024.

Carnival Jubilee, scheduled to debut in December 2023, and Carnival Celebration are the line's largest ships at 183,521 gross tons.

The line's largest ship is Disney Wish at about 144,000 gross tons. The vessel is 1,119 feet in length and 128 feet wide; it has 1,254 staterooms and carries up to 4,000 passengers and 1,555 crew.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Gwen Pratesi has been an avid cruiser since her early 20s. She has sailed on nearly every type of cruise ship built, including the newest megaships, paddle-wheelers on the Mississippi River, and an 18-stateroom river ship on the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia. She has also cruised on a traditional masted sailing ship and on a small luxury expedition vessel in Antarctica crossing the notorious Drake Passage twice. She covers the travel and culinary industries for major publications including U.S. News & World Report.

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The 15 Largest Cruise Lines In The World

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Largest Cruise Lines Research Summary

The largest cruise line in the world is Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) , with a revenue of $22.86 billion .

As of 2022, the global cruise line industry has a market size of $7.67 billion.

A person can spend between $1,300 – $2,000 on the average 7-day sailing with a mainstream cruise line.

The global cruise line market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.2% through 2028.

Cruise lines or cruise companies are classified as passenger shipping corporations, associations, or organizations. The cruise line industry offers individuals leisure travel without needing to hop on a plane.

The cruise ships developed for these organizations are massive, offering everything from a travel experience, great food, company, entertainment, and tours. Many of the individual brands provide unique activities and signature amenities to their clients aboard the vessels.

The four top cruise lines own much of the cruise line market, with their market share projected to grow to 87.6% by 2021. Many of these companies are well-established passenger shipping brands, founded in the latter half of the 20th century when cruise ships became more popular.

There are a variety of different cruise lines, but typically, they can be classified into 3 different types: mainstream, premium, and luxury.

From luxury brands to budget deals, there’s something for everyone on a cruise ship. The 15 largest cruise lines in the world are as follows:

A person can spend between $1,300 - $2,000 on the average 7-day sailing with a mainstream cruise line

Diving Deeper into the Top 15 Cruise Lines in the World

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

2022 Annual Revenue : $22.86 billion Number of Passengers : 1.4 million

Founded in 1970 in Naples, Italy, MSC is a Swiss-Italian-owned shipping line with a presence in all the major ports of the world. Their cruise line division, MSC Cruises focuses on holiday cruises for their passengers.

MSC Cruises is the world’s largest privately held cruise company, and fourth-largest in the world, boasting a 7.2% share of all cruise line passengers in the market.

In 2019, MSC Cruises rolled out the world’s first personal cruise assistant , called ZOE. This device is found in every room on the ship and is available to ask questions about your stay, reserve excursions, check your bill, and more.

Find Mediterranean Shipping Company Jobs Near Me

Carnival Corporation

2022 Annual Revenue : $12.2 billion Number of Passengers : 5.8 million

Founded in 1972, Carnival Corporation is a British-American cruise operator and currently holds the title of the world’s largest travel leisure company .

Carnival boasts over 100 vessels over ten different cruise line brands. It is a dual-listed company, meaning it operates as two companies, Carnival Corporation and Carnival plc, functioning as a single entity.

The company was initially publicly offered on the New York Stock Exchange in 1987 with the intention to generate capital for future acquisitions. During the 1990s, Carnival acquired a variety of companies including Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, among others.

Find Carnival Cruise Line Jobs Near Me

Royal Caribbean Group

2022 Annual Revenue : $8.8 billion Number of Passengers : 3.3 million

Founded in 1997 when Royal Caribbean Cruise Line purchased Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean Group is an American-owned global cruise company based out of Miami, Florida . It holds the title of second-largest cruise line operator in the world.

This organization owns three cruise lines, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. In addition to their cruise lines, Royal Caribbean Group has a 50% stake in TUI Cruises in a joint venture with TUI AG.

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NCLH-Norweigan

2022 Annual Revenue : $4.844 billion Number of Passengers : 1.3 million

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) is a holding company domiciled in Bermuda and headquartered in Miami, Florida . This organization owns and operates three different cruise lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

In February 2011, NCLH was incorporated as a Bermuda exempt company before debuting on the NASDAQ in 2013. NCLH is the third-largest cruise operator in the world, controlling 9.5% of the cruise market’s share.

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Viking Cruises

2022 Annual Revenue : $2.1 billion Number of Passengers : 143,700

Based in Switzerland and headquartered in Los Angeles, California , Viking Cruises is a cruise line that provides adventures on rivers, ocean, and expeditions. Their three divisions are named Viking River Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, and Viking Expeditions.

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Disney Cruise Line (DCL)

2022 Annual Revenue : $1.6 billion Number of Passengers : 312,200

This cruise line is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. In 1996, the Magical Cruise Company Limited launched their first vessel in London, with headquarters in Celebration, Florida .

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TUI Cruises

2022 Annual Revenue : $1.32 billion Number of Passengers : 330,100

TUI cruises is a German-based cruise company, formed in 2007 between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises as a joint venture. This specific line is targeted towards German tourists and competes heavily with AIDA Cruises.

Their fleet features cruise ships across three brands, TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, and Marella Cruises. This is a premium cruise line and its amenities include food, entertainment, and amenities, all tailored for a German experience.

Virgin Cruises

2022 Annual Revenue : $973.3 million Number of Passengers : 111,100

Headquartered in Florida, Virgin Voyages was the result of Virgin Group and Bain Capital merging together to form the organization in 2015. In June 2020, there was only one single ship in their fleet, with three more scheduled to make their debut for up to 2,700 passengers each.

Genting Hong Kong: Dream Cruises

2021 Annual Revenue : $723 million Number of Passengers : 264,100

This holding company operates cruise and resort businesses, with their largest cruise line being Dream Cruises. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Genting established Dream Cruises in 2015 as an Asian luxury cruise line, debuting their first cruise in November of 2016.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

2022 Annual Revenue : $327.3 million Number of Passengers : 110,700

This Norwegian-owned cruise shipping line is based in Suffolk, UK. Currently, its operation includes four cruise ships, but the company was founded in 1848 by three Olsen brothers.

Hurtigruten AS

2021 Annual Revenue : $334 million Number of Passengers : 122,300

This Norwegian-based company is a ferry service and cruise line operating out of Norway. Part of their business is operating a ferry service along the Norweigan coast, while the other part is their cruise line.

Marella Cruises

2021 Annual Revenue : $281 million Number of Passengers : 102,900

This British cruise line entered the cruise line market in 1973 but due to financial difficulties, shut down its operations in 1976. In 1995, they were in a position to open up their line again, after a competitor entered the cruise line industry.

Ponant/Paul Gauguin Cruises

2021 Annual Revenue : $233 million Number of Passengers : 85,400

Founded in 1988, Ponant, or Compagnie du Ponant is a French-owned cruise ship operator. Founded by officers from the French Merchant Navy, this organization now operates eleven ships. This luxury cruise company offers all kinds of cruises, including Antarctica.

Star Cruises

2021 Annual Revenue : $219 million Number of Passengers : 80,200

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Star Cruises operates primarily in the Asia Pacific market including destinations to Japan, Vietnam, and other Asian destinations. This organization is another offshoot of Genting Group in Malaysia.

Celestyal Cruises

2021 Annual Revenue : $175 million Number of Passengers : 64,100

Founded in 2014, Celestyal Cruises is the only cruise company based in Greece. Currently, their fleet consists of four ships with expeditions to Greek, Turkish, and Cuban ports.

Largest Cruise Lines FAQ

How much does the average person spend on a cruise?

The average cruise can cost someone $237 per day. For the average 7-day sailing with a mainstream cruise line, a person can spend between $1,300 and $2,000. This typically includes both fare and onboard spending.

What is the most popular cruise line?

The most popular cruise line is Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), with an average revenue of $22.86 billion. The second most popular cruise line is Carnival Corporation with a revenue of $12.2 billion, followed by Royal Caribbean Group with $8.8 billion in annual revenue.

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Caitlin Mazur is a freelance writer at Zippia. Caitlin is passionate about helping Zippia’s readers land the jobs of their dreams by offering content that discusses job-seeking advice based on experience and extensive research. Caitlin holds a degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

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Largest Cruise Shipping Companies

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See here the complete list of the world's largest cruise companies (passenger shipping corporations), associations and organizations. Corporate cruise line ownership - who are the owners of all cruise brands. As this is a very long survey, for your convenience next links jump down directly to largest cruise corporations (shipowners) , list of ALL cruise lines , RIVER travel brands and NEW brands .

