How Many Passengers Can a Cruise Ship Hold?

Modern-day cruise ships are like floating cities that accommodate passengers who want to relax and have fun. These ships must be able to provide all the necessary amenities and luxuries their passengers require. To provide everything these passengers want, cruise ships must be able to hold the right amount of people.

How many passengers can a cruise ship hold? The average number of passengers that a cruise ship can hold ranges from 3,000 to more than 5,000 at double capacity. The largest ship in the world, the Symphony of the Seas, can accommodate as many as 6,680 passengers.

In this article, I list 21 popular cruise ships that hold the most passengers. I list the number of passengers each can hold as well as other specs and features.

How Many Passengers Can a Cruise Ship Hold?

Here are the top 21 cruise ships with the most number of passengers, and some information about their width, length, and tonnage.

how many passengers can a cruise ship hold

1. Symphony of the Seas

The Symphony of the Seas can accommodate 5,518 at double capacity and 6,680 passengers at maximum capacity. It was launched in 2016 and is considered the “Queen of the Sea.” It’s the largest ship in the world, weighing 228,021 tons, 238 feet high (72.5424 meters), and 1,184.42 feet long (361.011 meters).

Launched in 2017, the Symphony of the Seas is home to the famous Bionic Bar, where robots mix and serve drinks to passengers. Some of the adrenaline-pumping entertainment events it provides are the Laser Gun Tag, the Aqua Nation, the FlowRider, and the Ultimate Abyss.

2. Harmony of the Seas

Launched in 2016, the Harmony of the Seas is the second largest ship with 6,780 passengers and a 2,100-person crew. It has a gross tonnage of 226,963. The ship is 1,188 feet long (362.12 meters), and 216.55 feet wide (66 meters).

This cruise ship was the largest until 2017 when Symphony of the Seas was launched. In terms of amenities and facilities, it provides similar amenities as the Symphony as they are both operated by the same company, which is the Royal Caribbean. Both ships have the AquaTheater and the Ultimate Abyss Slide.

3. AIDAnova

The AIDAnova can hold 6,600 passengers and 1,500 crew. It measures 1,105.6 feet long (337 meters), 137.8 feet wide (42 meters), and weighs 184,000 tons. It’s one of the largest cruise ships, with its 20 decks and sprawling staterooms.

It was launched in 2018, and since then, it became one of the most popular cruise ships in the world. It has 20 decks with 17 restaurants and various high-end amenities.

4. Oasis of the Seas

This Royal Caribbean cruise ship can accommodate 6,296 passengers and 2,165 crew. Its gross tonnage is 225,000. It measures 1,184 feet long (360 meters) and 213 feet high (64.9 meters). It’s also 208 feet in width (63.4 meters).

It was launched in 2009 and has been one of the popular cruise ships in the world for its incredible amenities and facilities.

5. Allure of the Seas

This cruise ship can hold 6,295 passengers at double occupancy. It was launched in 2009 and became the largest ship for several years until it was surpassed by Harmony of the Seas in 2015.

It spans 1,187.66 feet long (362 meters) and 236 feet tall (72 meters). Its gross tonnage is 225,282 GT. Its maximum beam is 198 feet (60.5 meters). It provides the same amenities as its sister ship, the Oasis of the Seas. These amenities include the AquaTheater and a zip line.

6. Liberty of the Seas

This ship is able to accommodate 3,798 passengers at double occupancy and 4,960 at maximum occupancy. It also houses 1,360 crew. It measures 1,111.9 feet in length (338.91 meters) and 184 feet in width (56.08 meters) with a gross tonnage of 154,407.

It houses 18 decks with 15 passenger decks that are designed for the convenience of the passengers. 

7. Ovation of the Seas

Weighing 167,800 GT, this cruise ship can accommodate 4,180 passengers at double occupancy and 4,905 passengers at maximum capacity. It’s 1,141.73 feet in length (348 meters), 134.51 feet in width (41 meters), and has 18 decks.

