Details on the biggest cruise ship afloat today
When people think of cruise ships and read about different cruise lines one of the first questions that is often asked is “what is the biggest cruise ship”? The answer to this question has changed many times over the last decade as we have seen a massive increase in the size of the cruise ships that have been, and are still being built.
Owning the biggest cruise ship is also a great marketing tool for the cruise line too, so that is why they are constantly drawing up plans to develop bigger ships that carry more and more passengers and have more exciting features for the passengers to use once on-board. Of course, there are only a few cruise companies in the world that can even consider building a ship that will be the biggest cruise ship, even if only short lived. The cost for building some of these mega liners runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and this prices most of the cruise lines out of the ‘biggest cruise ship’ game.
What is the biggest cruise ship in service now?
Before I reveal the biggest cruise ship in service now, I just want to go back a few years and mention some of the ships that did hold the title of being the biggest cruise ship for a while, until they were knocked off their perch by the next super liner to come along.
- Carnival Destiny – brought into service in 1996
The Carnival Destiny, owned by Carnival Cruise line was the first ever cruise ship to exceed the magic 100,000 gross tonnage weight weighing in at 101,000 tons. She is still in service now for Carnival and is still a popular ship for many cruisers.
- Grand Princess – brought into service in 1998
The Grand Princess (Princess Cruise line) weighs in at 109,000 tons and really caught the eye of everybody in the cruise industry due to the unique design of the ship. At the back it is shaped almost like a formula 1 racing car with a big spoiler. But the spoiler shaped design at the back of the Grand Princess is actually the ships Disco, giving an amazing view for everyone in it.
- Voyager of the Seas – brought into service in 1999
Royal Caribbean did not want to be left out of the biggest cruise ship party, so they built and launched the Voyager of the Seas in 1999. This weighed in at a massive 138,000 gross tons and really signified Royal Caribbean’s intentions for the new millennium.
Once the fashion had started with the 100,000 plus cruise ships, these three cruise lines, Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean all built numerous other ships in these classes, as well as creating new classes of ships too. The title of biggest cruise ship went back and forth several times. Then, in 2004 Cunard line decided they wanted to get in on the act and launched the RMS Queen Mary 2
- RMS Queen Mary 2 – brought into service in 2004
In January 2004 Cunard line launched the impressive RMS Queen Mary 2. The name steeped in cruising tradition, the original Queen Mary was taken out of service in 1967 and retired to her permanent mooring in Long Beach, California. The RMS Queen Mary 2 weighs in at a massive 151,000 gross tons, yet she only carries about 3000 passengers at maximum capacity.
The World’s Biggest Cruise Ship
The RMS Queen Mary 2 held the title as the world’s biggest cruise ship for about 5 years, but then Royal Caribbean decided to blow all of the competition away with the introduction of their new mega ship, and also the first ever ship to exceed the 200,000 gross tonnage weight.
- Oasis of the Seas – brought into service in 2009
The Oasis of the Seas weighs in at a massive 225,282 gross tons, carries over 6000 passengers and is over 1100 feet long. But the Oasis of the Seas is not alone, she has a twin sister, the Allure of the Seas. Both are incredible feats of design and construction and really have to be seen to be believed.
So the world’s biggest cruise ship title belongs to the twin ships the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas