Top 10 Most Expensive Cruise Ships Ever Built

Fifty years ago – at a time when people were looking to aircraft travel in order to see the world – no one would have dreamed that we would be where we are within the cruise industry. This golden era of the 21st century has seen the introduction of a plethora of modern, elegant and exciting vessels – resulting in more and more people looking to the seas for their holidays.

No expense has been spared, with many cruising corporations continuously building new vessels to supply demand and engage the imagination. Since the dawn of the Millennium, more than 100 cruise ships have been built and the number of passengers sailing on them around the world has risen exponentially. The past 12 years has seen 10 of the world’s most expensive cruise ships ever built and, this week, we take a closer look at each of them.

 

Disney Cruise Line
Disney Dream

Disney Dream

Ship Facts

Total cost: $900 million
Year of Launch: 2011
Gross Tonnage: 129,690
Length: 339.8 metres
Max Passenger Capacity: 4,000

Founded in 1995, Disney Cruise Line has offered passengers the chance to experience the magic of Disney while travelling on the seas. Disney Dream was the first vessel to be built for the line in nearly 12 years and delivers a range of fun-filled experiences that all the family can enjoy.

 

Cunard
Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2

Ship Facts

Total cost: $900 million
Year of Launch: 2004
Gross Tonnage: 148,528
Length: 345 metres
Max Passenger Capacity: 2,695

Having celebrated their 175th anniversary in 2015, Cunard is one of the most traditional cruise lines around, offering passengers a unique sense of elegance on the seas. At the time of launch, in 2004, she was the largest cruise ship ever built and remains the largest vessel of the Cunard fleet.

 

Royal Caribbean
Quantum of the Seas

Quantum of the Seas

Ship Facts

Total cost: $935 million
Year of Launch: 2014
Gross Tonnage: 168,666
Length: 347.08 metres
Max Passenger Capacity: 4,905

Dubbed the “world’s most high-tech cruise ship” upon launch, back in 2014, Quantum of the Seas became the first addition to Royal Caribbean’s renowned Quantum-class fleet. Features on board the ship include the North Star viewing pod, bumper cars, a skydiving simulator, and a robotic bartender.

 

Royal Caribbean
Anthem of the Seas

Anthem of the Seas

Ship Facts

Total cost: $940 million
Year of Launch: 2015
Gross Tonnage: 168,666
Length: 348 metres
Max Passenger Capacity: 4,905

Following the popularity of the first Quantum-class vessel, Royal Caribbean launched the second addition to this unique fleet just one year later. Anthem of the Seas offers all of the exciting amenities found on board Quantum of the Seas but is marginally larger in length.

 

Disney Cruise Line
Disney Fantasy

Disney Cruise Line Couple

Ship Facts

Total cost: $950 million
Year of Launch: 2012
Gross Tonnage: 129,750
Length: 339.8 metres
Max Passenger Capacity: 4,000

Just over a year after the launch of Disney Dream, the line launched Disney Fantasy. Built to almost the same specification as her sister ship but with a few distinctive features – most notably the Art Nouveau design, which is reminiscent of 1930’s cruising.

 

Royal Caribbean
Ovation of the Seas

RipCord by iFly

Ship Facts

Total cost: $950 million
Year of Launch: 2016
Gross Tonnage: 168,666
Length: 348 metres
Max Passenger Capacity: 4,905

Following the successes of both Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas became the third addition to the unique Quantum-class fleet. The line also plans to launch two more Quantum-class vessels in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

 

Royal Caribbean
Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas

Ship Facts

Total cost: $1.2 billion
Year of Launch: 2010
Gross Tonnage: 225,282
Length: 362 metres
Max Passenger Capacity: 6,296

Sticking with Royal Caribbean, the Allure of the seas, of the Oasis-class fleet, has impressed passengers with a unique range of features including the Central Park and the Royal Promenade. Alongside her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, these two vessels hold the joint status of being the joint second-largest cruise ships in the world.

 

Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Epic

Ship Facts

Total cost: $1.2 billion
Year of Launch: 2010
Gross Tonnage: 155,873
Length: 329.45 metres
Max Passenger Capacity: 4,100
(Double Occupancy)

Norwegian Epic holds the position of ninth largest cruise ship in the world and the second largest ship to sail for Norwegian Cruise Line. This vessel is distinctively unique, both in terms of design and the range of amenities she offers including an ice bar and three colourful waterslides.

 

Royal Caribbean
Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas

Ship Facts

Total cost: $1.35 billion
Year of Launch: 2016
Gross Tonnage: 226,963
Length: 362.12 metres
Max Passenger Capacity: 6,780

Cruisers and non-cruisers alike were blown away last year following the launch of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas – the largest cruise ship in the world. This huge Oasis-class vessel offers a range of exciting features that are new to Royal Caribbean including the ‘Ultimate Abyss’ slide, three colourful waterslides and two surfing simulators.

 

Royal Caribbean
Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas

Ship Facts

Total cost: $1.4 billion
Year of Launch: 2009
Gross Tonnage: 225,282
Length: 361.6 metres
Max Passenger Capacity: 6,296

The accolade for the world’s most expensive cruise ship ever built goes to first Oasis-class vessel to be built for Royal Caribbean. Oasis of the Seas set a new benchmark for the cruising industry by becoming the first vessel to offer capacity for over 6,000 passengers and offering a range of amenities that had never been seen on a cruise ship before.


In addition to these vessels, there are currently at least 50 ocean cruise ships set to be built and subsequently launched between now and 2026. This schedule includes ship launches from Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises and much more. During this time, we will also see the launch of the brand new Virgin Cruises, which will launch three brand new vessels between 2020 and 2022.

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