The ‘Big Three’ cruise shipping groups with the “Norwegian Spirit”, “Navigator of the Seas” and “Carnival Triumph” at St.Thomas, 2007 (WS)

Last updated 2014

apart from chapters with later information by Werner Soelch

Shipping companies which were the first ones having converted the last ocean liners into cruise ships, the modern-day big cruise groups with their subsidiaries and joint-ventures, additionally companies achieving a traffic volume of c. half a million or more passengers per annum (not short-haul) and some other remarkable enterprises are described. It would go beyond this worldwide survey to enumerate all the other companies, which ever existed (a Website mentioned 29 companies having closed down until 2008). Cruise ferries, local island cruises, river cruises and casino trips are not mentioned here. Generally megaships are listed with its first owner, but complete fleet lists and all the deals with second-hand ships would go beyond that treatise. As outflagging does not mean a change in ownership, the countries of registration are not mentioned. For the ships’ size the figures by Kludas, Ships Monthly and Wikipedia are given. With refurbishment some ships’ tonnage may have risen. As fleets are continuously renewed, the sale of old ships generally is not mentioned.

For more information Wikipedia and the literature should be recommended, e.g. ‘Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships’ by Douglas Ward, ‘Frommer’s Cruises & Ports of Call’ by Matt Hannafin & Heidi Sarna, ‘Kreuzfahrt Guide’ by Uwe Bahn & Johannes Bohmann, ‘ShipPax Statistics and Outlook’, the ‘Cruise Ships Guide’ by Tony Davis, published by the magazine Ships Monthly (SM), ‘Die grossen Passagierschiffe der Welt’ by Arnold Kludas, continued by Frank Heine and Frank Lose, ‘Zeit fuer Kreuzfahrten’ by Kurt Ulrich, the magazines Ferries, Ships Monthly, several shipping and traveling magazines, the publications quoted and Wikipedia (, free from advertisements, and other relevant Web sites – see chapter 03 LINKS.

“Carnival Valor”, Conquest class, Miami 2007 (WS)

“Mariner of the Seas”, Ocho Rios, Jamaica 2008 (WS)

“Mariner of the Seas” (WS)

“Mariner of the Seas” (WS)

“MSC Orchestra”, Venice 2007 (WS)

“Norwegian Spirit”, St.Thomas, 2007 (WS)

“Star Princess”, Lahaina, Maui Island 2014 (WS)