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The 10 Biggest Cruise Ships in the World

Is bigger always better? The largest cruise ships in the world answer with a resounding yes.

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High Angle View Of Cruise Ship On Sea
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Where to float on the biggest boats

Every vessel that’s once held the title of “biggest cruise ship” has one thing in common: It is a destination in and of itself. Of course, these enormous passenger cruise ships also transport guests to thrilling ports, exotic islands and remote locations too. It’s almost as if you could live on a cruise ship!

These massive ships each have so much going on: theater and music on a multitude of stages, water slides, roller coasters and go-kart tracks, zip lines, ice skating rinks, laser tag arenas—you name it. There are also hidden cruise features waiting to be discovered and more restaurants than you will ever need to feed yourself. They are, simply put, awe-inspiring creations. Have you ever thought about how cruise ships float?

One of the most important cruise tips for vacationing on one of these big boats is to accept that you won’t be able to do it all on your first visit. Thankfully, with many itineraries to choose from, you can sail on the largest cruise ship again and again, learn cruise ship code words and have new experiences every single time you’re on board one of these massive ships.

What is largest cruise ship in the world?

The current reigning champion is Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas. But next year, there will be a brand-new biggest cruise ship, the Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas. Planned with 20 decks, 2,805 staterooms, seven pools and nine hot tubs, the future largest ship in the world is currently being built in Finland. Here are the details about the biggest and grandest ships to sail on.

Wonder Of The Seas Cruise Ship Royal Carribean
via royalcaribbean.com

Wonder of the Seas

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, shows, meals and memories. Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, an Oasis-class ship that is a city at sea, has 16 guest decks, 2,204 crew members from every corner of the planet and more than 10 bars and 20 dining destinations—nine of which are complimentary. Curiously, even though the Icon of the Seas will eventually take the mantle as the largest cruise ship, Wonder will still have more staterooms than its new big sister, a whopping 2,867 of them.

It also features a carousel on a real boardwalk, a dry slide that twists down 10 decks, surfing simulators, a laser tag arena, an ice skating rink and a zip line that spans the interior width of the ship. It also has interior rooms with balconies that look out over the restaurant and a tree-lined neighborhood that looks like Central Park. Wonder of the Seas will soon lose its crown as the biggest cruise ship in the world, but it’ll never lose its ability to provide unique vacations thanks to affordable cruises for every kind of traveler.

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World Europa Msc Cruise
via msccruisesusa.com

World Europa

Cruise line: MSC

Length: 1,093 feet

Width: 154 feet

Guest capacity: 6,762

MSC is not only a privately held shipping company, the largest in the world, they are also the maker of some of the largest cruise ships in the world. The World Europa, which took to the sea for the first time in 2022, is currently escorting passengers all over the Mediterranean, using one of the cleanest marine fuels to do so.

The World Europa features some of the best rooms on a cruise ship, thanks to having the most cabins with a balcony. It also has the world’s longest dry slide at sea, taking adventurous cruisers down 12 decks in a shiny, twisting stainless steel tube, and bumper cars in a SportsPlex arena that also hosts rollerblading—not at the same time, however. People looking for something a little less dramatic will enjoy six pools, some surrounded by tropical greenery, 14 whirlpools and MSC’s first-ever department store at sea. Finally, you’ll never go hungry on this ship, given its 10 restaurants, including four main dining rooms and three buffets.

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Arvia P And O Cruise
via pocruises.com


Cruise line: P&O Cruises

Length: 1,130 feet

Width: 138 feet

Guest capacity: 6,685

Whether you want the sunshine of the Caribbean or the culture found in and around Mediterranean ports, Arvia is P&O’s largest cruise ship and one of the biggest cruise ships in the world, with 1,800 crew members, a three-screen cinema complex, a wide range of staterooms to choose from and four pools, including an infinity pool with a swim-up bar. There are also nearly two dozen whirlpool spas, a sauna, steam room and a hydrotherapy pool.

