The 10 Largest Cruise Ships in the World

largest biggest cruise ships world
Harmony, Allure, and Oasis of the Seas have all held the title of "World's Largest Cruise Ship." - Photo by Royal Caribbean

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

harmony of the seas largest ship

Harmony of the Seas - Photo by Royal Caribbean

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. MSC's Meraviglia Class

MSC Meraviglia and MSC Bellissima

msc meraviglia largest cruise ship bellissima

MSC Meraviglia - Photo by MSC Cruises

Gross Tonnage: 170,000 

Passenger Capacity: 4,500 based on double occupancy

Year Launched: Meraviglia - 2017, Bellissima - 2019

Highlights: Cirque du Soleil at Sea, Formula 1 racecar simulators, a water park, and Italian restaurant Eataly

3. Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class

Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, and Ovation of the Seas

quantum seas largest cruise ship nyc

Quantum of the Seas in New York - Photo by Royal Caribbean

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.

4. Norwegian’s Breakaway Plus Class

Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy, and Norwegian Encore

norwegian escape st thomas largest ship

Norwegian Escape in St. Thomas - Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

Gross Tonnage: 164,600 and 167,725

Passenger Capacity: 4,266 and 3,883 based on double occupancy

Years Launched: Escape - 2015, Joy - 2017

Highlights: Norwegian Escape offers an enormous water park, over 25 dining experiences, ropes course, The Cellars wine bar, Snow Room, and The Waterfront oceanside promenade. Norwegian Joy was purpose-built for the Asian market and features a go-kart racetrack, laser tag, a noodle bar, and luxury shopping.

5. Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Class

Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, and Independence of the Seas

independence seas largest cruise ship miami

Independence of the Seas sails out of Miami - Photo by Royal Caribbean

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.

6. Norwegian's Epic Class

Norwegian Epic

norwegian epic

Norwegian EpicPhoto by Royal Caribbean

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.

7. MSC's Seaside Class

MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview

msc seaside seaview largest cruise ship

MSC Seaside - Photo by MSC Cruises

Gross Tonnage: 154,000

Passenger Capacity: 5,179 based on double occupancy

Year Launched: Seaside - 2017, Seaview - 2018

Highlights: Waterfront boardwalk, zip line, water park, exclusive South Beach-inspired Yacht Club area, and Asian Market Kitchen with Chef Roy Yamaguchi

8. Dream Cruises' Genting Dream and World Dream

world dream genting largest cruise ship

World Dream - Photo by Dream Cruises

Gross Tonnage: 150,695

Passenger Capacity: 3,352 and 3,400 based on double occupancy

Year Launched: Genting Dream - 2016, World Dream - 2017

Highlights: Water park, virtual reality games, ropes course, glow bowling, and lectures/workshops from world-class speakers

9. Cunard's Queen Mary 2

queen mary 2 qm2 largest ship

Queen Mary 2 in Sydney - Photo by Cunard

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.

10. Norwegian's Breakaway Class

Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway

norwegian getaway ocho rios biggest ship

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.

Article updated in January 2018.

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