According to official cruise industry statistics, the world's 4 largest cruise companies slowly conquered the market. Their combined market share was projected to grow over the forecast period 2015-2021 from 83,2% to 87,6%. World's largest (by combined fleet's passenger capacity/stats 2020-Q4) are Carnival Corporation (39%), RCG-Royal Caribbean Group (24$), MSC (11,5%), NCLH-Norwegian (8,3%). All other companies had combined market share (2020-Q4) 17,2%.

For the ones that are no more, see CruiseMapper's list of DEFUNCT companies .

What is a cruise line?

Cruise company's business is leisure travel, cruise tours, and entertainment. Most brands have unique activities and signature amenities offered exclusively onboard their vessels. Many activities and land tours are additionally (optionally) offered in ports of call along the ship's itinerary route.

Cruise ship companies typically hire two separate types of staff: crew (commanded by the Captain) and service staff (hotel and dining operations) supervised by Hotel Manager.

The cruise line is a passenger shipping company operating privately-owned, parent-owned or chartered vessels. Cruise brands differ from ferry companies, which operate Ro-Ro ships and offer combined passenger and cargo shipping services on a limited number of routes and in just a few regions/destinations.

Most companies are well-established passenger shipping brands. Most were founded in the second half of the 20th century, and specifically for cruising. Some were founded over 100 years ago as cargo shipping lines. Failures and consolidations in the 1990s resulted in many subsidiary companies existing as "brands" within large corporations. Brands exist partly because of their repeat customer loyalty, also to offer different levels of quality and services. Corporative shipowners frequently sell, renovate or simply rename their vessels to keep up with the travel industry's trends.

All brands offer complimentary onboard live entertainment, leisure facilities, daily scheduled activities, enrichment program, youth programs, buffet dining.

Cruise lines classification

According to the quality and price of their product, brands are classified into 4 distinct types.

CHEAPEST brands (aka mass-market/mainstream) offer good product at affordable prices. Fares range from $50-300 (Inside-Suite) pp per day. Itineraries range from 3 to 10 days. Typical passengers are a mix of veterans and first-timers, many kids and couples in their 50s. Ships are large-sized (over 3000 passengers), providing large resort-like experience. Examples include Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL, MSC, Costa, Holland America, AIDA, TUI.

BUDGET brands fares range from $200-500 pp per day. Itineraries range from 3 to 17 days. Typical passengers are predominantly first-timers, singles, families, kids. Ships are smaller and older, usually serving regional markets. Examples include NCL Norwegian, Disney, Celebrity, Princess, Star Cruises, Marella, P&O, Pullmantur, Phoenix Reisen, Fred Olsen, Bahamas Paradise.

LUXURY brands are Viking OCEAN, Resorts World, Cunard, Oceania, Hapag-Lloyd, Ponant, Saga UK. Services are premium (including 24-hour highly personalized concierge), prices are affordable, and the boats are new (refurbished more often), but the product is not all-inclusive.

ALL-INCLUSIVE brands are Seabourn, Silversea, RSSC-Regent, Azamara, Crystal, Virgin Voyages, NYV-Norwegian Yacht Voyages, Four Seasons Yachts, Ritz-Carlton Yachts, SeaDream Yachts. Onboard product is the industry's best and includes 24-hour personal butler service, all beverages, specialty dining, Internet, shore excursions, gratuities, flights, transfers, sophisticated enrichment programs (world-class performers, professional lectures and classes, art auctions), fewer mega-ship seaports, more yachting destinations. Vessels are mid-sized (mega-yachts) with a capacity between 200-1000 passengers, industry's highest ratios (passenger-to-space and passenger-to-staff), usually without kids facilities (babysitting arranged with off-duty staff). Passengers are sophisticated, highly social, wealthy, adventurous. Itineraries are diverse and global. Most mega-yachts provide alternative private ship-charter deals to large corporations and the world's richest families. The smallest boats are yachts with capacity from 100 up to 300 passengers. Some accommodate up to 700-800 guests. Most luxury ships operate in Europe (Mediterranean), Asia, Oceania, Alaska, Galapagos Islands, Around South America, Around the World .

EXPEDITION TRAVEL brands operate nature-themed voyages to unusual destinations (Arctic, Antarctica, Galapagos, Indian Ocean islands, Alaska). Prices depend on itinerary (fares from $150-500+ pp per day. Itineraries range from 1-3 weeks. Passengers are older and more experienced. Ships are usually with ice-strengthened hull (also icebreakers), marina platform (watersports) and Zodiacs (large boats for landings). Examples include Windstar, Lindblad-National Geographic, Quark Expeditions, Uncruise Adventures, Star Clippers, Metropolitan Touring.

RIVER TRAVEL brands operate modern boats on inland waterways (lakes, rivers, and canals), mainly in Europe and USA-Canada, also in Russia, China, Egypt, Peruvian Amazon. Fares range from $250-450 pp per day. Itineraries are 1-2 weeks. Passengers are regular and loyal. Most boats accommodate between 90-200 passengers (over 300 on Russian ships). Shipboard amenities and services are of premium quality. The market's largest are Viking, Uniworld, CroisiEurope, AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways, Scenic, Scylla, Luftner, American Cruise Lines, Russia ( Vodohod , Mosturflot , Infoflot , Doninturflot-Orthodox ).

Cruise Lines List - CruiseMapper

Cruise Lines List

Small cruise lines list.

The following small ship cruise companies (and cruise ferry lines) are well-known brand names. Some of them operate locally, others operate expedition ships. Most companies are in the "small ship luxury cruise" business.

RIVER Cruise Lines List

River cruise lines provide as product a very "especially modern" style of travel cruising. It's the perfect combination of the world's best river cruise itineraries (in Europe, USA, Asia, Africa), tranquility and style, vessels with innovative design and top technology, highest standards of service, all-inclusive cruise deals prices - and much more.

NEW Cruise Lines (2021-2024)

World's largest cruise companies.

The biggest cruise companies - they all are very big, some are bigger big, one is the biggest. They all are very very very much rich!

Largest Cruise Line Companies - CruiseMapper

(No 1) Carnival Corporation & plc (1972-founded American-Panamanian company) is the world's largest cruise shipowner, with 1/2 share of the market. The company is dual-listed (as Carnival Corp and Carnival plc), Southampton-headquartered, has a combined fleet of 100+ ships, 160,000+ berths, 10,000+ employees, ~75,000 crew, USD 38,9 billion in assets, USD 16,4B revenue (data 2016). Carnival owns the following brands (in brackets - the year of acquisition/establishment) - AIDA (2000), CCL-Carnival (1972), Costa (2000), Cunard (1998), HAL-Holland America (1989), Ibero (2007), P&O UK and P&O Australia (2003), Princess (2003), Seabourn (1992). Carnival's major stock-holder is the company founder's Arison family (47%).

(No 2) Royal Caribbean Group (RCG) - 1997-founded as an American-Norwegian cruise company. RCG is the 2nd largest cruise shipowner in the world, controls over 1/4 of the cruise market, with 58,000 employees, nearly USD 20 billion in assets, and almost USD 7B in revenue (data 2011). The combined fleet includes the brands Royal Caribbean International , Celebrity , Pullmantur (purchased 2006), CDF Croisieres de France (est 2008 / merged with Pullmantur in 2017). RCG also fully owns Air Pullmantur, and 50% of TUI Cruises (2009-founded joint venture with TUI AG).

(No 3) Mediterranean Shipping Company SA (MSC, founded in 1970, owned by the Aponte family) - the 2nd largest shipping line in the world (by container ship capacity), with more than 555 vessels of almost 2,2 million TEU (including 11 under construction - some of the world's largest container ships ever built, with capacity 15,000 TEU each). The MSC shipping line serves 270 ports worldwide, with over 29,000 employees.

(No 4) Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH) ownership is 43,4% Genting Group, 32,5% Apollo Management and 10,8% TPG Capital (Texas Pacific Group, large private equity global investments firm). NCL controls ~8% of the global cruising market.

Genting Group (founded in 1964, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Genting is a leading Asian multinational company (developing, operating and marketing in Tourism, 1,800 ha Resorts World Genting, Gaming (casinos), Real Estates, 54,000 ha Plantations, Power Generation, Oil-Gas, e-commerce, over 58,000 employees, USD 5,1 billion revenue, USD 13,5B in assets). One of the most famous tourist features of Malaysia is the "Genting Highlands" resort, with a world-class casino and a theme park. Owns about 20% of Star Cruises (the world's 3rd largest operator).

Apollo Global Management LLC (founded in 1990 as Apollo Advisors). Apollo is one of the world's largest private investment companies (over USD 37 billion in assets, USD 16B in companies, headquartered in NYC). The firm specializes in private equity funds (buyout transactions, and purchasing distressed securities), and capital markets (with hedge funds and real estate funds, corporate restructuring, and consolidations).

