10 largest cruise ports
If you want to experience the beauty of the sea and make traveling the destination – cruising is the perfect way to go. There are a number of large ports to choose from depending on what you want to experience. To learn more about the busiest cruise ports around the world, please have a look at our compilation below.
- 1. Port of Miami
- 2. Port Canaveral
- 3. Port Everglades
- 4. Port of Cozumel
- 5. Port of Nassau
- 6. Port of Shanghai
- 7. Port of Barcelona
- 8. Port of Civitavecchia
- 9. Port of Palma de Mallorca
- 10. Port of Galveston
Port of Miami
The Port of Miami is the busiest in the world when it comes to the number of passengers. More than four million cruise vacationers entered the port in 2022, and it’s not surprising that Miami is commonly known as the cruise capital of the world. Here you find some of the major cruise lines, such as Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC. From Miami you can find cruises to popular destinations such as the Caribbean and Mexico.
Florida holds a number of the most popular cruise ports, and next on the list is Port Canaveral that is located 45 miles east of Orlando. The port is the gateway to the central parts of Florida. The majority of the cruises departing from Port Canaveral are headed for destinations in different parts of the Caribbean, and you can find cruise lines like Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Port Everglades is located in Fort Lauderdale, and from this port you can choose between major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line and Holland America Line. This is the third busiest port worldwide and is a great choice if you want to find cruises to most parts of the Caribbean.
Port of Cozumel
Port of Cozumel is one of the major cruise ports in Mexico, located on the island with the same name. Port of Cozumel is the main cruise port to for example Cancun, and you can find cruises with both Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, MSC and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Port of Nassau
Nassau in Bahamas is a popular tourist destination and is located about 50 miles southeast of the coast of Florida. The port has recently been transformed with for example a new terminal building and new areas for events and entertainment. The Port of Nassau is served by Port of Miami, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades.
Port of Shanghai
Facing the East China Sea, you find the Port of Shanghai. This is the largest port for passenger cruises in Asia and the largest in the world when it comes to container shipping. At the Port of Shanghai you can find cruise lines such as Holland America Line and Oceania Cruises.
Port of Barcelona
The Port of Barcelona is the busiest one in Europe when it comes to the number of passengers. Here you can find cruise connections to destinations in the Balearic Islands, Italy and Morocco, operated by for example Baleária and Grimaldi Lines.
Port of Civitavecchia
Port of Civitavecchia, also known as Port of Rome, is the perfect starting point if you want to cruise through the Mediterranean Sea. Choose between major cruise lines such as Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.
Port of Palma de Mallorca
The Port of Palma de Mallorca is the largest port in the Balearic Islands, and one of the busiest ones in Europe. Here you can experience the Mediterranean Sea with cruises offered by for example MSC and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Port of Galveston
At the Port of Galveston in Texas, you can find ships from major cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Lines. More than a million passengers pass through the port every year.
Most popular cruise destinations
So, where should you go if you want to get the perfect cruising experience? In the list below you can find some of the most popular destinations in the world – learn more about each option to find the best one for you.
- The Mediterranean
- The Caribbean
- The Mexican Riviera
One of the most popular cruise destinations in the world, if not the most popular, is the Mediterranean Sea. From east to west you can experience everything from the breathtaking beaches of Greece to the ancient history of Rome and the big city vibe of Barcelona. There are a lot of islands, cities and countries to choose from, each with its own special charm – and everything is also very accessible.
The dream destination for many people wishing to go on a cruise is probably the Caribbean. This is the perfect option for sun seekers who want to experience endless sunshine, beaches and unique culture and wildlife. The Caribbean is also the place where you will find the largest and most spectacular cruise ships, like the mega ships offered by Royal Caribbean.
The Mexican Riviera
Another popular cruise destination is found along the west coast of Mexico – the Mexican Riviera. Get on a luxury cruise and have a taste of everything from interesting architecture to wonderful beaches and unique cuisine.
If sunshine and golden beaches aren't necessary, there is no scenery as the one found in Alaska. If you choose to cruise here you will experience unique wildlife and a multitude of national parks. Around Alaska you can find cruise lines such as Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.
