Cruise ship

Cruise ships are large passenger ships used mainly for vacationing. Unlike ocean liners, which are used for transport, cruise ships typically embark on round-trip voyages to various ports-of-call, where passengers may go on tours known as "shore excursions". On "cruises to nowhere" or "nowhere voyages", cruise ships make two- to three-night round trips without visiting any ports of call.[1]

Cruiseferry MS Galaxy at the port of Mariehamn, Åland, in February 2016

Voyager-class cruise ship Voyager of the Seas at Port of Kobe in March 2013.
Cunard's Vista-class cruise ship, Queen Elizabeth in Hamburg, Germany.

Modern cruise ships tend to have less hull strength, speed, and agility compared to ocean liners.[2] However, they have added amenities to cater to water tourists, with recent vessels being described as "balcony-laden floating condominiums".[3]

Cruise ships MSC Poesia, Vision of the Seas, and Mein Schiff Herz at Tallinn Passenger Port at Estonia.

As of December 2018, there were 314 cruise ships operating worldwide, with a combined capacity of 537,000 passengers.[4] Cruising has become a major part of the tourism industry, with an estimated market of $29.4 billion per year, and over 19 million passengers carried worldwide annually as of 2011.[5] The industry's rapid growth saw nine or more newly built ships catering to a North American clientele added every year since 2001, as well as others servicing European clientele until the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 saw the entire industry all but shut down.[6]

As of 2022, the world's largest passenger ship is Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas.


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