This means that whether you’re taking a singles cruise or have children in tow—the Arvia is a family-friendly ship with age-specific kids clubs on board—serious rest and relaxation are definitely on the agenda. Then, when you’re feeling spry and ready for some adventure during your vacation at sea, you can try an escape room or ropes course, play in the sports arena or strut your stuff in a dance class.

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Costa Cruises Costa Toscana
via costacruises.com

Costa Toscana

Cruise line: Costa Cruises

Length: 1,105 feet

Width: 137 feet

Guest capacity: 6,600

A sister to the Smeralda, the Costa Toscana became the fleet’s largest cruise ship when it took to the water in March 2022. The ship uses LNG propulsion engines to make sea travel more sustainable, both while cruising and in ports of call around the world. An international crew of 1,678 works to deliver dream vacations for up to 6,600 passengers who will love to discover all there is to do, see and experience on board.

The ship has 1,550 staterooms ranging from interior cabins to elaborate suites, a baker’s dozen pools and whirlpools, and a total of 20 restaurants, bars and lounges. Costa’s new flagship vessel is a smart city at sea, offering subtly high-tech sailings that provide fun for the whole family, thanks to Peppa Pig character parties, an aqua park with water slides and a mind-bending skywalk 213 feet above the ocean! So book a vacation on one of the largest cruise ships in the world, then pack your cruise ducks and your appetite for learning how to cook at Toscana‘s Food LAB cooking school, among other adventures at sea.

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Carnival Celebration Cruise
via carnival.com


Cruise line: Carnival

Length: 1,130 feet

Width: 137 feet

Guest capacity: 6,631

As cruise lines jockey for position at the top of the biggest cruise ship in the world leaderboard, the original family-fun ships are also getting larger. A total of 1,735 international crew, famously considered the best in the business, will ensure that every family’s cruise on the Celebration not only maximizes the fun but also the memories, and all at some of the most affordable prices in the cruise industry.

This ship has BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, Dr. Seuss children’s themed cruises with character appearances, and incredible water parks with multiple slides. Delicious food is made fast-and-fresh at Guy’s Burger Joint, Shaq’s Big Chicken and the Seafood Shack, as well as tasty street-food carts located near the pools. Plus, with all the extra space on the largest cruise ship in their fleet, Carnival’s Playlist Productions has more stages to dazzle you and your kids with famously fantastic live music and musical theater.

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Norwegian Encore Ta Listings
via tripadvisor.com


Cruise line: Norwegian

Length: 1,094 feet

Width: 136 feet

Guest capacity: 3,998

With 1,700 crew members and more than 2,000 staterooms, including suites in The Haven—Norwegian’s luxurious, private and tranquil ship-within-a-ship concept high atop the ship, which comes with 24-hour butler service and its own lavish sundeck—the Encore ranks among the largest cruise ships in the world. Curiously, this vessel from 2019 is still the largest in the Norwegian fleet! Both Prima and the forthcoming Viva were built after Encore but are considerably smaller in size, bucking the cruise industry trend of “bigger is better.”

Encore shines as a superior and super big ship, the fourth in the Breakaway Plus class, and features a multi-deck go-kart track, the Cavern Club music venue, fashioned after the famous Liverpool room where The Beatles became big, a virtual-reality gaming room, an outdoor laser-tag arena and some of the best food at sea. No doubt, this will become one of every passenger’s favorite cruises.

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Symphony Of The Seas
via tripadvisor.com

Symphony of the Seas

Cruise line: Royal Caribbean

Length: 1,188 feet

Width: 216 feet

Guest capacity: 6,680

None of the many all-inclusive cruises take place on the largest cruise ships, but you may be forgiven for thinking you’re enjoying an all-inclusive experience on Symphony of the Seas. The ship’s many spectacular activities include a zip line that soars above the boardwalk many decks below, an old-fashioned carousel, Broadway-style theater shows, surfing simulators and the 10-story Abyss dry slide. There’s also delicious food all over the ship that is 100% complimentary. And while you may fly on the zip line over and over again, you’ll probably still wonder, Why do cruise ships have wings?