The Walt Disney Company - founded in 1923, and nowadays the largest and richest media conglomerate in the world. Headquartered in Burbank CA, and owning 6 major divisions, 10 subsidiaries (almost 150,000 employees, USD 71 billion in assets, USD 38B revenue - data 2011). Amongst Disney's best-known (and priced) assets are the ABC media, the ESPN cable network, and the PIXAR Animation Studios, along with all the Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide.

P&O Princess Cruises PLC was a restructured company between 2000 and 2003. This company was the successor of "Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company" (P&O/1837-founded). P&O owned 6 line brands and 26 ships. The company merged into Carnival Corp in 2003.

NYK Line ("Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha", translated as "Japan Mail Shipping Line"), main headquarters Chiyoda (Tokyo) and regional in London, NYC, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Sao Paulo. Established in 1870, a core Mitsubishi company and currently the world's 10th largest cargo-container and shipping company. In the recent past, the majority of Japan's merchant fleet sailed under its flag (1900-1950). Entered the passenger cruise ship business with one of the most expensive cruise lines in the world - its newly-formed in 1989 subsidiary Crystal Cruise Lines. The NYK Line also operates the MS Asuka II (the ex MS Crystal Harmony), catering to the Japanese market exclusively. Financial data: revenue about USD 25 billion, about 55,000 employees worldwide, with 240 offices in 26 countries.

Largest cruise industry organizations

CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) - since December 17, 2012, this is a Global Trade Association (umbrella company) for 9 of the largest cruise industry associations:

  • CLIA itself (world's largest, representing brands, operators, agents, port authorities, partners; engaged in training-marketing-research)
  • ECC (European Cruise Council)
  • ACA (Asia Cruise Association)
  • PSA (Passenger Shipping Association)
  • CLIA France (France, Association Francaise des Compagnies de Croisieres)
  • ABREMAR (Brazil)
  • NWCCA (Northwest and Canada Cruise Association)
  • ACA (Alaska Cruise Association)
  • ICCA (International Cruise Council Australasia)

ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations) - ICOMIA is a global (marine industry) trade association with the majority of its members being national marine industries and manufacturers. The biggest (full members) are:

  • IMCI (International Marine Certification Institute)
  • CCYIA (China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association)
  • FIN (French Nautical Industries Federation)
  • DBSV (German Boat and Shipbuilders Association)
  • JBIA (Japan Boating Industry Association)
  • HISWA (Dutch Boating Industry Association)
  • BMF (British Marine Federation)
  • NMMA (National Marine)

Now the list of all the rest large organizations:

  • ACE (Association of Cruise Experts / UK)
  • LCA (Leading Cruise Agents / UK)
  • AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators)
  • CSA (Caribbean Shipping Association)
  • ECSA (European Community Shipowners Associations)
  • FCCA (Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association), members list includes the brands AIDA, Azamara, Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, MSC, NCL Norwegian, P&O, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, TUI.
  • IG River Cruise (Europe)
  • JOPA (Japan Oceangoing Passenger Ship Association)

This article is integrated with CruiseMapper's list of the world's largest shipbuilding companies .

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Utopia of the Seas Aft Aerial

BOLDER AND BIGGER

The world's largest cruise ships.

On the world’s largest cruise ships, bigger means bolder adventures.

On the world’s largest cruise ships, bigger means bolder adventures. There isn’t a holiday in the world that packs more adventure into one week than Oasis Class ships – Harmony®, Allure®, Symphony®, Oasis®, Wonder® and Utopia of the Seas℠. Whether you’re looking forward to a thrill-filled getaway with a squad that spans several generations, or a sun-soaked couples’ retreat elevated by world class dining and electrifying nightlife, each Oasis Class cruise ship offers experiences to wow every kind of traveler. Discover why the largest cruise ships sailing to Caribbean and Europe vacation destinations are consistently awarded Best Ship year after year by Travel Weekly readers. 

largest cruise fleet

FIVE SHIPS, ENDLESS ADVENTURES

Larger than life thrills.

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Oasis of the Seas Overhead Aerial Sailings

DISCOVER THE BOLDEST ADVENTURES YET

With more than 16 decks and 20 restaurants, 7 distinct neighborhoods bustling with unique onboard experiences, and endless thrills to discover around every corner, the world’s largest cruise ships serve up expeditions filled with excitement drenched slides and rides, shows that transcend the stage, and gourmet globetrotting from Italy to Wonderland.

Ultimate Abyss, Oasis of the Seas, NY | HP

GAME CHANGER

When it debuted, Oasis of the Seas® won Best Cruise Ship — and now the Amplified game changer will set a new standard for making memories.

Mamma Mia Broadway Show Three Women Singing

SHOW STOPPER

Awarded Best for Entertainment, Best Individual Cruise Ship, and Best Large Cruise Ship, Allure of the Seas® is a certified scene-stealer.

Harmony of the Seas Sabor

FAMILY FAVORITE

Named Best for Families in the Cruise Critic’s Choice Awards, Harmony of the Seas® delivers thrills to explorers of all ages.

Girl Overlooking the Balcony on Symphony of the Seas

BIGGEST & BOLDEST

The largest cruise ship in the world, Symphony of the Seas doesn’t just win awards — it wins over everyone who sets foot onboard.

Ultimate Abyss SE2 | HP

NEWEST, BIGGEST AND BOLDEST FAMILY ADVENTURES

Go big on bold when you sail aboard the three largest cruise ships in the world. Deck-defying attractions aren’t the only things to look forward to when you sail onboard the newest cruise ships addition to the Oasis Class.

utopia of the seas aft sea day sailing aft crop

utopia OF THE SEAS℠

Introducing Utopia of the Seas℠ — the ship that’s totally transforming weekends for good. We’re talking bigger flavors. Bolder play. And better chill days than you’ve ever imagined. No craving goes unsatisfied with over 40 ways to dine and drink. New charttopping showstoppers blow your mind on stage, ice, water and air. This is not a routine recharge. This is the World’s Biggest Weekend — arriving in summer 2024 to Port Canaveral.

EXPLORE UTOPIA OF THE SEAS

Wonder of the Seas Aerial Aft at Sunset

WONDER OF THE SEAS®

Wonder of the Seas® brings even bigger adventures to the award-winning Oasis Class. Like eight unique neighborhoods, including the Suite Neighborhood. A totally redesigned pool deck with more ways to soak up the sun —or shade —than ever before. The most immersive AquaTheater ever, with a game-changing surround-stage that makes you feel part of the action.

EXPLORE WONDER OF THE SEAS

Aerial View of Symphony of the Seas

SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS®

One of the world’s biggest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas®, the travel adventures are larger than life. From epic onboard thrills to revolutionary dining and entertainment, this ship will change how you vacation no matter what kind of experience you’re after.

EXPLORE SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS

DISCOVER THE WORLD’S LARGEST CRUISE SHIPS

There isn’t a vacation in the world that packs more adventure into one week than Oasis Class ships — Harmony®, Allure®, Symphony®, Oasis, Wonder®   and Utopia of the Seas ℠ . With ships this packed with adventure, next-level thrills never ends.

Oasis of the Seas Pool Deck Labadee Haiti

OASIS OF THE SEAS

Reimagined from bow to stern, the Amplified Oasis of the Seas® is loaded with fresh and exciting things to do to level up your romantic retreat — including bars, entertainment and dance floors that keep the fun going long into the night.

EXPLORE OASIS OF THE SEAS

HP Allure Heading Port Naples Italy

ALLURE OF THE SEAS

The most awarded ship in the world is stealing the spotlight again for entertainment, dining, family activities and more, it’s filled with endless ways to make every moment incredible.

EXPLORE ALLURE OF THE SEAS

Harmony of the Seas Flowrider at Sunset

HARMONY OF THE SEAS

Rally the crew for the boldest family vacation ever. Harmony of the Seas® offers thrills for all ages, like the tallest slide at sea, surf sessions on the FlowRider®* and plenty of unique spaces just for kids of all ages.

EXPLORE HARMONY OF THE SEAS

2023 Best Cruise Ship Wonder of the Seas Travel Weekly Reader's Choice Award

Central Park

Ultimate abyss/flowrider*, splashaway bay, sugar beach, playmaker's.

Perfect Day Coco Cay Slides Aerial Hero

DISCOVER. PERFECT DAY AT COCOCAY

Forget everything you thought you knew about beach days, because this private island destination is raising the standard to a whole new level. Experience elevated island vibes while lounging in The Bahamas’ only private overwater cabanas. Earn bragging rights on the tallest waterslide in the Caribbean. And take your vacation to new heights — literally — in a helium balloon ride above the island. This is Perfect Day at CocoCay — only on Royal Caribbean®.

EXPLORE PERFECT DAY AT COCOCAY

SEVEN NEIGHBORHOODS ENDLESS WAYS TO EXPLORE

Get ready for an unforgettable getaway filled with first-of-their-kind feats, including seven distinct and vibrant neighborhoods that each offer up bucket list adventures, palate-pleasing dining and inspiring entertainment to rival any cosmopolitan city on land — and they’re only found on Oasis Class ships by Royal Caribbean®. 

READ OUR GUIDE TO OASIS CLASS NEIGHBORHOOD'S

symphony overview boardwalk neighborhood family

Forget everything you thought you knew about beach days, because this private island destination is raising the standard to a whole new level. Experience elevated island vibes while lounging in The Bahamas’ only private overwater cabanas. Earn bragging rights on the tallest waterslide in North America. And take your vacation to new heights — literally — in a helium balloon ride above the island. This is Perfect Day at CocoCay — only on Royal Caribbean®.

EXPLORE MORE  

Harmony of the Seas, Aerial View, Bahamas and Caribbean Cruise Destinations

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All 16 Princess Cruises Ships, From Newest to Oldest

Here’s everything you need to know about the Princess Cruises fleet.

largest cruise fleet

Courtesy of Princess Cruises

Sailors of all ages love Princess Cruises for its quality, service, value, and serene style of cruising.  What’s more, the 2023 T+L World’s Best Award-winning mega-ship line   — which is also a WBA Hall of Fame Honoree — tends to steer clear of splashy entertainment (for example, you won’t find go-karts, water slides, or ziplines on board most ships) in favor of more refined activities. Discovery at SEA programming is a standout offering: In partnership with Discovery and Animal Planet, guests can partake in nature-centric onboard activities and shore excursions. Most Princess ships boast a majestic atrium modeled after an Italian piazza, and it’s here where you’ll find some of the best drinking, dining, and shopping venues on board. 

According to travel advisor and cruise specialist Jennaca Boose of Marvelous Mouse Travels , Princess’ fleet of 15 ships — 16 if you count the upcoming Sun Princess , which will make its long-anticipated debut this year — is family-friendly, and each vessel is “equipped to entertain all ages;” however, some cater towards specific age demographics better than others. For example, she says, travelers sailing with younger children will especially love Royal Princess and Regal Princess , which “have even more to offer” beyond the kids club, such as “outdoor play areas with jungle gyms and a separate teen space with a hot tub.” Meanwhile, says Boose, cruisers craving an intimate onboard experience may consider sailing aboard Coral Princess or Island Princess , which are two of the line’s smaller ships. 

Finally, it’s also worth noting that the line ​​offers dozens, if not hundreds, of itineraries across the globe, including Alaska, Mexico, Japan, the Mediterranean, and many more. “Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or an immersive cultural itinerary,” says Boose, “Princess has a ship for you.” Without further ado, keep scrolling for a breakdown of each ship in the Princess Cruises fleet to help you narrow down which vessels would be best for you. 

Related: 21 Cruise Tips That Will Help Make Your Trip Even Better, According to Experts

Sun Princess

Inaugural Year: 2024

Ship Class: Sphere

Ship Capacity: 4,300 guests

The inaugural ship in Princess' new Sphere class, Sun Princess is the line's largest — and flashiest — vessel to date. Set to sail the Mediterranean and Caribbean, this 20-deck mega-ship is sure to make waves following its early 2024 debut. The Park19 family zone will offer nine fun-filled activities, including the Sea Breeze (the first Rollglider at sea), The Lookout (an open-air observation deck), and Coastal Climb (a climbing structure for adventure enthusiasts of all ages). There’s also a two-deck arena, the multi-level Dome entertainment space, and the brand-new Spellbound, a Victorian-themed bar where guests can watch magicians while sipping theatrical cocktails.

Discovery Princess

Inaugural Year: 2022

Ship Class: Royal

Ship Capacity: 3,660 guests

For an elegant onboard experience complete with world-class specialty dining that’ll entice any gourmand, spectacular live entertainment in the lavish Princess Theater, and the largest balconies at sea (spanning over 1,000 square feet) found in one of the ship’s splurge-worthy Sky Suites, look no further than Princess’ final Royal-class ship. Spend sea days soaking up the sun — and the ocean views — by the infinity Wake View Pool.

Enchanted Princess

Inaugural Year: 2021

The elegant Enchanted Princess is a haven for relaxation-seekers with four sparkling pools (including the infinity-edge Wake View Pool), 10 hot tubs, and a serene spa offering Asian-inspired treatments. For the ultimate splurge, reserve one of the sprawling Sky Suites, best known for their expansive balconies offering 270-degree sea views. Other honorable mentions include the Sanctuary, Discovery at SEA, movie screenings under the stars, and the SeaWalk, a 60-foot-long glass-enclosed hallway with floor-to-ceiling ocean vistas.

Sky Princess

Inaugural Year: 2019

The snazzy Sky Princess made its grand debut in 2019; fast-forward five years later, and the ship has retained its allure. The three-story atrium is the beating heart of the ship, dotted with shops, bars, and restaurants galore. Check out Chef’s Table Lumiere, or try your luck at the casino for the ultimate splurge. Finally, for the best ocean views, book one of the Sky Suites.

Majestic Princess

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

Inaugural Year: 2017

Ship Capacity: 3,560 guests

This Royal-class ship was initially designed for cruises from Shanghai, which means passengers can expect Chinese-inspired decor along with the fantastic specialty restaurant, Harmony, which features mouthwatering Asian menu items like wok-fried lobster, spring rolls, and more. Also unique to Majestic Princess is the adults-only Hollywood Pool Club, a perfect spot for grown-ups looking to soak in style. Meanwhile, don’t miss the dazzling casino and incredible SeaWalk, where panoramic ocean views await.

Regal Princess

Inaugural Year: 2014

This 2014 mega-ship definitely delivers in terms of onboard attractions. A few fan favorites include movies under the stars (best enjoyed with popcorn and candy in hand, of course), original productions, an outdoor musical fountain show, and Princess Live!, where passengers will find interactive culinary shows along with late-night comedy and game shows that can be viewed in-person or from the comfort of one’s stateroom. Last but not least, don’t forget to snap a selfie on the SeaWalk.

Royal Princess

Inaugural Year: 2013

Prepare to receive the royal treatment (pun intended) aboard the 3,560-passenger Royal Princess . The ship’s dazzling common spaces, including the grand atrium and the SeaWalk, are sure to impress design lovers, while the drinking and dining options, including the extravagant Chef’s Table Lumiere — available only on Royal-class ships — will delight culinary connoisseurs of all ages. 

Ruby Princess

Inaugural Year: 2008

Ship Class: Crown

Ship Capacity: 3,080 guests

Entertainment options abound on the 19-deck Ruby Princess , from movies under the stars and basketball to golfing and (hopefully) winning big at the casino. While party-going cruisers can dance ‘til the wee hours of the night at Skywalkers, serenity-seeking travelers may choose to hit the sack early before waking up to enjoy the spa or The Sanctuary.

Emerald Princess

Inaugural Year: 2007

Last refurbished in 2019, Emerald Princess features something for families of all ages, including  reimagined Camp Discovery youth and teen centers and the serene Sanctuary, a kid-free slice of paradise in the middle of the sea. Passengers can also perfect their swing at the putting course, enjoy poolside movie screenings, unwind at one of several swanky bars and lounges, including the Speakeasy Cigar Lounge, hit the spa, or dance the night away at the onboard club. In summary, it’s pretty much impossible to be bored on this ship.

Crown Princess

Inaugural Year: 2006

Despite its 3,000-plus passenger capacity , Crown Princess never feels super crowded thanks to abundant onboard amenities and activities. Highlights include three main dining rooms, a three-story atrium, and, of course, ample activities and programming, which run the gamut from basketball courts and pajama movie nights for kids to karaoke and an onboard nightclub.

Diamond Princess

Inaugural Year: 2004

Ship Class: Grand

Ship Capacity: 2,670 guests 

Best known for its Asia itineraries, Diamond Princess is sure to wow cruisers of all ages with its unique onboard features. Wellness-seekers need not miss the Izumi Japanese Bath, where guests can enjoy a traditional Japanese bathing experience coupled with breathtaking ocean views. There’s also the adults-only Sanctuary sun deck, Broadway-caliber entertainment, ample restaurants (including five main dining rooms), a nightclub, and so much more.