8. Quantum of the Seas

The Quantum could carry a maximum of 4,180 passengers at double occupancy and 4,905 passengers at maximum capacity. There are 1,500 crew trained to serve efficiently. It is 1,141.73 feet long (348 meters) and 134.51 feet in width (41 meters).

Its tonnage capacity is 168.666 tons and features similar facilities as the other Royal Caribbean-operated ships. Its skydiving simulators are very popular with the passengers.

9. Freedom of the Seas 

It’s able to contain a maximum of 4,515 passengers and 1,300 crew. It measures 1,112 feet in length (338.94 meters), 185 feet in total width (56.39 meters), and has a gross tonnage of 154,407.

The Freedom of the Seas has almost the same amenities as the cruise ships operated by the Royal Caribbean.

10. MSC Meraviglia and MSC Bellissima

The MSC Meraviglia and MSC Bellissima are able to house 4,500 passengers and 1,536 crew members. The Meraviglia measures 1,034.45 feet long (315.3 meters), 141.08 feet wide (43 meters), and weighs 167,600 tons.

It has 2,250 cabins, which are fully furnished and ready for occupancy. Its primary facilities are comparable to any Royal Caribbean cruise ships with its number of dining rooms and pool decks.

The MSC Bellissima has similar measurements as the Meraviglia.

11. Independence of the Seas 

This ship could house a maximum of 4,375 passengers. Its total length is 1,112 feet (338.94 meters) and has a total width of 185 feet (56.39 meters). It weighs 154,407 tons.

It’s managed by the Royal Caribbean and built by Aker Finnyards. It took its maiden voyage in 2008.

 12. Brittania

This large cruise ship can accommodate 4,324 passengers and more than 1,500 crew members. It weighs 143 tons, measures 1,083 feet long (330 meters), and 144 feet wide (43.89 meters).

In 2015, it received the award for “Best New Ocean Ship” from the Cruise International Awards for its impeccable services and features.

13. Norwegian Escape 

This perfect cruise ship would be able to welcome 4,266 passengers and 1,742 crew. Its gross tonnage is 164,600 with a length of 1,062.99 feet (324 meters), and a width of 135.83 feet (41.4 meters).

Operated by the Norwegian Cruise Lines, it was built in Papenburg, Germany, by Meyer Werft, like the rest of the Norwegian Cruise ships.

14. Spectrum of the Seas 

The Spectrum of the Seas can house a total of 4,188 passengers and a crew of 1,500. It is 1,139 feet long (347.167 meters), 162 feet wide (49.24 meters), and weighs 169,300 tons.

Its design reflects the Royal Caribbean efficient management. Also, it’s equipped with an extra fast Internet connection and incredible virtual balconies for passengers interested in relishing the spectacular view of their surroundings.

15. Anthem of the Seas

Anthem of the Seas can house 4,180 passengers and a 760-crew. It is 1,141.73 feet long (348 meters) and 134.5 feet (41 meters) wide. It weighs a hefty 167,800 tons.

It has 16 passenger decks and features primary facilities, such as pool decks, entertainment bars, food outlets, and other major services for fastidious passengers. The 16 decks are sufficient to house its classy amenities and entertainment centers that are characteristic of the Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

16. Norwegian Epic

This “epic” ship can house 4,100 passengers (double occupancy) and 1,724 crew. Its length is 1,100 feet (335.28 meters), and its width is 130 feet (39.624 meters).

Just as the name implies, it’s an epic cruise ship that provides all the fantastic trimmings of a Norwegian Cruise Line ship.

17. Norwegian Bliss

The Norwegian Bliss is capable of housing 4,002 passengers at double occupancy and has a gross tonnage of 168, 028. It is 1,064.96 feet in length (324.6 meters) and 135.83 feet (41.4 meters) wide.

It provides 2,220 elegantly furnished cabins in its 20 deck. Its amenities are on par with any luxury, high-end cruise ships in the world.

18. Norwegian Breakaway

This Norwegian Cruise ship was launched in 2013. It is able to accommodate 3,963 passengers and a 1,657-member crew. It has a gross tonnage of 146,600 in size and is 1,062.99 feet in length (324 meters), and 130.25 feet in width (39.7 meters).

