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Timeline of largest passenger ships

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This is a timeline list of the world's largest passenger ship, ranked initially by gross register tonnage and subsequently by gross tonnage. The "title held" years reflect the largest extant passenger ship in the world at that time. If a given ship was superseded by another, scrapped, or lost at sea then a new one is listed as a successor. Some records for tonnage outlived the ships that set them - notably the SS Great Eastern, and RMS Queen Elizabeth. Ships built before 1831 are not included as little is known about their status as "largest" passenger ships. The race of nations to build the biggest and most luxurious ships in the world did not take off until the mid to late-19th century. By the early 1960s, other vessels overtook passenger ships in terms of length.

Timeline

19th century

Year completed Ship Tonnage Length Title held Image
1831 SS Royal William 1,370 GRT[1] 49 m (160 ft) 1831 – 1839[2] SS Royal William 1834 painting.png
1837 SS Great Western 1,340 GRT(as built)
1,700 GRT[3](post-1839)
76.8 m (252 ft) 1839[4] The Steamer Great Western of Bristol RMG A7626.jpg
1839 SS British Queen 1,850 GRT[5] 75 m (245 ft) 1839 – 1840[6][7]
1841 – 1843
The British Queen steam ship PY0213.jpg
1840 SS President 2,366 GRT[8] 74 m (243 ft) 1840 – 1841[9]
(Lost at sea in 1841)
The steam ship President.jpg
1843[a] SS Great Britain 3,270 GRT[10] 98 m (322 ft) 1843 – 1853[11] SS Great Britain by Talbot.jpg
1853[12] SS Atrato 3,466 GRT[13] 110 m (350 ft) 1853 – 1858[14][b] S.S. Atrato.jpg
1858 SS Great Eastern 18,915 GRT[15] 211 m (692 ft) 1858 – c. 1888
(Scrapped)[c]
Great Eastern painting smooth sea-2.jpg
1888 SS City of New York 10,499 GRT[18] 170 m (560 ft) c. 1888 – 1893[19] City of new york.jpg
1893 RMS Campania
RMS Lucania[d]
12,950 GRT[20] 190 m (622 ft) 1893 – 1897[21] RMS Campania.jpg
1897 SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse 14,349 GRT[22] 200 m (655 ft) 1897 – 1899[23] Kaiser wilhelm der grosse 01.jpg
1899 RMS Oceanic 17,272 GRT[24] 215 m (704 ft) 1899 – 1901[25] OCEANIC - Sjöhistoriska museet - Fo57172.tif

20th century

Date completed Ship Tonnage Length Title held Image
11 July 1901 RMS Celtic 20,904 GRT[26] 214 m (701 ft) 1901 – 1903[27][28] The Royal Navy 1919-1939 Q70627.jpg
31 January 1903 RMS Cedric 21,035 GRT[29] 210 m (700 ft) 1903 – 1904[28] RMS Cedric.jpg
23 June 1904 RMS Baltic 23,876 GRT[30] 222 m (729 ft) 1904 – 1906[30][31] RMS Baltic old postcard.jpg
10 May 1906
(entered service)
SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria 24,581 GRT[32] 206.5 m (677.5 ft) 1906 – 1907[33] Fred Pansing SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria.jpg
7 September 1907
(entered service)
RMS Lusitania 31,550 GRT 240 m (787 ft) 1907 RMS Lusitania coming into port, possibly in New York, 1907-13-crop.jpg
7 November 1907 RMS Mauretania 31,938 GRT 240 m (790 ft) 1907 Mauretania 1930s.JPG
31 May 1911 RMS Olympic 45,324 GRT 269.0 m (882.5 ft) 1911 – 1912
1912 – 1913
Olympic in New York cropped.jpg
2 April 1912 RMS Titanic 46,328 GRT 269.1 m (882.9 ft) 1912
(Sank)
RMS Titanic 3.jpg
June 1913 SS Imperator 52,117 GRT 276 m (906 ft) 1913 – 1914 Imperator LOC ggbain 13359u.jpg
14 May 1914
(entered service)
SS Vaterland 54,282 GRT 290 m (950 ft) 1914 – 1922 Hapag Vaterland.JPG
12 May 1922
(entered service)
RMS Majestic 56,551 GRT 291 m (956 ft) 1922 – 1935 RMS Majestic, F. G. O. Stuart.jpeg
29 May 1935
(entered service)
SS Normandie 79,280 GRT (as built)
83,404 GRT (post-1936)[e]
314 m (1,029 ft) 1935 – 1936
1936 – 1946
(Destroyed by fire)
SS Normandie at sea 01.jpg
27 May 1936
(entered service)
RMS Queen Mary 80,774 GRT 310.7 m (1,019.4 ft) 1936 RMS Queen Mary Long Beach January 2011 view.jpg
16 October 1946
(entered service)
RMS Queen Elizabeth 83,673 GRT 314 m (1,031 ft) 1946 – 1972
(Destroyed by fire)
Queen Elizabeth +.JPG
3 February 1962
(entered service)
SS France (1962-1980)
SS Norway (post-1980)
66,343 GRT(as built)
76,049 GT (post-1990)[f]
315 m (1,035 ft) 1972 – 1987
1990 – 1995
SS Norway.jpg
18 December 1987 MS Sovereign of the Seas 73,529 GT[34] 270 m (880 ft) 1987 – 1990
(Surpassed by SS Norway)
Sovereign of the Seas Nassau Bahamas (244161813) (cropped) (cropped).jpg
26 June 1995 Sun Princess 77,499 GT 261 m (857 ft) 1995 – 1996 Sunprincess suvafiji1.jpg
24 November 1996
(entered service)
Carnival Destiny 101,353 GT 272 m (893 ft) 1996 – 1998 Carnival Destiny Miami 12-22-11 (cropped).JPG
27 May 1998
(entered service)
Grand Princess 109,000 GT 290 m (951 ft) 1998 – 1999 Grand Princess in Gibraltar.jpg
29 October 1999 Voyager of the Seas 137,276 GT 310 m (1,020 ft) 1999 – 2000 Voyager of the Seas in Sydney.jpg
28 September 2000 Explorer of the Seas 137,308 GT 310 m (1,020 ft) 2000 – 2002 Explorer of the Seas, Fremantle, 2015 (03).JPG

