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The 15 Biggest Cruise Ships in the World in 2022

The 15 Biggest Cruise Ships in the World in 2022

Cruise ships have been getting bigger—and adding lots of attractions that were unheard of just a few years ago. To help you pick which megaship is right for you, I’ve rounded up the 15 biggest cruise ships in the world in 2022.

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Along with a ranking of the top 15 cruise ships by size, I’ve included important stats and unique features for each ship. If you’re considering sailing on one of the biggest cruise ships in the world, you’ll want to read this guide before you choose!

How do we determine the size of cruise ships for comparison?

Cruise ships can be measured by a variety of factors. You might assume that a ship’s size is determined by its length, weight, or even its passenger capacity.

But the size of a cruise ship is generally determined by gross tonnage—and (confusingly) that’s not a measurement of weight!

Gross tonnage, or GT, is a measure of the ship’s internal volume. To calculate GT, first a ship’s volume is calculated by measuring from keel to funnel to the outside of the hull framing. That number (in cubic meters) is then run through several mathematical formulas to determine GT. (I won’t go into all of that here, but if you’re interested the US Coast Guard has a simplified guide to measuring gross tonnage).

The world’s 15 largest cruise ships

Note: Currently (2022), the top 15 biggest cruise ships have three sets of ties in the rankings, all between “sister ships” that share the same cruise line and class.

12. (tie) MSC Bellissima

  • Cruise line: MSC
  • Year built: 2019
  • Gross tonnage: 171,598
  • Length: 1,036.2 ft / 315.83 m
  • Max. beam: 141 ft / 43 m
  • Staterooms: 2,217
  • Max. passengers: 5,686
  • Passenger decks: 14

Tied for the twelfth spot in the list of the world’s largest cruise ships, MSC’s Bellissima just squeaked onto the list, even though she’s as tall as thirteen double-decker buses!

Perfect for a family cruise, Bellissima offers a wealth of kids’ activities for children aged one through seventeen. Parents can track kids’ whereabouts on board via an RFID bracelet synced with MSC’s app. For adults who want to enjoy a leisurely meal, there’s the Happy Dinner program where the little ones are escorted to the kids club as soon as they finish eating!

Bellissima is home to a thrilling Grand Canyon-themed waterpark with three waterslides—two racing tubes as well as a champagne bowl-style slide. The younger set will love the Aquaplay spray area, and guests of all ages can climb the Himalayan bridge, a rope course that crosses the ship high above the water.

Guests aboard Bellissima also have access to an electronic cruise assistant, similar to Siri or Alexa. A first in the cruise industry, “Zoe”, who speaks seven languages and adapts to each passenger’s preference, provides information and help booking shows, spa treatments, and shore excursions, as well as notifications of events and promotions.

12. (tie) MSC Meraviglia

  • Cruise line: MSC
  • Year built: 2017
  • Gross tonnage: 171,598
  • Length: 1,036.2 ft / 315.83 m
  • Max. beam: 141 ft / 43 m
  • Staterooms: 2,244
  • Max. passengers: 5,655
  • Passenger decks: 14

When MSC’s Meraviglia entered service in 2017, she was the sixth-largest cruise ship in the world—but has since fallen to #12, tied with her newer sister ship Bellissima.

The namesake of the Meraviglia class of cruise ships, she was the first to offer an expanded dining experience with fourteen restaurants, including a whopping four complimentary main dining rooms. Celebrity chef Carlo Cracco was enlisted to improve the quality of the ship’s cuisine.

On Meraviglia entertainment options abound—the Broadway Theatre hosts six unique shows each cruise, along with the Carousel Lounge where you can experience Cirque du Soleil at sea. The crew also puts on an impressive amount of activities and events, so there’s always something to do on a sea day.

The ship’s Amusement Park has a full-size bowling alley, 4-D cinema, F1 simulators, an arcade, as well as a sportplex that becomes a disco spot for young cruisers in the evening.

11. (tie) MSC Virtuosa

MSC Virtuosa, one of the largest cruise ships
  • Cruise line: MSC
  • Year built: 2020
  • Gross tonnage: 181,541
  • Length: 1,087.4 ft / 331.43 m
  • Max. beam: 160 ft / 50 m
  • Staterooms: 2,421
  • Max. passengers: 6,334
  • Passenger decks: 14

MSC’s ship Virtuosa, built in 2020, is one of the newest offerings by the Swiss-Italian cruise line and number eleven on our list.

Virtuosa offers five pools in total, plus a water park with three waterslides, so water babies of all ages can spread out and enjoy the fun. The pools can accommodate over a thousand guests at a time!