It has 1,024 staterooms to cater to its guests. It had once been awarded as the “Best Cruise Ship for Families” in 2015 and “Best Rookie Cruise Ship” in 2013.

19. Norwegian Getaway

The Norwegian Getaway can carry a maximum of 3,963 passengers and 1,700 crew members. It’s 1,068 feet in total length (325.52 meters) and 169 feet wide (51.51 meters). Its gross tonnage is 145,655 tons.

Its sister ship, Norwegian Breakaway, was built by the same German company, Meyer Werft. Thus, the facilities and staterooms are somewhat similar.    

20. Norwegian Joy

This cruise ship can hold a maximum of 3,883 passengers, plus a 1,821-member crew. It is 1,094 feet long (333.45 meters), 136 feet wide (41.45 meters), and weighs 167,725 GT.

Built by the trusted Meyer Werft shipbuilder and operated by the Norwegian Cruise Line, this ship offers fun and entertainment facilities that provide a wide array of activities that their passengers would surely enjoy.

21. Queen Mary II

The Queen Mary is able to accommodate 3,090 passengers. It has a gross tonnage of 148,528 tons and is 1,130 feet in length (344.2 meters), and 148 feet in width (45.11 meters).

Having made its maiden voyage in 2004, it’s one of the oldest cruise ships that are at par with the ships from the Norwegian Cruise Line and the Royal Caribbean.

How to Choose a Cruise Ship that Provides Sufficient Amenities for Its Passengers

cruise ships with sufficient amenities

When choosing a cruise ship for your well-deserved vacation, you have to ascertain that the number of amenities and services provided by the ship is sufficient for the number of passengers aboard the ship.

The size of a ship does not necessarily equate to the amenities they provide for the passengers. Hence, you have to know the capacity and features of the ship ahead of time. Here are some aspects that you could look into:

1. Number of Crew

The proportion of the number of crew members should be at least 1:4, and that is one crew to serve 4 or 5 passengers. If the proportion is higher, then you can expect delays in the delivery of various services.

2. Number of Staterooms

The number of staterooms or cabins with their own bathrooms should be adequate for the number of passengers. Do the rooms have enough space for each passenger to be able to sleep and rest comfortably? The number of passengers on the cruise ship should not go beyond the maximum capacity. A number of sea accidents happen because of overloaded ships.

3. Dining Room Capacity

Can the dining rooms serve the number of passengers efficiently? Free meals are typically included in cruise fares, so these rooms have to accommodate the total number of passengers, who may try to eat simultaneously. Naturally, there are room services that could allow you to eat in your staterooms, but it’s good to be ready for any contingencies.

4. Available Amenities

The amenities must also be able to provide the passenger’s needs when they need them. You would surely be stressed out waiting in line for several minutes for the theater or for drinks. So, make sure the cruise ship you have chosen has many service providers. You’re there to relax and have fun and not to be queuing for what you want and getting yourself frazzled. 

5. Number of Passengers

How many passengers are admitted on the cruise ship of your choice? Are you sure the ship has not accepted more than its maximum capacity? The crew may not be able to provide you the exact answer. So you have to select a cruise ship that you can trust. The cruise ship company must have a proven track record of efficiency, honesty, and competency. A customer rating of 4 stars and above is most preferred.

6. Ship’s Track Record

To assess if the service is good in the cruise ship, you can browse its track record and know more about the ship. If the ship has been cruising for a few years, most probably, it’s seaworthy and has been rendering service efficiently to its passengers.

Conclusion – How Many Passengers Can a Cruise Ship Hold?

So to revisit our initial question: How many passengers can a cruise ship hold? The number of passengers a modern-day cruise ship can hold ranges from approximately 3,000 to 6,000 passengers. The largest ship in the world, the Symphony of the Seas, holds as many as 6,680 passengers.

At rare times, the size of the ship is not proportional to the number of passengers it can carry. The reason is that there are various factors affecting the accommodation of passengers. Follow our tips above to ensure you choose a cruise ship that will accommodate the number of passengers it can hold.