21st century

Date completed Ship Gross tonnage Length Title held Image
18 November 2002 Navigator of the Seas 139,999 GT[35] 311 m (1,020 ft) 2002 – 2003 Navigator of the Seas 2014 Galveston 3.JPG
22 December 2003 RMS Queen Mary 2 148,528 GT[36] 345.03 m (1,132.0 ft) 2003 – 2006 RMS Queen Mary 2 in Trondheim 2007.jpg
24 April 2006 MS Freedom of the Seas 154,407 GT[37] 338.774 m (1,111.46 ft) 2006 – 2007[g] MS Freedom of the Seas in its maiden voyage.jpg
19 May 2007 Liberty of the Seas 155,889 GT[38] 338.92 m (1,111.9 ft) 2007 – 2009 Liberty Of The Seas GC 12-22-16.jpg
28 October 2009 Oasis of the Seas 225,282 GT[39]
(Initially)
360 m (1,180 ft) 2009 – 2016[h] Oasis of the Seas.jpg
13 May 2016 Harmony of the Seas 226,963 GT[43] 362.12 m (1,188.1 ft) 2016 – 2018 Harmony of the Seas (ship, 2016) 001.jpg
23 March 2018 Symphony of the Seas 228,081 GT[44] 361.011 m (1,184.42 ft) 2018[i] SymphonyOfTheSeas (cropped) 02

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Sources have the "Great Britain" as the "world's largest" ship from her launch year.
  2. ^ While the Great Republic was concurrently larger (at 4,555 GRT), she was not a passenger ship.
  3. ^ "Great Eastern" was sold for scrap in 1888 but the breaking up was not completed until 1891.[16][17]
  4. ^ The Campania and Lucania had the same GRT.
  5. ^ The tonnage was increased on Normandie in 1936 in order to reclaim the title of "largest ship" from the Queen Mary.
  6. ^ In 1990, the ship's new owner refurbished the former ocean liner into a cruise ship, increasing tonnage. In a second refurbishment in 1990, the tonnage was increased again to 76,049 GT.
  7. ^ "Freedom of the Seas" never held the title of "largest passenger ship" after 2007. While she was later extended to match her sister ship "Liberty of the Seas" (in 2015), by this time the title had passed on to "Oasis of the Seas".
  8. ^ Oasis was initially launched at 225,282 GT.[40] This was tied a year later by Allure of the Seas, although the latter was 50 mm (2.0 in) longer.[41] Oasis of the Seas was expanded to 226,838 GT in November 2019.[42]
  9. ^ This record is expected to be broken sometime in 2021 by another "Oasis class" ship.

