A cruiseferry is a ship that combines the features of a cruise ship with a Ro-Pax ferry. Many passengers travel with the ships for the cruise experience, staying only a few hours at the destination port or not leaving the ship at all, while others use the ships as means of transportation.

MS Iona
Pride of Bilbao (now SPL Princess Anastasia), an archetypical cruiseferry. Built for Rederi AB Slite for the Baltic cruise market and operated until 2010 by P&O Ferries between Portsmouth in the UK and Bilbao in the Basque Country, Spain. She was sold by Irish Continental Group at the end of her charter to P&O Ferries in 2010 and she now operates for St. Peter Line between Stockholm Tallinn Helsinki and Saint Petersburg.

Cruiseferry traffic is mainly concentrated in the seas of Northern Europe, especially the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. However, similar ships traffic across the English Channel as well as the Irish Sea, Mediterranean and even on the North Atlantic. Cruiseferries also operate from India, China and Australia.

Baltic Sea cruiseferries

In the northern Baltic Sea, two major rival companies, Viking Line and Silja Line, have for decades competed on the routes between Turku and Helsinki in Finland and Sweden's capital Stockholm. Since the 1990s Tallink has also risen as a major company in the area, culminating with acquisition of Silja Line in 2006.

List of largest cruiseferries of their time

The term "cruiseferry" did not come into use until the 1980s, although it has been retroactively applied to earlier ferries that have large cabin capabilities and public spaces in addition to their car- and passenger-carrying capacity.[citation needed]

Year Name Tonnage1 Company Traffic area Flag Notes
1975MS Belorussiya16,331 GRTBlack Sea Shipping CompanyBlack Sea Soviet UnionAlongside five identical sisters build 1975–76
1976MS Napoléon [fr]20,079 GRTSNCMMediterranean FranceSend to Comarit in 2002.
1977GTS Finnjet24,605 GRTEnso-Gutzeit (Finnlines traffic)Baltic Sea FinlandGas turbine-powered. Also fastest and longest
1981MS Finlandia25,905 GRTEffoa (Silja Line traffic)Baltic Sea FinlandAlongside identical sister MS Silvia Regina
1982MS Scandinavia26,747 GTScandinavian World Cruises [da],
later DFDS Seaways
New YorkBahamas
1985MS Svea33,829 GTJohnson Line (Silja Line traffic)Baltic Sea Sweden
1985MS Mariella37,799 GTSF Line (Viking Line traffic)Baltic Sea Finland
1989MS Athena40,012 GTRederi AB Slite (Viking Line traffic)Baltic Sea Sweden
1989MS Cinderella46,398 GTSF Line (Viking Line traffic)Baltic Sea Finland
1990MS Silja Serenade58,376 GTSilja LineBaltic Sea Finland
1991MS Silja Symphony58,377 GTSilja LineBaltic Sea Sweden
1993MS Silja Europa59,914 GTTallinkBaltic Sea EstoniaOrdered by Rederi AB Slite for Viking Line traffic
2001MS Pride of Rotterdam59,925 GTP&O FerriesNorth Sea Netherlands
2001MS Pride of Hull59,925 GTP&O FerriesNorth Sea Netherlands
2004MS Color Fantasy75,027 GTColor LineKattegat, Skagerrak Norway
2007MS Color Magic75,100 GTColor LineKattegat, Skagerrak Norway
1May be specified in gross tonnage (GT) or gross register tons (GRT).

List of cruiseferry operators







Faroe Islands







  • Baja Ferries





United Kingdom


See also