In January 2024, Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s biggest ship so far, will officially embark on its journey with a capability of accommodating up to 7,600 passengers — in addition to 2,350 crew members. The ship, spanning 20 levels, will be an excellent choice for families, offering a waterpark with six water slides, as well as seven swimming pools and nine hot tubs on board.

Wonder of the Seas, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
Wonder of the Seas

2. Marvel of the Seas, Royal Caribbean

The AquaTheatre includes platforms where performers take the plunge from a 30 ft dive. The cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, is set to sail in March 2022 and will have a gross tonnage of 236,857, making it the world’s biggest ship. It is divided into eight distinct “neighbourhoods” with an all-new underwater-themed Playscape for youngsters. With a capacity of 6,988, it will surely take the title of the largest cruise ship in the world.

Harmony of the Seas, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
Harmony of the Seas

3. Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean

The Royal Caribbean’s Seas of Harmony is one of the Oasis-class ships, with a capacity of 6,780. It is a floating resort that includes Bay Splashaway for children and outdoor walls for climbing, as well as surf simulators and waterslides. Thrill seekers can enjoy the Abyss Ultimate ten-deck slide, along with a fairground carousel on the Boardwalk. The Royal Promenade features restaurants and shops, making it a packed destination.

Symphony of the Seas, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
Symphony of the Seas

4. Symphony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean

The Symphony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s extravagant passenger ship that debuted in 2018 and held the title of the world’s biggest, boasts 22 dining establishments, 42 bars and lounges, a thrilling zip line, and an ice rink capable of accommodating 6,680 people. One of the ship’s most remarkable features is the magnificent two-story, 1,346 square foot family suite, serving as a private playground for its occupants. This suite offers a unique experience with a slide connecting the children’s bedroom to the living room, a climbing wall, and even a state-of-the-art 3D cinema.

Iona cruise ship by P&O, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
The SkyDome on Iona

5. Iona, P&O Cruise Ships

During the nighttime, Iona offers a breathtaking entertainment destination beneath the celestial bodies. Additionally, it features the inaugural gin distillery at sea and a spacious glass SkyDome that serves as a pool, lounge, and dining space during the day. As an environmentally friendly substitute for diesel, Iona is among the pioneering vessels globally to utilize liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its power source. Upon its inauguration in 2021, P&O Cruises’ Iona became the largest cruise ship ever constructed for the UK market, accommodating up to 5,200 passengers.

Carnival Mardi Gras, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
Carnival’s Mardi Gras

6. Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Company

La Piazza and the New Orleans French Quarter are themed areas where the Mardi Gras, the inaugural Carnival ship to be subdivided, is located. The primary attraction is Bolt, the first rollercoaster on a cruise ship. The Mardi Gras, the largest ship in the Carnival fleet, is named after the first Carnival ship introduced in 1972, and it can accommodate approximately 1,000 passengers, with a total capacity of 6,500.

A cabin on MSC Virtuosa, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
A cabin on MSC Virtuosa

7. MSC Virtuosa, MSC Voyages

Rob, a humanoid robotic bartender, joins the crew to mix and blend beverages while sailing on the ocean. The central promenade, which runs through the ship’s core, features the longest LED ceiling at sea, complemented by impressive music and light displays. MSC Virtuosa, along with its sister ship MSC Grandiosa, is one of the largest cruise ships in the MSC fleet and is renowned as MSC Cruises’ most environmentally advanced vessel to date.

8. Panorama, Carnival Cruise Line

The Carnival Panorama, the inaugural ship from Carnival Cruise Lines in two decades to depart from Long Beach, California, created a significant milestone upon its debut. SkyZone, an enclosed trampoline park, and SkyRide, where travelers pedal along a two-lane bicycle path elevated high above the ship’s deck, are notable attractions. Additionally, guests have the opportunity to enhance their cooking abilities at the Carnival Kitchen culinary school. The ship has a capacity of 5,146 passengers.

Norwegian Bliss, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
Norwegian Bliss

9. Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Cruise Line

The Norwegian Bliss, with a capacity of 4,903, includes the excitement and entertainment that are closely associated with Norwegian Cruise Lines. During Alaska sailings, the Observation Lounge becomes particularly popular. On deck 19, there is the thrilling Aqua Racer: a two-level electric vehicle racing track situated at the highest point of the ship. The Cavern Club, which honors the Fab Four with tribute bands performing Beatles songs, is consistently well-received in the evenings.

