As promised, here’s some some more information on big ships. I’ve arbitrarily decided to define these as “ships bigger than Queen Mary and/or Queen Elizabeth” – Cunard’s original Queens.
First, here’s a table of 65 cruise ships of over 100,000 gross tonnage:
|Harmony of the Seas||2016||226,963||2,747||5,479||6,360|
|Allure of the Seas||2010||225,282||2,706||5,412||6,296|
|Oasis of The Seas||2009||225,282||2,706||5,412||6,296|
|Quantum of the Seas||2014||168,666||2090||4,180||4,905|
|Anthem of the Seas||2015||168,666||2090||4,180||4,905|
|Ovation of the Seas||2016||168,666||2090||4,180||4,905|
|Liberty of the Seas||2007||155,889||1,817||3,634||4,375|
|Freedom of the Seas||2006||154,407||1,817||3,634||4,375|
|Independence of the Seas||2008||154,407||1,817||3,634||4,375|
|Queen Mary 2||2004||148,528||1,296||2,592||3,090|
|Navigator of the Seas||2002||139,570||1,638||3,276||3,807|
|Mariner of the Seas||2003||138,279||1,557||3,114||3,807|
|Explorer of the Seas||2000||138,194||1,557||3,114||3,840|
|Voyager of the Seas||1999||138,194||1,557||3,114||3,840|
|Adventure of the Seas||2001||137,276||1,557||3,114||3,807|
(The information above was obtained from Wikipedia.)
Of course, that’s just the ships over 100,00 gross tons. There are also a number of smaller ships that are still bigger than the old Cunard Queens. Some of these are only just bigger, in tonnage terms and are therefore hard to assess. For example, there’s the original Vista-class ships – four with Holland America Line and one with P&O. Of these, three (Noordam, Zuiderdam and Oosterdam) seem to be about the same size as the old Queens, whereas two – Arcadia and Westerdam – are bigger (around 86,000 tons). This is doubtless due to modification that they’ve received which the other haven’t. But the next generation of Vista – the enhanced Vistas, of which there are at least 6 (Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Costa Deliziosa, Costa Luminosa, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth) are all just over 90,000 tons. So let’s call that another 9 ships bigger than the original Queens.
Then there are a couple of Princess ships – Coral Princess and Island Princess – and four Celebrity ships – the Millennium class (Millennium, Constellation, Infinity and Summit), all about 90,000 tons. That seems to have been a popular size – all of these ships are to Panamax dimensions – that is, they can pass through the (old) Panama Canal locks, and around 90,000 tons was the maximum that Panamax ships reached. There are the six ships of the NCL’s Norwegian Dawn class and the ships derived from it, and there are four ships in Royal Caribbean’s Radiance class. There are also four ships in Carnival’s Carnival Spirit class, all at about 85,000 tons. So that’s a total of 29 ships to add to the 65 in the table, all of the bigger than Queen Mary and the original Queen Elizabeth.
And one more, of course – Costa Concordia was over 100,000 tons but isn’t listed in the table – she’s “no longer in service”. Still, she was built so she deserves to be counted.
The Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were the biggest passenger ships in the world for 30 years or more, from when Queen Mary was built in the mid-30s until they were retired in the mid/late 1960s. Ship construction then down-sized a bit – as originally built the QEII was definitely smaller, at just under 70,000 tons. But in the last 20 years or so the old limits have been stretched, broken and blown to the horizon – these days a new ship of about 75,000 tons or so would be described as ‘medium-sized’. We have truly been living through a golden age.
My favourite source of ship pictures is Bart de Boer’s ShipParade. Have a look – well worth it.