Caribbean Princess

Ship Capacity: 3,140 guests

This massive 18-deck ship was last refurbished in 2019 to bring it up to par with the line’s latest vessels. The European-inspired piazza , boasting street performers, eclectic boutiques, restaurants and bars, and a striking spiral staircase, is the beating heart of the ship. Plus, as part of the line’s partnership with Discovery, guests can enjoy nature-filled activities and lectures.

Sapphire Princess

Ship Capacity: 2,670 guests

Those craving a traditional cruising experience need not look further than the 20-year-old Sapphire Princess . With an onboard nightclub, five main dining rooms (plus many other bars and lounges, including a cigar lounge), this 2,670-passenger ship is among the line’s buzziest. After dancing the night away, adults can spend the day relaxing at The Sanctuary, while families will surely appreciate the dedicated spaces for kids, tweens, and teens.

Island Princess

Inaugural Year: 2003

Ship Class: Coral

Ship Capacity: 2,200 guests

Island Princess was purposefully built to sail through the Panama Canal. This 2,200-guest, 20-plus-year-old ship offers a more refined onboard experience compared to the line’s newer, flashier vessels. Sea days are well spent at the spa, in swimming pools, or sipping cocktails in the massive atriums; come nighttime, watch movies under the stars (a Princess staple) or catch live musical performances before hitting the sack — and getting ready to do it all again the following day.

Coral Princess

Ship Capacity: 2,000 guests 

Coral Princess is Princess’ smallest ship; however, there is still plenty to see, do, and experience on board. Guests can make themselves right at home in the piazza-style grand atrium, where prime people-watching awaits. For some R&R, grown-ups can head to the tranquil, adults-only Sanctuary while the kids are at play at the children’s centers.

Grand Princess

Inaugural Year: 1998

Ship Capacity: 2,600 guests

Princess’ oldest ship underwent a major renovation back in 2019, adding fan-favorite restaurants like Alfredo's Pizzeria, Salty Dog Grill, and Coffee & Cones. Catch a Broadway-style show, relax at The Sanctuary, or partake in nature-centric activities as part of the line’s Discovery at SEA programming.

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Icon of the Seas cruise ship continues voyage after small fire and power loss; no injuries reported

MIAMI (WSVN) - A small fire caused a vacation scare on the world’s largest cruise ship.

Icon of the Seas is the newest vessel in the Royal Caribbean company’s fleet.

However, that was at the back of passenger’s minds on Tuesday as a small fire was detected on the ship.

“They called the fire crews, all of them reported to their stations,” said one passenger.

Firefighters were seen rushing through the ship as the smell of smoke swelled within the ship.

“Burning in here it smells super bad,” said another passenger.

The company said a small fire broke out in the crew area knocking out power on board.

“Within two minutes the flo rider turned off, kids were coming down the slide and the blenders to make mixed drinks stopped working,” said another passenger. “They immediately saw black smoke coming out of the top.”

The cruise ship was docked in Costa Maya, Mexico when the fire erupted.

“About an hour and a half later, things started to turn back on,” said a passenger. “We saw staff running to their emergency locations.”

Passengers describing the situation to 7News while on board the ship.

“Guys, I wouldn’t go in the elevator now, even though the power is on,” said a passenger to a group of people.

Some passengers shared videos of the warnings issued by the ship crew.

“Attention crew, attention crew, instruction number 23, report to your emergency stations,” said the public address announcer.

Video shows alarms blaring as passengers walked around the ship.

“It was the same thing over and over again which was a little scary,” said a passenger. “They were saying a bunch of different numbers to the crew.”

The Icon of the Seas has a record-setting size of 1,196 feet long, 20 decks high and accommodates more than 5,600 guests at double capacity.

A spokesperson with Royal Caribbean released a statement confirming a small fire.

The ship experienced a small fire (isolated to the crew area) and experience a brief loss of power while docked at Costa Maya, Mexico; back-up power kicked in immediately and teams restored the main systems; all necessary safety procedures were taken and the team were able to quickly extinguish the fire; safety of our passengers and crew are always our top priority; thankfully there were no injuries.” Royal Caribbean spokesperson

The ship is expected to continue its voyage as scheduled.

It’s due back in Miami on Saturday.

Copyright 2024 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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largest cruise fleet

Best Carnival cruise ships: Here’s which ship you should sail, based on your travel style

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Choosing a Carnival cruise ship is no simple task, especially if you’re new to cruising. As one of the largest cruise brands in the world, Carnival Cruise Line has more than two dozen vessels in its fleet, offering everything from megaship adventures to smaller-ship experiences. Many variables — price, embarkation dates, travel companions, ship size and amenities, and destination — can shape the way you make your choice.

So, what is the best Carnival cruise ship? Here are my picks for the top options in several categories.

For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter .

Mardi Gras: Best Carnival cruise ship for families

The best Carnival cruise ship for kids is undoubtedly Mardi Gras . Not only is it one of Carnival’s newest vessels, but it’s also one of the largest, and it has tons of activities to keep families with children busy.

At the expansive kids club, daily programming includes scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, and video games. The club draws in young cruisers and gives them space to make friends and play with peers. Beyond the dedicated kids facilities, the ship has a massive arcade and many top-deck diversions. One of these is the Ultimate Playground — a space encompassing a ropes course, waterslides and Bolt, the first-ever roller coaster at sea . (Note that the arcade and Bolt cost extra.)

Related: The 5 best cruise lines for families  

Mardi Gras is full of fantastic family-friendly dining, including the line’s Dr. Seuss-themed Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast (for a small fee). The ship also includes pizza, soft-serve ice cream, Shaq’s fried chicken and Guy Fieri burgers in its fares. Even the pickiest of eaters will be satisfied. Kids can order off special menus in the complimentary main dining rooms and join in their waiters’ rollicking dance performances just when they start to get antsy sitting still.

The ship also does a nice job of accommodating families of all sizes and budgets. Many of Mardi Gras’ standard cabins sleep at least four people, and the ship offers connecting cabins.

Its Family Harbor staterooms provide access to a special family lounge area with TVs, sitting areas and internet stations. Breakfast is offered there each morning, and snacks and drinks — including free soda — are provided throughout the day. So, you never have to go far when the kids need a snack. Cabins in the Family Harbor category feature a nautical theme, plenty of storage and space to sleep at least four people.

Mardi Gras’ new sister ship, Carnival Celebration, is also a fantastic option in this category, offering a nearly identical experience (with just a few changes in the names and themes of specific venues).

Carnival Horizon: Best ship for luxury lovers

Let’s be clear: Carnival is not a luxury cruise line, nor does it offer huge suites on most ships. The suites it has are smaller than most other brands’ high-end accommodations, and they do not include amenities like butler service.

With that in mind, one ship that offers slightly more exclusive options is Carnival Horizon — the second vessel in Carnival’s three-ship Vista class. It offers a top-deck, adults-only Serenity sun deck area; an extensive menu of spa treatments, salon services and fitness classes at the onboard Cloud 9 Spa; and a handful of upmarket cabin offerings.

If you’re into wellness, relaxation and self-care, check out the spa and fitness center’s manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, teeth whitening treatments, acupuncture, anti-wrinkle procedures, state-of-the-art cycling classes, thermal suite, hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms for a fee. For digs that include pampering, try a Cloud 9 Spa cabin to receive extras like complimentary thermal suite access and two free yoga or Pilates classes.

Related: The 8 best cruise lines for elegance and exclusivity

If exclusive stateroom enclaves are what you seek, you’ll want to book one of the ship’s Havana Cabana cabins. They come in several varieties, from 185-square-foot insides to Havana Suites, which offer 260 square feet of interior space (with a dividing wall to separate sleeping and living areas), plus a 100-square-foot patio area with loungers and a hammock. All Havana Cabana cruisers get access to an exclusive lanai and pool deck. With a suite booking, you’ll also receive priority embarkation and disembarkation.

If a traditional suite is more your style, consider a Grand Suite, which includes priority embarkation, disembarkation and dining times, as well as access to the Havana pool area. Note, however, that Grand Suites run only 345 square feet with 85-square-foot balconies — disappointing when you consider some of Royal Caribbean’s largest rooms are nearly five times that size.

The only ships on which you’ll find larger accommodations are the line’s newest: Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee, all of which house Presidential Suites. Those accommodations offer 1,120 square feet of space with 600-square-foot balconies and separate living and sleeping areas. However, the ships — part of the line’s Excel Class — are so large and attract so many families that I’ve ruled them out as the most luxurious.

Carnival Conquest: Best ship for budget travelers

If you’re on a budget and simply looking for one of the cheapest Carnival cruise ships, a solid bet is Carnival Conquest. It offers Bahamas and Caribbean voyages of three to five nights. Think of it this way: The shorter the cruise , the less expensive it will be.