If relaxing with a cocktail is more your style, stop by and see Rob the bartender at Starship Club. He’s the first humanoid bartender at sea, and speaks six languages!

Cruisers can also wander the Galleria Virtuosa—the pretty indoor promenade with restaurants and shops features an arched ceiling with the longest LED dome at sea, presenting an ever-changing light display.

11. (tie) MSC Grandiosa

MSC Grandiosa, one of the world's biggest cruise ships
  • Cruise line: MSC
  • Year built: 2019
  • Gross tonnage: 181,541
  • Length: 1,087.4 ft / 331.43 m
  • Max. beam: 141 ft / 43 m
  • Staterooms: 2,632
  • Max. passengers: 6,761
  • Passenger decks: 14

Tied for number 11, Grandiosa is the first ship in MSC’s Meraviglia-Plus class, along with her sister Virtuosa and the upcoming Europa, scheduled to debut in 2022.

With 200 more staterooms than previous MSC ships, Grandiosa has expanded the number of accessible cabins on board, and added groups of up to three connecting staterooms as well as new family balcony cabins. Some spacious family staterooms can sleep up to twelve!

Grandiosa also has some innovative environmental features, including systems to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 80%, and sulfur emissions by 97%. She has a fuel-efficient hull and can run on shore power when docked.

Fun fact: Grandiosa‘s godmother is Italian screen legend and longtime MSC ambassador Sophia Loren.

10. Mardi Gras

world's biggest cruise ships: Carnival Mardi Gras
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  • Cruise line: Carnival
  • Year built: 2020
  • Gross tonnage: 181,808
  • Length: 1,130 ft / 344 m
  • Max. beam: 138 ft / 42 m
  • Staterooms: 2,641
  • Max. passengers: 6,630
  • Passenger decks: 15

Number 10 is Carnival Cruise Line’s widely-anticipated Mardi Gras (the cruise line’s largest ship) which took her maiden voyage in July 2021.

Mardi Gras debuts several new concepts for Carnival, including two new dining venues. Big Chicken by Shaq serves up fried chicken and more, while quick-service Street Eats offers three food stations, each specializing in a different type of cuisine.

The Grand Central Atrium reinvents the central area of the ship, with a larger space featuring bars, cafés, and shops with aerial performances overhead.

She also boasts the first rollercoaster at sea—BOLT is an open-air coaster with spectacular sea views. Riders can control their speed using pedals inside each two-person motorcycle-themed car.

9. AIDAcosma

  • Cruise line: AIDA
  • Year built: 2021
  • Gross tonnage: 183,200
  • Length: 1,106 ft / 337 m
  • Max. beam: 138 ft / 42 m
  • Staterooms: 2,626
  • Max. passengers: 6,600
  • Passenger decks: 16

Setting sail on her maiden voyage in February 2022, Carnival Corporation’s German brand AIDA’s newest ship AIDAcosma makes #9 on the list.

AIDAcosma‘s unique features include the Ocean Deck, a four-story relaxation oasis with an infinity pool and panoramic ocean views.

The ship also has a reinvented Fun Park, complete with a ropes course, rock-climbing wall, and a large indoor playground.

Her seventeen restaurants and 23 bars and cafés ensure that guests have plenty of variety on their cruise vacation! Notable is the new Mamma Mia specialty restaurant, serving up fresh Italian cuisine including homemade pasta.

8. AIDAnova

  • Cruise line: AIDA
  • Year built: 2018
  • Gross tonnage: 183,858
  • Length: 1,106 ft / 337 m
  • Max. beam: 138 ft / 42 m
  • Staterooms: 2,626
  • Max. passengers: 6,654
  • Passenger decks: 16

In eighth place is AIDAnova, sister ship to AIDAcosma. The first of AIDA’s ships to use liquefied natural gas (LNG), AIDAnova has nearly zero emissions.

Wellness-minded cruisers will love AIDAnova‘s 3545 square meters dedicated to fitness and relaxation. The new Body & Soul Spa features five ocean-view saunas, a sun terrace with three jacuzzis, and a tepidarium. Over 30 free exercise classes are offered each week in the Sport area, or train solo in the open-air gym.

Or take a leisurely stroll on the Lanai deck, where guests can walk almost all the way around the ship, stopping at restaurants and bars including the Lanai Bar at the stern.

