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MS Freedom of the Seas is a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International. It is the fourth largest cruise ship in the world, and can accommodate 3,634 passengers and 1,300 crew on fifteen passenger decks.
  • MS Europa 2 - 'The world's most luxurious cruise ship' (Berlitz Cruise Guide).
  • MS Allure of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. Together with her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, she holds the record for the largest passenger ship ever constructed, although Allure is 50 millimetres (2.0 in) longer than Oasis, making her technically the largest despite the fact that both ships have identical superstructures. 5,400 passengers at double occupancy. 6,296 maximum.
  • Norwegian Epic is a cruise ship of the Norwegian Cruise Line. It is the third largest cruise ship in the world. The ship has 4100 passenger berths, with all outside cabins having balconies.
  • MS Freedom of the Seas is a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International. It is the fourth largest cruise ship in the world, and can accommodate 3,634 passengers and 1,300 crew on fifteen passenger decks.
  • MS Liberty of the Seas is a Royal Caribbean International Freedom class cruise ship. It is the fifth largest cruise ship in the world. The 15-deck ship accommodates 3,634 passengers served by 1,360 crew.
  • MS Independence of the Seas is a Freedom-class cruise ship operated by the Royal Caribbean cruise line. It is the sixth largest cruise ship in the world. The 15-deck ship can accommodate 4,370 passengers and is served by 1,360 crew.
  • RMS Queen Mary 2 (also referred to as the QM2) is a transatlantic ocean liner. It is the seventh largest cruise ship in the world. She was the first major ocean liner built since Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969, the vessel she succeeded as flagship of the Cunard Line. The new ship was named Queen Mary 2 by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 after the first RMS Queen Mary, completed in 1936.
  • Norwegian Breakaway is a cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line. It is the eighth largest cruise ship in the world. She is 146,600 GT in size, and has capacity for 4,000 passengers, double occupancy. The ship has a total of 1,024 staterooms and 238 suites.
  • MS Royal Princess is a cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises. It is the ninth largest cruise ship in the world. The ship measures 141,000 GT and has a capacity of 3,600 passengers.
  • MS MSC Divina is a cruise ship owned and operated by MSC Cruises. It is the tenth largest cruise ship in the world. She can accommodate 3,959 passengers in 1,637 cabins; her crew complement is 1,325.

World's Top 50 Largest Cruise Ships and Ocean Liners

Cruise Lines (Top 50) Cruise Ship News & Reviews (30+) Cruise Ships & Ocean Liners: A-Z

"Sunsets are always better on a cruise." - Anonymous.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain.

CRUISING by boat is a lifestyle that involves living for extended time on a boat while traveling from place to place for pleasure. Cruising generally refers to trips of a few days or more, and can extend to round-the-world voyages.

Cruising has become a major part of the tourism industry, accounting for U.S.$29.4 billion with over 19 million passengers carried worldwide in 2011. The industry's rapid growth has seen nine or more newly built ships catering to a North American clientele added every year since 2001, as well as others servicing European clientele. Smaller markets, such as the Asia-Pacific region, are generally serviced by older ships. These are displaced by new ships in the high growth areas.

A CRUISE SAHIP or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way. Transportation is not the prime purpose, as cruise ships operate mostly on routes that return passengers to their originating port, so the ports of call are usually in a specified region of a continent. There are even "cruises to nowhere" or "nowhere voyages" where the ship makes 2-3 day round trips without any ports of call.

By contrast, dedicated transport oriented OCEAN LINERS do "line voyages" and typically transport passengers from one point to another, rather than on round trips. Traditionally, an ocean liner for the transoceanic trade will be built to a higher standard than a typical cruise ship, including high freeboard and stronger plating to withstand rough seas and adverse conditions encountered in the open ocean, such as the North Atlantic. Ocean liners also usually have larger capacities for fuel, victuals, and other stores for consumption on long voyages, compared to dedicated cruise ships.

Although often luxurious, ocean liners had characteristics that made them unsuitable for cruising, such as high fuel consumption, deep draught that prevented them from entering shallow ports, enclosed weatherproof decks that were not appropriate for tropical weather, and cabins designed to maximize passenger numbers rather than comfort (such as a high proportion of windowless suites). The gradual evolution of passenger ship design from ocean liners to cruise ships has seen passenger cabins shifted from inside the hull to the superstructure with private verandas. The modern cruise ships, while sacrificing qualities of seaworthiness, have added amenities to cater to tourists, and recent vessels have been described as "balcony-laden floating condominiums".

The lines between ocean liners and cruise ships have blurred, particularly with respect to deployment, although the differences in construction remain. Larger cruise ships have also engaged in longer trips such as transocean voyages which may not lead back to the same port for months (longer round trips). Some former ocean liners operate as cruise ships, such as Marco Polo and Mona Lisa. This number is diminishing. The only dedicated transatlantic ocean liner in operation as a liner, as of February 2010, is the Queen Mary 2 of the Cunard fleet. She also has the amenities of contemporary cruise ships and sees significant service on cruises.

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