Plus, it sails from Miami, one of the world’s largest cruise hubs. More ships leaving from a specific port means more competition, which can drive prices lower.

Related: The 8 classes of Carnival ships, explained

Carnival Conquest is one of the line’s oldest ships, but it’s also a ton of fun. Because short sailings tend to attract a more lively crowd, passengers can expect lots of dancing, socializing and late nights at Henri’s Dance Club. During the day, passengers enjoy spending time around the pool and grabbing free burgers from Guy’s Burger Joint.

It’s also one of the few vessels left in the fleet that still features jaw-dropping interiors designed by renowned architect Joe Farcus, who made Carnival synonymous with quirky patterns, bright colors and neon lights.

At the time of publication, prices started from $47 per person, per night, for an inside cabin.

Carnival Sunrise: Best Carnival cruise ship for singles

Unfortunately, Carnival has been slow to adopt solo cabins, meaning that no ships in its fleet offer accommodations for one.

Because all staterooms are designed for double occupancy, it’s generally a rule that a person traveling alone must pay both fares. This means they would pay twice as much per person as two people sharing a room.

Related: The best cruise ships for solo travelers

In order to make the single supplement as affordable as possible, solo Carnival cruisers will want to balance finding an inexpensive vessel with choosing one that sails short itineraries. They’ll also probably want one that’s a bit livelier (read: not the oldest in the fleet).

A great contender for the title of best Carnival ship for singles is Carnival Sunrise. Formerly Carnival Triumph, the ship was completely gutted, overhauled and renamed in 2019. Although it originally debuted in 1999, it feels fresh and nearly new. It offers the line’s signature Serenity adults-only sun deck, RedFrog Pub, Alchemy Bar and a slew of lounges, nightclubs and daily activities.

Combine that with short, affordable voyages from Miami, and you can sail to the Bahamas or Caribbean for four or five nights from as little as $104 per night if you’re solo. Short sailings also tend to draw a more fun-loving, social crowd. So, if your goal is to mingle and potentially meet other solo cruisers, you stand a good chance on Carnival Sunrise.

Carnival Pride: Best ship for retirees

Retired travelers have all the time in the world to take longer cruises, which generally allow them to visit more far-flung locales. Those trips can come with a substantial price tag, which is why, as a budget option, Carnival is such a great choice.

In particular, Carnival Pride’s voyages consist of nine- and 12-night itineraries to the Baltic, British Isles and Iceland on a regular cadence. Longer voyages mean more time to explore but also fewer children and less of a frat party vibe. (Take note if you’re thinking of bringing your grandkids.)

Related: The 7 best cruises for seniors who love to travel

Carnival Pride is one of the oldest ships sailing for Carnival. That actually works in its favor if you’re a retiree who enjoys smaller ships and vintage design — in this case, more artwork and decor by Farcus.

In addition to a comedy club and an onboard spa, the ship also offers an adults-only sun deck, several bars and lounges, and plenty of dining options and daily activities to stave off boredom on longer voyages.

Bottom line

So, which Carnival cruise ship is the best? It all depends on your specific preferences. Whether you’re searching for an inexpensive vacation, a family-friendly vessel or a ship that will take you on a longer voyage to Europe, there’s a Carnival cruise to fit your taste and budget.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Best Carnival cruise ships: Here’s which ship you should sail, based on your travel style

Carnival shares rise as flood of demand for cruise bookings bolsters record quarterly results

The Carnival Sunshine cruise ship travels toward the port in Nassau, Bahamas.

After cruises became the canary in the coal mine for the tourism industry’s decimation during the pandemic, bookings have come roaring back. The biggest winner is cruise companies, with Carnival reporting on Tuesday that it had reached record revenue in the second quarter of 2024.

The outlook for the cruise giant is even rosier for 2025, with advanced bookings set to be higher than in 2024. Analysts at UBS maintained their buy rating on the stock, setting a target price of $21. Carnival shares rose Tuesday on the news, reaching $18.40 at time of publication after hovering around $16 at the start of the week.

A rising tide

After a disastrous 2020 and 2021, which saw cruise companies lose tens of billions of dollars and become saddled with debt, they won back customers with what a Morningstar analyst referred to as "diplomatic pricing"—offering deep discounts and packaging together amenities.

In Tuesday's second-quarter earnings release, Carnival announced it had prepaid around $6.6 billion in debt over the last 15 months, reducing its debt by nearly 40%. With growing revenue, however, the company also has invested in infrastructure, including installing the Elon Musk–run internet service Starlink across its fleet and launching a new ship called Queen Anne, which can hold 3,000 passengers.

Competition remains steep, with Royal Caribbean unveiling the Icon of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, in January. Carnival's market cap of $23 billion is just over half of Royal Caribbean's $41 billion, though it remains the largest company in the industry by number of boats. The Switzerland-based Viking remains the smallest of the big three, with a market cap of around $13 billion.

Despite the positive outlook, UBS analysts warned that an economic slowdown, especially in the U.S. and Europe, could impact booking levels and pricing. Fuel prices remain another concern. Still, Tuesday's financials outperformed the analysts' expectations, largely driven by increased bookings and higher pricing. According to a separate report from Morningstar, booking patterns indicate that 2025 could yield higher results than the 3% previously predicted.

A May report from the trade association Cruise Lines International Association attributed the growth to new passengers, with 27% of "cruisers" over the past two years embarking on their first voyage, an increase of 12% over the past year. According to the report, cruise tourism rebounded faster than other forms of travel after the pandemic, with 31.7 million passengers in 2021 compared with pre-pandemic numbers of 29.7 million in 2019.

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Princess Cruises ships ranked by size from biggest to smallest — the complete list

Gene Sloan

Are you looking for the most venue-packed, resort-like Princess Cruises ships at sea? If so, you'll want to get on one of the biggest Princess cruise ships.

The biggest Princess cruise ships are, by their very nature, the Princess ships with the most onboard restaurants, bars and showrooms, as well as the most sprawling decktop pool and lounge areas. The biggest Princess ships have the biggest casinos and spas among ships in the Princess fleet and the most cabins and suites — as well as the most variation in cabin and suite types.

With room for 4,000 passengers or more, the biggest Princess ships are truly large resorts of the sort you find at the biggest vacation destination on land. If you're in the "bigger is better" camp when it comes to a resort experience, these are the Princess ships for you.

For more cruise news, guides and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

Still, Princess doesn't just operate large vessels. The Los Angeles-based cruise giant — the fifth largest cruise line in the world — also has several relatively small cruise ships in its fleet that carry just 2,000 or 3,000 people and have a more intimate feel. In some cases, these vessels are nearly 50% smaller than the size of Princess Cruises' biggest ships. These smaller ships, notably, have less deck-top pool space and fewer interior venues than the biggest Princess cruise ships. However, with fewer people on board, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The smallest Princess cruise ships are best for vacationers who like a more intimate, less crowded resort experience.

Related: The 4 types of Princess Cruises ships, explained

To make sure you end up on the right Princess ship for you, it pays to study which Princess ships are the biggest and which are the smallest before booking.

Here, every Princess ship currently in operation is ranked from biggest to smallest.

1. Sun Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2024 Size: 177,882 gross tons Passenger capacity: 4,300

2. Discovery Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2022 Size: 145,000 gross tons Passenger capacity : 3,660

3 (tied). Enchanted Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2020 Size: 144,650 gross tons Passenger capacity : 3,660

3 (tied). Sky Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2019 Size: 144,650 gross tons Passenger capacity : 3,660

5. Majestic Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2017 Size: 143,700 gross tons Passenger capacity : 3,560

6 (tied). Regal Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2014 Size: 142,229 gross tons Passenger capacity : 3,560

6 (tied). Royal Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2013 Size: 142,229 gross tons Passenger capacity : 3,560

8 (tied). Ruby Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2008 Size: 113,561 gross tons Passenger capacity : 3,080

8 (tied). Emerald Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2007 Size: 113,561 gross tons Passenger capacity : 3,080

8 (tied). Crown Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2006 Size: 113,561 gross tons Passenger capacity : 3,080

11 (tied). Sapphire Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2004 Size: 115,875 gross tons Passenger capacity : 2,670

11 (tied). Diamond Princess

largest cruise fleet

13. Caribbean Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2004 Size: 112,894 gross tons Passenger capacity : 3,149

14. Grand Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 1998 Size: 107,517 gross tons Passenger capacity : 2,600

15. Island Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2003 Size: 92,822 gross tons Passenger capacity : 2,200

16. Coral Princess

largest cruise fleet

Maiden voyage: 2002 Size: 91,627 gross tons Passenger capacity : 2,000

What is the biggest Princess cruise ship?