Sky Princess, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
The Piazza on the Sky Princess (Christopher Ison)

10. Discovery Princess, Princess Cruises

The biggest in the group are the two elegant Sky Suites that accommodate up to five people and have spacious wraparound balconies measuring 1,000 sq ft. Accommodations include the stylish live jazz lounge Take Five and WakeView bar, designed in the art deco style, as well as a pool that offers stunning views from the back of the ship, perfect for enjoying drinks and taking a dip. These amenities were first introduced on the previous ship, Sky Princess. With a capacity of 3,660 passengers, Sky Discovery boasts many similar features.

11. MSC Meraviglia, MSC Voyages

MSC Meraviglia, one of MSC’s four ships with a capacity of 4,500 passengers, features the standout concept of a ship-within-a-ship, including the exclusive Club Yacht. On board, passengers can enjoy spa treatments, relax in a cabana, or participate in a variety of watersports and activities. The private Bahamian island has two miles of white sandy beaches, where passengers can take part in various activities.

Cunard Queen Mary 2, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
The Queen Mary 2 in New York

12. Queen Mary 2, Cunard

The Cunard flagship, currently the only true transatlantic liner, upholds the traditions of the old-style glamourous afternoon tea served by white-gloved waiters at cocktail parties on board. The QM2, which was launched back in 2004, remains the world’s record-breaking passenger ship. It is the longest cruise ship in the world, measuring 1,132ft, and one of the most expensive and fastest ocean liners ever built.

13. Arvia, P&O Cruises

When it was introduced in 2022, P&O Cruises’ second Excel-class vessel unveiled a variety of innovative elements. With the same design as its sister ship Iona, it has a capacity of 5,200 passengers. For those looking for more leisurely activities, they can try their hand at the nine-hole mini golf course or enjoy a beverage at the swim-up bar. Adventure-seeking travelers can experience the line’s inaugural Altitude Skywalk high ropes course.

14. MSC Seashore, MSC Voyages

The interior decor of the New York skyline is adorned with wall-mounted LED screens and the Statue of Liberty. The MSC Seashore, the largest cruise ship built in Italy and the longest in the fleet, boasts plenty of bragging rights. It features the exclusive ship-within-a-ship enclave, the Yacht Club, as well as the largest children’s club, Club MSC. Measuring 1,112 feet from bow to stern, it can accommodate 5,632 passengers.

15. Celebrity Beyond, Celebrity Voyages

The Celebrity Edge cruise ship, which is the largest in the fleet and has two-storey villas and extra cabins, offers a unique feature called the Carpet Magic. This innovative platform moves up and down outside the ship, serving as a restaurant and bar.

Costa Smeralda, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
Costa Smeralda

16. Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises

The Costa Smeralda is another flagship cruise ship of the Italian Costa line, with a capacity of 6,554. The heart of the ship is the three-deck-high Colosseo Atrium. At the back of the ship, there is an open-air balcony with a glass floor, creating the sensation of flying over water. The decor is influenced by the Italian region of Tuscany.


Disney Wish, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
The Grand Hall on Disney Wish

17. Disney Desire, Disney Cruise Line

Introduced during the summer of 2022, Disney Wish stands as the largest vessel in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, accommodating up to 4,000 individuals. This ship offers AquaMouse, an inaugural Disney attraction on the open waters that merges a water-based ride with captivating cartoon animation. Furthermore, guests can indulge in the inaugural Frozen-inspired dining experience and dine at a charming 1923 restaurant, paying homage to the year of Walt Disney Studios’ establishment. Disney Wish also boasts the cruise line’s initial Royal Suites, occupying two stories.


American Queen, the world's largest steamboat
American Queen

18. American Monarch, American Monarch Voyages

Nightly live shows take place in the elaborate two-story Grand Saloon, designed after the historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC. Travelers have the option to unwind on deck, sitting on white rocking chairs. The Mark Twain Lounge is adorned with Tiffany lamps and mahogany furniture. The grand six-deck recreation of a traditional paddlewheeler showcases opulent decorations. The flagship of American Queen Voyages, with a capacity of 436, proudly holds the title of the world’s largest steamboat.


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  • Further reporting by Qin Xie.

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