While some seasoned cruisers may refuse to set foot on them, extra-large cruise ships are starting to dominate the industry. In a way, these new megaships really are small floating cities; Royal’s Oasis and Quantum-class ships are even divided into distinct “neighborhoods.” We’ve broken down the world’s largest cruise ships by class for those of you looking to hop aboard one of these modern marvels of engineering.
1. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class
Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas
Gross Tonnage: 225,282 - 226,000
Passenger Capacity: 5,400 to 5,479 based on double occupancy
Years Launched: Oasis of the Seas - 2009, Allure of the Seas - 2010, Harmony of the Seas - 2016, Symphony of the Seas - 2018
Highlights: Over 20 dining options, zipline, AquaTheater high-diving shows, ice skating rink, water park, and 3D movie theater.
Fun Fact: Each new ship in the Oasis Class is bigger than the previous ship and thus has become the largest cruise ship in the world when it debuts.
2. Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class
Gross Tonnage: 168,666
Passenger Capacity: 4,180 based on double occupancy
Years Launched: Quantum of the Seas - 2014, Anthem of the Seas - 2015, Ovation of the Seas - 2016
Highlights: North Star observation capsule, RipCord skydiving simulator, bumper cars, a water park, and over a dozen dining venues.
3. Norwegian’s Breakaway Plus Class
Gross Tonnage: 164,600
Passenger Capacity: 4,266 based on double occupancy
Years Launched: 2015
Highlights: Enormous water park, over 25 dining experiences, ropes course, The Cellars wine bar, Snow Room, and The Waterfront oceanside promenade.
4. Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Class
Gross Tonnage: 160,000
Passenger Capacity: 3,782 to 4,370 based on double occupancy
Years Launched: Freedom of the Seas - 2006, Liberty of the Seas - 2007, and Independence of the Seas - 2008
Highlights: Water park, ice-skating rink, 10 dining options, 3D movie theater, and FlowRider surfing simulator.
5. Norwegian's Epic Class
Gross Tonnage: 155,889
Passenger Capacity: 4,100 based on double occupancy
Years Launched: 2009
Highlights: Aqua Park, studio cabins, massive sports complex, 18 dining venues, Svedka Ice Bar and The Haven.
Gross Tonnage: 149,215
Passenger Capacity: 2,695 based on double occupancy.
Years Launched: 2003
Highlights: Several bars, lounges, and dining options, 3D movie theater, pet kennel with outdoor space, planetarium, and the largest dance floor at sea.
Fun Fact: Queen Mary 2 is technically not a cruise ship, but an ocean liner. She was designed with a sharp bow and deep hull to better navigate the North Atlantic year-round.
7. Norwegian's Breakaway Class
Norwegian Getaway in Ocho Rios - Photo by Norwegian
Gross Tonnage: 146,600 and 145,655 tons
Passenger Capacity: 3,963 based on double occupancy
Years Launched: Breakaway - 2013, Getaway - 2014
Highlights: Water park, spa salt room, ropes course with “Walk The Plank” which extends 8 feet over the side of the ship, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Sea, The Waterfront oceanside promenade, and over a dozen dining venues.
8. P&O's Royal Class
Gross Tonnage: 143,000
Passenger Capacity: 3,647 based on double occupancy
Year Launched: 2015
Highlights: Over 10 dining options, kid’s splash zone, cooking workshops, dance classes, and a movie theater.
9. Princess' Royal Class
Royal Princess at Sea - Photo by Princess
Gross Tonnage: 142,714
Passenger Capacity: 3,560 based on double occupancy.
Years Launched: Royal Princess - 2013, Regal Princess - 2014
Highlights: Over 10 dining options, Movies Under the Stars, Watercolor Fantasy outdoor water show, live television studio, and Sea Walk glass-bottomed walkway.
Fun Fact: The cast of TV’s The Love Boat served as Regal Princess’ Godparents and helped to christen the ship.