The biggest Princess cruise ship is the 4,300-passenger Sun Princess , which is also the line's newest vessel. It just debuted in February.

Sun Princess is the first vessel in Princess Cruises' new Sphere Class of ships, which have been designed to be much bigger and more venue-packed than the vessels in the line's last new series of ships, the Royal Class.

Sun Princess measures 177,882 gross tons, which is about 22% bigger than the biggest ship in the Royal Class (the 145,000-ton Discovery Princess). Royal Class ships range in size from 142,229 to 145,000 gross tons.

Note that gross tons is a size measurement referring to interior space, not weight.

A second ship in the Sphere Class series, Star Princess, is under construction at a shipyard in Italy and will debut in October 2025 .

For more details on Sun Princess, including what venues are on board and what it's like to sail on the vessel, see TPG's comprehensive first look at Sun Princess after an early sailing.

What is the smallest Princess cruise ship?

The smallest Princess cruise ship is the 2,000-passenger Coral Princess. Measuring just 91,267 gross tons, it's about 36% smaller than Discovery Princess, making it a significantly smaller vessel.

Coral Princess dates to 2002, a time when cruise ships were built far smaller than they are today and with far fewer venues. At 21 years old, it's also one of the two oldest vessels in the Princess fleet and will probably be phased out sometime in the next decade.

Related: The ultimate guide to Princess Cruises

While significantly smaller than the newest Princess ships, Coral Princess still has many of the signature spaces and venues found on new Princess vessels, including an Italian eatery called Sabatini's and a steakhouse.

Entertainment venues on Coral Princess include a relatively large main theater for production shows, a secondary lounge that offers comedy shows and other entertainment, and a casino. Like other Princess ships, the top deck of the vessel is mostly devoted to pool areas with hot tubs and lounge chairs. There's also a spa.

While smaller and older than the typical Princess ship, Coral Princess has a loyal following among Princess fans who prefer smaller and more intimate ships.

Are bigger Princess cruise ships coming?

It's not clear yet. Princess currently has one new ship on order, Star Princess. But the final size of Star Princess won't be known until the vessel debuts in late 2025.

Star Princess will be the second vessel in the new Sphere Class of ships at Princess. It's likely to be very similar in size to the first vessel in the series, the new Sun Princess. But it's not uncommon for each new vessel in a series to be slightly bigger than the one before.

Star Princess is currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard near Monfalcone, Italy.

Note that this isn't the first time Princess has named a ship Sun Princess or Star Princess. Both are recycled names from past Princess ships. Princess operated smaller vessels under the Sun Princess and Star Princess names up until 2020.

Related: Everything to know about Princess cabins and suites

What's the difference between bigger and smaller Princess ships?

The biggest Princess cruise ships have room for more onboard venues and attractions than smaller Princess ships. That makes them more alluring for vacationers who prefer a big resort experience with lots of options as compared to a stay at a smaller resort.

On the biggest Princess vessels, the Sphere Class and Royal Class vessels, you'll find the largest piazza-like central atriums in the Princess fleet surrounded by lots of bars and restaurants; multiple entertainment venues for live shows, comedy acts and more; and expansive pool decks with more space for sunning than you'll find on smaller Princess vessels.

You'll also find some only-on-the-Royal-class-ships extras, including, on some of the Royal Class ships, a glass-floored "SeaWalk" that extends over the side of the vessel.

Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Princess ship

Princess' smaller cruise ships also are generally its older cruise ships and lack some of the above features, which are more typical of newer ships. These smaller Princess ships have a more intimate feel, at least in the pantheon of relatively big, mass-market ships, and they hold fewer people.

While Sphere Class and Royal Class ships can hold more than 4,500 passengers with every berth full, the line's smaller vessels (particularly the relatively small Island Princess and Coral Princess) often sail with just 2,000 or so passengers on board.

That makes the smaller Princess ships a good choice for someone who wants to try Princess but isn't eager to travel with huge crowds. The smallest ships in the Princess fleet thus appeal to a subset of Princess fans who prefer more intimacy in a cruise vessel and don't mind giving up some onboard amenities to get it. They are also often less expensive to sail on, on a per-day basis.

Related: Don't miss out on these Princess loyalty perks

In addition, because of their size, the smallest ships at Princess Cruises are able to operate itineraries to places that aren't as easy for big ships to visit. Not all ports in the world can handle a ship the size of Sun Princess.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

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Fire breaks out on icon of the seas — the world’s largest cruise ship.

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A fire broke out Tuesday on the largest cruise ship in the world — the same liner where a passenger plunged to their death last month.

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas was docked in Costa Maya, Mexico when the small blaze erupted, causing the massive ship to briefly lose power, officials told USA Today.

The fire was isolated to a crew area and was quickly extinguished without any injuries.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas cruise ship docked in Miami early in the morning on June 1, 2024.

The ship’s backup power was activated, preventing the vessel from deviating from its itinerary. The 20-deck vessel is sailing a week-long Western Caribbean cruise that departed from Miami, Florida on Saturday, according to  CruiseMapper .

The minor blaze isn’t the first notable incident on the Icon of the Seas since setting sail on its maiden voyage in January.

In May, a passenger leapt off the 1,200-foot cruise ship on the first day of the week-long expedition to Honduras. The boat was only 300 miles from its Florida origin port at the time.

Passengers told The Post about the “dystopian” scene that ensued when people aboard prematurely celebrated that he was pulled from the water, assuming the man was alive.

Tourists disembarking from the Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, at Costa Maya Cruise Port in Mahahual, Mexico

One month earlier, 20-year-old passenger Levion Parker plunged to his death off another Royal Caribbean cruise after a reportedly drunken fight with his father.

His remains have not yet been found after he climbed through a window on the Liberty of the Seas and jumped in front of his younger brother and dad.

Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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After nearly collapsing during COVID, it’s now an amenities arms race for the cruise industry

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The world’s largest cruise company, Carnival, announces its quarterly earnings Tuesday.

Four years ago, the pandemic all but shut down the cruise industry , and operators incurred huge debt just to maintain their mothballed fleets. But the industry has bounced back and then some; passenger numbers last year exceeded pre-pandemic levels.  

When it comes to vacationers, you’ve got your national park people, you’ve got your museum lovers. And then, said Cornell’s Rob Kwortnik, you’ve got your cruisers.

“Cruise fanatics are — they’re a breed unto themselves. They absolutely love the experience,” he said.

And they’re reliable customers who helped the industry set sail after the COVID shutdowns. But it’s not the diehards who are driving the near-record growth today, Kwortnik noted.

“The new-to-cruise is the lifeblood of the industry, and so there’s always efforts to try to persuade someone who’s a land-based vacationer to take a cruise,” he said.

If you’re into rock climbing, ice skating or riding roller coasters, you can do all those things on a boat. And this arms race of amenities is even spilling over onto land, according to Assia Georgieva of Infinity Research.

Guests at a cruise ship pool.

“In addition to the actual ships, private islands have been really important,” she said.

That’s right: private islands. Georgieva said that cruise companies are investing more and more in their own ports of call. So, instead of docking in a city to soak up local culture and food, “you can experience a beach club. You can go jet skiing, water slides that I just absolutely love,” she said. “I’m probably the oldest person that goes up there with all the kids.”

These all-inclusive experiences seem to be attracting extended families. “So now we’re having three generations going on a cruise ship,” said Georgieva.

Including some who may have never cruised before.

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Disney Adventure cruise ship to set sail from Marina Bay in 2025 on three- and four-night trips

largest cruise fleet

SINGAPORE – Fans of Mickey Mouse, rejoice. The Disney Adventure cruise ship will set sail from Marina Bay Cruise Centre from 2025, offering three- and four-night voyages.

The 208,000 gross ton ship will carry about 6,700 passengers and 2,500 crew members, the Disney Cruise Line announced on June 26.

Guests will be able to experience seven themed areas on the ship, each filled with characters from popular movies and series such as Toy Story, Big Hero 6, Moana, Finding Nemo and Avengers, said the cruise line.

One of the areas, the Disney Imagination Garden – a gathering space described as the “emotional heart” of the Disney Adventure – is inspired by 100 years of “heroic and heart-warming” Disney adventures, it added.

Other themed areas include San Fransokyo Street, inspired by Big Hero 6 (2014), where families can play interactive games, shop and watch movies.

The cruise will also offer stage shows with Disney songs and characters, film screenings, karaoke and game shows.

Children and teenagers will have dedicated spaces and clubs, while adults will enjoy premium dining, lounge and spa experiences, said the cruise line.

The ship’s staterooms will be decorated with “special Disney touches”, it added.