7. Iona

  • Cruise line: P&O
  • Year built: 2020
  • Gross tonnage: 184,089
  • Length: 1,130 ft / 344.5 m
  • Max. beam: 138 ft / 42 m
  • Staterooms: 2,614
  • Max. passengers: 6,600
  • Passenger decks: 15

Number seven is P&O UK’s Iona, the largest cruise ship built specifically for the British market. One of the newer ships on the list, Iona was delivered in 2020 but made her first voyage in August 2021.

Family-friendly Iona features the enclosed SkyDome pool area, kids’ splash zone, and a shallow pool for little cruisers. Hosted by specially-trained Reef Rangers, the Reef kids’ club is a fun environment for children aged 2-17, open from early morning until late.

But Iona‘s not all about the kids! She’s actually home to the world’s first gin distillery at sea, producing the Marabelle label. Inspired by the Scottish island of Iona, the gin contains 18 botanicals. Guests can attend two unique gin masterclasses on board, including one that allows you to craft your own gin with expert guidance.

6. (tie) Costa Toscana

  • Cruise line: Costa
  • Year built: 2021
  • Gross tonnage: 185,010
  • Length: 1,106 ft / 337 m
  • Max. beam: 138 ft / 42 m
  • Staterooms: 2,612
  • Max. passengers: 6,554
  • Passenger decks: 16

Italian line Costa Cruises’ newest ship, Costa Toscana, comes in at the sixth-largest cruise ship in the world. The Tuscan-inspired vessel features furnishings, fabrics, and accessories all made in Italy. Even the driftwood used to craft dining tables at Archipelago restaurant was harvested from the Italian shoreline by Guardians of the Coast.

Food is a major focus of the ship, with many of her 21 restaurants offering authentic local cuisine by chefs including Bruno Barbieri, Hélène Darroze, and Ángel León. Even the littlest cruisers have a special place to eat—Squok Restaurant is dedicated to families with kids.

If all the amazing food on board inspires you, be sure to check out Toscana‘s Food LAB, where guests can learn to prepare their own culinary creations alongside the ship’s chefs.

6. (tie) Costa Smeralda

  • Cruise line: Costa
  • Year built: 2019
  • Gross tonnage: 185,010
  • Length: 1,106 ft / 337 m
  • Max. beam: 138 ft / 42 m
  • Staterooms: 2,612
  • Max. passengers: 6,554
  • Passenger decks: 16

Tied for sixth place is Costa Smeralda, a favorite of sustainability-minded cruisers. Smeralda was the first in Costa’s fleet powered by liquefied natural gas (sister ship Toscana now also shares this feature), a fuel source that reduces the ship’s environmental impact.

Other eco-friendly features include LED lighting throughout the ship, an onboard desalinization plant that sustainably harvests onboard water directly from the sea, and systems that recover the engines’ heat to reduce energy use.

Costa Smeralda earned the coveted Green Plus notation from RINA, only awarded to the most environmentally friendly cruise ships.

5. Allure of the Seas

  • Cruise line: Royal Caribbean
  • Year built: 2010
  • Gross tonnage: 225,282
  • Length: 1,180 ft / 360 m
  • Max. beam: 198 ft / 60.5 m
  • Staterooms: 2,742
  • Max. passengers: 6,780
  • Passenger decks: 16

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas ranks as the fifth largest cruise ship in 2022. She’s the second (and smallest) of the Oasis-class ships.

Allure of the Seas features seven themed “neighborhoods”—the Royal Promenade, Central Park, Entertainment Place, Boardwalk, Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea, and the Youth Zone.

With a ten-deck-high zipline and the interactive H2O Zone waterpark, Allure of the Seas is a favorite ship for adventurous cruisers of all ages.

4. Oasis of the Seas

  • Cruise line: Royal Caribbean
  • Year built: 2009
  • Gross tonnage: 226,838
  • Length: 1,180 ft / 360 m
  • Max. beam: 198 ft / 60.5 m
  • Staterooms: 2,742
  • Max. passengers: 6,780
  • Passenger decks: 16

Number four is Oasis of the Seas, the first of the namesake Oasis class, and the oldest ship to make the top 15 list. Built in 2009, she was then the largest cruise ship in the world, and the first to have a maximum capacity of over 6000 passengers!

Oasis of the Seas may be an older ship, but she doesn’t look like one! In 2019 she had a $165 million transformation that brought the ship up to date.

Entertainment abounds on this ship, from the splashy Aqua80 show in the AquaTheater to Music Hall, a live music venue with plenty of floor space for dancing. Or try one of the four onboard waterslides including the ten-story-high Ultimate Abyss.