Another option if you want to experience breathtaking nature is to cruise along the Norwegian coast. The green scenery together with small fishing villages and towering fjords is hard to find anywhere else in the world.
Largest cruise lines in the world
Some major operators dominate the cruise business, and in the list below we have gathered the largest ones around the globe. Here you can find more information about each operator and the different cruise classes that they have chosen to divide their ships in.
- Carnival Corporation & plc
- Royal Caribbean Group
- Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Disney Cruise Line
The largest cruise operator in the world is Carnival Corporation & plc, which is a British-American company that was founded back in the 1970’s. Today they comprise nine cruise lines, with the largest one being Carnival Cruise Line. They also hold for example Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises. In total, Carnival Corporation & plc welcomed close to six million cruise vacationers in 2022.
Cruise ship classes, Carnival Cruise Line
- Fantasy Class, 2 ships, 70 000-71 000 GT, 2 000-2 100 passengers
- Spirit Class, 5 ships, 85 600-88 500 GT, 2 100- 2600 passengers
- Conquest Class, 5 ships, 110 000 GT, 2 900 passengers
- Splendor Class, 1 ship, 113 000 GT, 3 700 passengers
- Dream Class, 3 ships, 130 000 GT, 3 600 passengers
- Sunshine Class, 3 ships, 102 000 GT, 3 800 passengers
- Vista Class, 3 ships, 133 000 GT, 3 900 passengers
- Excel Class, 2 ships, 180 000 GT, 5 300 passengers
Royal Caribbean Group has its base in Florida but was originally founded in Norway in 1997. The holding company is one of the largest in the world when it comes to cruising, and holds cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises. In 2022, their ships had more than three million passengers.
Cruise ship classes, Royal Caribbean International
- Quantum Class, 5 ships, 168 000 GT, 4 100 passengers
- Oasis Class, 5 ships, 225 000-227 000 GT, 5 000-6 000 passengers
- Radiance Class, 4 ships, 90 000 GT, 2 500 passengers
- Freedom Class, 3 ships, 154 000 GT, 4 300 passengers
- Voyager Class, 5 ships, 138 000 GT, 3 100 passengers
- Vision Class, 6 ships, 70 000-80 000 GT, 2 000-2 400 passengers
Mediterranean Shipping Company, also known as MSC, is the third largest cruise company in the world and is originally from Naples, Italy. It is also the largest privately held cruise company worldwide. MSC has their base in Geneva, Switzerland, and welcomed a total of 1.4 million vacationers in 2022.
Cruise ship classes, MSC
- Seaside Class, 4 ships, 153 000-170 000 GT, 5 100 passengers
- Meraviglia Class, 5 ships, 171 000-181 000 GT, 6 300 passengers
- Fantasia Class, 4 ships, 137 000-139 000 GT, 3 200-3 500 passengers
- Musica Class, 4 ships. 92 000-95 000 GT, 2 500 passengers
- Lirica Class, 4 ships, 65 000 GT, 2 000 passengers
Norwegian Cruise Line has its base in Miami and, not surprisingly, its roots in Norway. The company started their business serving the Caribbean, but today they offer cruises from hundreds of ports around the world. In 2022, they had more than one million passengers on their ships.
Cruise ship classes, Norwegian Cruise Line
- Prima Class, 2 ships, 143 000 GT, 3 300-3 500 passengers
- Breakaway Plus Class, 4 ships, 164 000-169 000 GT, 3 300-4 000 passengers
- Breakaway Class, 2 ships, 145 000 GT, 4 000 passengers
- Jewel Class, 4 ships, 93 000 GT, 2 300-2 600 passengers
- Dawn Class, 2 ships, 92 000 GT, 2 300 passengers
- Sun Class, 2 ships, 78 000 GT, 1 900-2 200 passengers
Disney Cruise Line might not be one of the largest cruise lines when it comes to number of passengers, but it’s definitely one of the most well known operators. Disney Cruise Line consists of five ships and operates out of Florida.
Cruise ship classes, Disney Cruise Line
- Triton Class, 1 ship, 144 000 GT, 2 500 passengers
- Dream Class, 2 ships, 129 000 GT, 2 500 passengers
- Magic Class, 2 ships, 84 000 GT, 1 700 passengers