While Disney Cruise Line did not reveal how much each guest could expect to pay, it said that more details of the vessel’s maiden voyage and on-board experiences will be announced at a later date.

largest cruise fleet

The cruise ship calling Singapore its home port is part of a five-year collaboration between the Singapore Tourism Board and Disney Cruise Line, and was announced by former minister-in-charge of trade relations S. Iswaran in March 2023 .

He had said at the time that the cruise ship is expected to be the largest vessel of its kind calling at Singapore, as well as the largest ship in Disney’s fleet.

The cruise line currently has five ships in its fleet, covering destinations such as the Caribbean, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It has three more ships – including Disney Adventure – on the way.

Disney Adventure will be the first among the Disney cruise ships to home-port in Singapore.

“Consumers in this region have shown such strong affinity for Disney, and we are thrilled to bring an unparalleled Disney Cruise Line vacation to their backyard,” said Ms Sarah Fox, Disney Cruise Line’s vice-president and regional general manager of Asia.

She added that “by infusing Disney’s signature service with hand-picked experiences unique to Asia”, the cruise will allow guests to “look forward to the magic at sea through personalised touches, a selection of global cuisines and abundant retail offerings carrying a distinct local flavour”.

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  1. List of largest cruise ships

    Icon of the Seas is the first ship of Royal Caribbean's Icon class of cruise ships. She is the largest cruise ship in service after late January 2024. Wonder of the Seas is the latest ship of Royal Caribbean's Oasis class of cruise ships and is the second largest cruise ship in service after January 2024.. Cruise ships are large passenger ships used mainly for vacationing.

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    When it comes to the largest ships, Royal Caribbean is the undisputed leader with the six biggest cruise ships in the world. But the king of the fleet — and the largest cruise ship in the world — is Icon of the Seas. Icon of the Seas doesn't sail with passengers until 2024, but it's already made waves. It's not just the massive size ...

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    It is easily one of the largest in MSC's fleet (along with sister ship Grandiosa), having 2,421 cabins on 15 passenger-accessible decks (18 decks total). MSC Virtuosa Gross Tonnage: 181,000 tons ...

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    Largest Cruise Lines Research Summary The largest cruise line in the world is Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), with a revenue of $22.86 billion. As of 2022, the global cruise line industry has a market size of $7.67 billion. ... Their fleet features cruise ships across three brands, TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, and Marella Cruises ...

  7. The Biggest Cruise Ship: 10 Largest Cruise Ships in the World

    Cruise line: Royal Caribbean. Length: 1,188 feet. Width: 215 feet. Guest capacity: 7,084. A true wonder, the current biggest ship in the world delights guests every week with a feast of activities ...

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    1. Symphony of the Seas: This 18-deck cruise ship is currently the largest passenger ship in the world, measuring 1,188 feet. Check out the gallery for the rest of the world's largest cruise ships ...

  9. Carnival Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean: Who Has the Largest Fleet?

    By comparison, Carnival Cruise Line's award-winning flagship Mardi Gras is the largest ship in its fleet, nearly 50,000 gross tons larger than its next-largest fleet mate, but only just makes ...

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    RCG is the 2nd largest cruise shipowner in the world, controls over 1/4 of the cruise market, with 58,000 employees, nearly USD 20 billion in assets, and almost USD 7B in revenue (data 2011). The combined fleet includes the brands Royal Caribbean International , Celebrity , Pullmantur (purchased 2006), CDF Croisieres de France (est 2008 ...

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    BIGGEST & BOLDEST. The largest cruise ship in the world, Symphony of the Seas doesn't just win awards — it wins over everyone who sets foot onboard. Plummet 10 stories into the mysteries of the deep on the tallest slide at sea. Harmony of the Seas® is boundless with onboard thrills. NEWEST, BIGGEST.

  12. What is the largest cruise ship in the world?

    Currently, the largest cruise ship in the world by both tonnage and passenger capacity is Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas. It takes the title from fleetmate Wonder of the Seas. Several other Royal Caribbean vessels — including Freedom Class and Oasis Class namesakes Freedom of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas — were also the largest at one ...

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    NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE. Maiden voyage: 1998 Size: 75,904 gross tons Passenger capacity: 2,032 What is the biggest Norwegian Cruise Line ship? The biggest Norwegian Cruise Line ship is the 4-year-old Norwegian Encore.While not quite as big as the biggest ships from rival lines Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Encore is still firmly in the pantheon of the world's ...

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    Currently, the largest Carnival ship is Carnival Jubilee, in terms of both tonnage and passenger capacity. Set to debut in late 2023, it will tie sister ship Carnival Celebration, which first set sail in 2022, at 183,521 gross tons and 5,374 passengers at double occupancy. It's easy to remember that, generally, the newest ships are the largest ...

  15. The World's Largest Cruise Ships Sailing For Each Line (With Photos)

    But the largest ship in the fleet is Norwegian Encore, which debuted in 2019. Encore is part of the cruise line's Breakaway-Plus class. The ship measures 169,116 gross tons, or about 70% of the tonnage of Wonder of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. The ship measures 1,094 feet and carries 3,998 at double occupancy.

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    One of the most popular cruise ships within P&O Cruises fleet, P&O Arvia has been providing multi-generational families, ... The largest cruise ship in the world when it set sail in 2016, Harmony of the Seas is divided into seven neighbourhoods, including Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, the wellness zone ...

  17. The World's Second-Largest Cruise Ship Officially Joins Royal Caribbean

    At 236,860 gross tons, the new ship is the largest in the class and officially notches the second spot on the list of the world's largest cruise ships. The ship has 2,834 staterooms, which is actually about 30 more than Icon of the Seas. At full capacity, it can hold nearly 6,800 passengers. With the arrival of Utopia, Royal Caribbean is now ...

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    Courtesy of Princess Cruises. Inaugural Year: 2024. Ship Class: Sphere. Ship Capacity: 4,300 guests. The inaugural ship in Princess' new Sphere class, Sun Princess is the line's largest — and ...

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    P&O Cruises welcomed its largest cruise ship Iona, to the fleet in July 2021, after a year-long delay due to the pandemic. The 180,000-tonne, 5,200-passenger ship is not only P&O Cruises' largest ...

  20. Fire breaks out on world's largest cruise ship

    Crew on board the world's largest cruise ship, the Icon of the Seas, were called on to tackle a fire this week as the gigantic vessel was berthed in a port in Mexico.

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    Grandeur of the Seas. ROYAL CARIBBEAN. Maiden voyage: 1996 Size: 73,817 gross tons Passenger capacity: 1,992 What is the biggest Royal Caribbean ship? The biggest Royal Caribbean cruise ship is the just-unveiled Icon of the Seas.Measuring 250,800 gross tons, it's not only the biggest Royal Caribbean ship but also the biggest cruise ship ever built by any line.

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    MIAMI (WSVN) - A small fire caused a vacation scare on the world's largest cruise ship. Icon of the Seas is the newest vessel in the Royal Caribbean company's fleet. However, that was at the ...

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    Costa Smeralda was the first of the two Excellence-class vessels in the Costa Cruisesfleet. The vessel debuted in 2019 as the Italian cruise line's largest ship to date. It was also the line's ...

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    Move over Wonder of the Seas, there is officially a world's new largest cruise ship. Icon of the Seas -- the highly anticipated new vessel from Royal Caribbean -- has officially joined the cruise line's fleet. In a ceremony at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, more than 1,200 workers and executives from both the shipyard and Royal Caribbean were on hand to celebrate as the ship was signed ...

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  26. Carnival shares rise as flood of demand for cruise bookings bolsters

    The outlook for the cruise giant is even rosier for 2025, with advanced bookings set to be higher than in 2024. Analysts at UBS maintained their buy rating on the stock, setting a target price of ...

  27. Princess Cruises ships ranked by size from biggest to smallest

    The Los Angeles-based cruise giant — the fifth largest cruise line in the world — also has several relatively small cruise ships in its fleet that carry just 2,000 or 3,000 people and have a more intimate feel. In some cases, these vessels are nearly 50% smaller than the size of Princess Cruises' biggest ships. ...

  28. Fire breaks out on Icon of the Seas

    A fire broke out Tuesday on the largest cruise ship in the world — the same liner where a passenger plunged to their death last month.. Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas was docked in Costa ...

  29. It's an amenities arms race for the cruise ship industry

    The world's largest cruise company, Carnival, announces its quarterly earnings Tuesday. ... and operators incurred huge debt just to maintain their mothballed fleets. But the industry has ...

  30. Disney Adventure cruise ship to set sail from Marina Bay in 2025 on

    SINGAPORE - Fans of Mickey Mouse rejoice - the Disney Adventure cruise ship will set sail from Marina Bay Cruise Centre from 2025, offering three- and four-night voyages. The 208,000-gross-ton ...