References

  1. ^ Boileau, John (2006). Samuel Cunard: Nova Scotia's Master of the North Atlantic. Formac Publishing Company Limited. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-88780-712-1.
  2. ^ John Wilton Cuninghame Haldane (1905). Life as an engineer: its lights, shades and prospects. E. & F. N. Spon. p. 27. Royal William largest launched 1831.
  3. ^ Freeman Hunt. Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, Volume 10. New York City: 142 Fulton Street. p. 383.
  4. ^ Anchor Line (1872). A Souvenir of the Anchor Line Agents Excursion on the Steamer California, August 14, 1872. D. Appleton & Company. p. 87.
  5. ^ Corlett, Ewan (1975). The Iron Ship: the Story of Brunel's ss Great Britain. Conway.
  6. ^ Hereward Philip Spratt (1951). Transatlantic Paddle Steamers. Brown, Son & Ferguson. p. 36. At the time of her launch, the "British Queen" was the largest vessel afloat
  7. ^ International Marine Engineering, Volume 15. Simmons-Boardman Publishing Company. 1910. p. 418.
  8. ^ Gerhard Falk (2013). Twelve Inventions which Changed America: The Influence of Technology on American Culture. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 8.
  9. ^ Robinson, Robb (January 2009). "The Cookman Story: Reform in Hull and the United States" (PDF). FAR HORIZONS – to the ends of the Earth. Maritime Historical Studies Centre, University of Hull. Retrieved 2009-12-27. In March 1841 the liner, SS President, then reputedly the largest steamship in the world, disappeared without trace in the vast tracts of the still wintry Atlantic, sometime after leaving New York en route for Liverpool. The SS President was the first steamship to founder on the transatlantic run and there was universal lamentation for the 136 crew and passengers.
  10. ^ William L. Garrison & David M. Levinson (2005). The Transportation Experience: Policy, Planning, and Deployment. Oxford University Press. p. 210.
  11. ^ Wynford Davies (2012). SS Great Britain: Transatlantic Liner 1843. Seaforth Publishing. p. 10.
  12. ^ "Atrato (1013926)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Atrato". clydeships.co.uk. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  14. ^ “The” Illustrated London News. Elm House. 1853. p. 352.
  15. ^ Dawson, Philip S. (2005). The Liner. Chrysalis Books. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-85177-938-6.
  16. ^ Gillian Dale (2005). BTEC National Travel and Tourism. Heinemann. p. 2.
  17. ^ Frank Braynard & Robert Hudson Westover (2002). S.S. United States. Turner Publishing Company. p. 13.
  18. ^ "City of New York". clydeships.co.uk. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  19. ^ "S/S City of New York (3), Inman Line". www.norwayheritage.com. Retrieved September 18, 2019. At the time of her launch the City of New York was the largest passenger steamer afloat.
  20. ^ Mark Chirnside (2015). RMS Olympic: Titanic's Sister. The History Press. p. 9.
  21. ^ Neil McCart (1990). Atlantic Liners of the Cunard Line: From 1884 to the Present Day. Stephens. p. 22.
  22. ^ Congressional Edition, Volume 5796. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1909. p. 114.
  23. ^ Marine Engineering/log, Volume 1. Simmons-Boardman Publishing Company. 1897.
  24. ^ William H. Miller (2001). Picture History of British Ocean Liners, 1900 to the Present. Courier Corporation. p. 8.
  25. ^ "R.M.S. Oceanic (II)". Jeff Newman. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
  26. ^ "Celtic (1113476)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  27. ^ Roberts, Chalmers (August 1901). "The Biggest Ship". The World's Work: A History of Our Time. II: 1176–1179. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  28. ^ a b Wade Sisson (2011). Racing Through the Night: Olympic's Attempt to Reach Titanic. Amberley Publishing Limited.
  29. ^ "Cedric (1115354)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  30. ^ a b Paul Oldfield (2017). Victoria Crosses on the Western Front: Third Ypres 1917: 31st July 1917 – 6th November 1917. Pen and Sword.
  31. ^ Mark Chirnside (2015). RMS Olympic: Titanic's Sister. The History Press.
  32. ^ Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClercq (2012). Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe's Tales from the Grand Tour, 1890-1910. Univ of South Carolina Press.
  33. ^ Labor Unions (1906). The American Marine Engineer, Volumes 1-2. p. 24.
  34. ^ "Sovereign (G107405)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Germanischer Lloyd. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  35. ^ "Navigator of the Seas (22759)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  36. ^ The Motor Ship, Volume 85. IPC Industrial Press Limited. 2004. p. 9.
  37. ^ "2016-2017 Royal Caribbean Fleet Guide" (PDF). Royal Caribbean International. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  38. ^ "Liberty of the Seas (26180)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
  39. ^ Sam Dodge, Ana Franca, and Mark Oliver. "Oasis of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, in numbers". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved March 12, 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  40. ^ "Oasis Of The Seas / Allure of the Seas". Royal Caribbean International. 2010. Archived from the original on 20 June 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  41. ^ Goldstein, Adam (1 November 2010). "Is a Small Difference a Big Deal?". Sea Views. Royal Caribbean International. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  42. ^ "Oasis of the Seas (27091)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  43. ^ "Harmony of the Seas (33249)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  44. ^ "Symphony of the Seas (34719)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
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