What is the largest cruise ship?
The Oasis class cruise ships are the largest cruise ships with Harmony of the Seas (above) surpassing her sisters Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas (respectively below). Allure is larger than Oasis by about an inch, which led to the claim that Allure was the largest cruise ship. However, gross tonnage is the recognized standard of measurement and since the two ships have the same gross tonnage, they should be considered the same size.
Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas (above) and sisters Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas are tied for fifth.
Queen Mary 2 (below) is the largest ocean liner but no longer in the top ten largest passenger ship.
The standard for measuring the size of cruise ships (and ocean liners) is gross tonnage.*
The highest gross tonnage is Harmony of the Seas, an Oasis class cruise ship, with 227,000 gross tons. She just slightly surpasses her two sister ships Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas (both 225,282 gross tons). A fourth Oasis class cruise ship (Symphony of the Seas) has been ordered by Royal Caribbean International and is being built in France.
(Note that it is not all that unusual for ships of the same class not to have the same gross tonnage. For example, the first two ships of Royal's Voyager class were slightly smaller than the last three ships of that class).
The next largest cruise ships in terms of gross tonnage is MSC Cruises' Meraviglia at 171,598 gross tons.
Royal Caribbean then returns with: Anthem of the Seas and her sisters Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas at 168,666 gross tons. A fourth Quantum class ship is on order.
Norwegian Cruise Line has the next three largest ships with Norwegian Joy (167,725); Norwegian Escape (164,600 gross tons) and Norwegian Epic (155,873 gross tons).
The largest ocean liner - - as opposed to cruise ship - - is Queen Mary 2 at 151,000 gross tons.
To give a sense of how this compares to the great ocean liners of the past, Titanic was 46,000 gross tons, Normandie was 79,280 gross tons, the first Queen Mary was 81,237 gross tons, the first Queen Elizabeth was 83,673 gross tons, the France was 66,343 gross tons (subsequently 76,049 as Norway) and the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was 70,327 gross tons.
*Note: Creating some confusion, the size of warships and cargo ships are measured in tons. However, gross tonnage is different than the measures (i.e., displacement and dead weight) used for those other types of ships. (see separate article).
Top Ten Biggest Passenger Ships
1. Harmony of the Seas
2. 3. (tie)
Allure of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas
5. 6. 7 (tie)
Anthem of the Seas
Quantum of the Seas
Ovation of the Seas
8. Norwegian Joy
9. Norwegian Escape
10. Norwegian Epic
Cruise ship FAQs - - What is the biggest cruise ship?