After its maiden voyage in April 2018, Symphony was the biggest cruise ship in the world. But because of its ingenious neighborhood concept, guests rarely feel overcrowded. Seven distinct areas carve up the ship into unique spaces to play, eat, stroll, sleep and enjoy live entertainment, and the traffic flows brilliantly to make passengers feel as though they’re on a more intimate ship and not cruising with upward of 6,680 other people in more than 2,700 staterooms, some of which are interior cabins with balconies that boast views of the Central Park neighborhood’s greenery and eateries.

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aidanova adia cruise
via tripadvisor.com


Cruise line: AIDA

Length: 1,105 feet

Width: 138 feet

Guest capacity: 6,654

While American travelers looking to cruise the Caribbean may not encounter her, the AIDAnova is not only the largest cruise ship in the AIDA fleet, she’s also a revolutionary lady. The ship’s Four Elements adventure deck, with its three water slides and climbing garden under the dome of a retractable glass roof, drops jaws on every sailing. The ship’s more than 2,600 staterooms with 20 different types, ranging from a glorious two-deck penthouse to budget-friendly interior cabins, allow guests to sleep well and arrive in port well rested, and the two-deck spa offering 80 different treatments provides even more healing and luxury.

But AIDAnova is also impressive because it made history as the world’s first cruise ship to be powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. It’s important that big ships can be more sustainable, but did you ever wonder why there are big balls on cruise ships?

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Tourists Return To Kangaroo Island On Princess Cruises' Sun Princess Following Bushfires
Rocket Weijers/Getty Images

Sun Princess

Cruise line: Princess

Length: 1,133 feet

Width: 154 feet

Guest capacity: 4,300

The Love Boat is getting much, much bigger! Yes, this is the namesake ship from the beloved ’70s TV show. With 2,150 cabins, the Sun Princess is close to carrying 4,300 passengers to Europe for its inaugural season later this year. And then all around the world, people will be asking, “Why do cruise ships have to stop in Canada?”

The third ship in the history of the fleet to be graced with the iconic name, the Sun Princess is poised to be a fan favorite. There are more than 29 bars, lounges and restaurants on board, with the Sea View Terrace and Bar ensconced in glass at the top and front of the ship, book-ended by the Wake View Terrace at the back, which has a stunning infinity pool hanging off the edge. Drawing inspiration from the tiered terraces of Santorini, Greece, this evocative area will have an indoor/outdoor pool to enjoy supreme relaxation during the day. But once the sun says goodbye, the pool becomes a stage and the dome above transforms into an entertainment venue with eye-popping lighting effects.

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Msc Cruises Msc Euribia
via msccruisesusa.com


Cruise line: MSC

Length: 1,085 feet

Width: 141 feet

Guest capacity: 6,334

Come June 2023, one of the newest and biggest cruise ships at sea will be carrying eager pasengers, and more than 1,700 dedicated crew members, to world-class destinations in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. While on board the Euribia, cruisers will enjoy a massive amount of personal space (100-plus square feet per person) at any one of five unique pools, including one of the most intricate waterparks at sea, covering more than 10,000 square feet.

These watery areas of rest, relaxation and revelry will comfortably accommodate more than 1,000 guests at a time. Indoors, a 360-foot-long Mediterranean-style promenade is lined with myriad shops, along with some of the 20 bars and 10 restaurants found on the ship. It also features a domed LED screen that magically displays the sky and other animations throughout the day and night. MSC continues to be a favorite cruise line of environmentalist travelers looking to ease their mind and minimize their footprint, as the Euribia has an advanced onboard wastewater treatment system that doesn’t allow any water to leave the ship without being treated and cleaned.

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Jeff Bogle
Jeff Bogle is an Iris Award–winning photographer, avid traveler and English football fanatic who regularly covers travel, culture, cars, health, business, the environment and more for Reader's Digest. He is the proud dad of teen daughters.