3. Harmony of the Seas

  • Cruise line: Royal Caribbean
  • Year built: 2016
  • Gross tonnage: 226,963
  • Length: 1,188.1 ft / 362.12 m
  • Max. beam: 215.5 ft / 65.7 m
  • Staterooms: 2,747
  • Max. passengers: 6,687
  • Passenger decks: 16

Coming in at number three is Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, built in 2016 at a cost of 1.3 billion dollars.

With her three pool decks containing an impressive collection of pools and hot tubs, you’ll never feel crowded taking a dip. You can even learn how to SCUBA dive, right on the ship! Aboard Harmony of the Seas, guests have the opportunity to take the PADI® Open Water Diver Course, culminating with open water dives at various ports of call.

After you’ve worked up an appetite in the pool, try one of Harmony of the Seas‘ twenty restaurants, serving up over 200 different dishes on a daily basis.

2. Symphony of the Seas

  • Cruise line: Royal Caribbean
  • Year built: 2018
  • Gross tonnage: 228,081
  • Length: 1,184.42 ft / 361.011 m
  • Max. beam: 215.5 ft / 65.7 m
  • Staterooms: 2,759
  • Max. passengers: 6,680
  • Passenger decks: 16

The largest cruise ship in the world until 2022, Symphony of the Seas comes in second—but is still a behemoth at 1184 feet and 228,081 gross tons!

Built in 2018, Symphony of the Seas boasts some fun tech! Check out the Big Wonder, a seven-ton canopy lit with color-changing LEDs that cast a glow over the ship’s Solarium at night.

Enjoy a cocktail at Bionic Bar, where one of two robot bartenders can shake you up the perfect martini. But don’t worry, the ship’s 13 other bars and lounges are staffed by friendly humans.

Or play a lively game of glow-in-the-dark laser tag to battle for control of Planet Z—when the ship’s ice rink is temporarily transformed into an alien world, of course.

1. Wonder of the Seas

  • Cruise line: Royal Caribbean
  • Year built: 2022
  • Gross tonnage: 236,857
  • Length: 1,187.8 ft / 362.04 m
  • Max. beam: 210 ft / 64 m
  • Staterooms: 2,859
  • Max. passengers: 6,988
  • Passenger decks: 16

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas is the cruise line’s newest ship—and the world’s largest, at almost 1188 feet long and 236,857 gross tons!

Delivered in February 2022, Wonder of the Seas made her maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale on March 4, 2022.

Like the other Oasis-class ships, she’s organized into neighborhoods, but with the addition of an eighth unique section. This new neighborhood is dedicated to suite guests, with a plunge pool and bar as well as the suites-only Coastal Kitchen and Suites Lounge.

Wonder of the Seas offers some exciting new features—in addition to boasting the largest poolside movie screen of any RCCL ship there’s also The Vue, a cantilevered bar offering panoramic ocean views. For the kids, there’s the new Wonder Playscape—an underwater-themed play area with climbing walls and an interactive puzzle mural.

Comparing the 15 biggest cruise ships in the world

RankShipCruise LineTonnageMax Passengers
1Wonder of the SeasRoyal Caribbean236,8576,988
2Symphony of the SeasRoyal Caribbean228,0816,680
3Harmony of the SeasRoyal Caribbean226,9636,687
4Oasis of the SeasRoyal Caribbean226,8386,780
5Allure of the SeasRoyal Caribbean225,2826,780
6*Costa SmereldaCosta185,0106,554
6*Costa ToscanaCosta185,0106,554
7IonaP&O184,0896,600
8AIDAnovaAIDA183,8586,654
9AIDAcosmaAIDA183,2006,600
10Mardi GrasCarnival181,8086,630
11MSC GrandiosaMSC181,5416,761
11MSC VirtuosaMSC181,5416,334
12MSC MeravigliaMSC171,5985,655
12MSC BellissimaMSC171,5985,686
*tied for 6th tied for 11th tied for 12th

Largest cruise ships FAQ

How is the size of a cruise ship measured?

Ships are measured by gross tonnage, which is a measure of internal volume.

What does maximum beam mean on a ship?

Maximum beam is the measurement at the widest part of a ship’s hull.

Which cruise ship is the biggest?

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship, with a gross tonnage of 236,857.

Which cruise ship is the longest?

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas is the world’s longest cruise ship at 1,187.8 ft (362.04 m).

Which cruise ship can hold the most passengers?

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas can hold the most passengers, with a maximum occupancy of 6,988.

Which cruise ship has the most staterooms?

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas has the most passenger staterooms, at 2,859.

Have you sailed on one of the largest cruise ships in the world? Or do you prefer cruising on a smaller ship? I’d love to hear in the comments below!


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