A cruise line is a company that operates cruise ships and markets cruises to the public.[1] Cruise lines are distinct from passenger lines which are primarily concerned with transportation of their passengers. Cruise lines have a dual character; they are partly in the transportation business, and partly in the leisure entertainment business, a duality that carries down into the ships themselves, which have both a crew headed by the ship's captain, and a hospitality staff headed by the equivalent of a hotel manager.

Because of mergers and consolidations, a cruise line may also be a brand of a larger holding corporation. For example, as noted below, Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line are cruise lines within the larger parent corporation Carnival Corporation & plc. This industry practice of using the brand, not the larger parent corporation, as the cruise line is also followed in the member cruise lines in Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA);[2] the listing of cruise ship sales, transfers,[3] and new orders;[4] cruise line market share;[5] and the member-based reviews of cruise lines.[6]

Cruise ships can cruise in oceans or rivers. The listing of cruise lines below includes separate lists for both areas. Cruise lines operating ocean and river ships can be found in both lists.

List of cruise lines by size

As of 2021 the cruise industry was estimated to be around US$23.8 billion with 13.9 million annualised passengers. The following is a list of the largest cruise lines with over 1,000 passengers annually and their market share by passengers and revenue as of 2021 according to Cruise Market Watch. The list also includes the combined market share of each of the cruise line holding companies: Carnival Corporation & plc, Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, TUI Group, and Genting Hong Kong.[7]

Legend:

Cruise line Parent company Passengers
(thousands)
Passengers % Revenue
(US$ millions)
Revenue %
Carnival Corporation & plc 5,842.6 42.0 8,833.19 37.1
Carnival Cruise Line Carnival Corporation & plc 2,528.1 18.2 1,803.87 7.6
Costa Cruises Carnival Corporation & plc 862.4 6.2 1,121.19 4.7
Princess Cruises Carnival Corporation & plc 816.3 5.9 2,065.35 8.7
AIDA Cruises Carnival Corporation & plc 749.3 5.4 1,373.71 5.8
Holland America Line Carnival Corporation & plc 384.2 2.8 1,095.07 4.6
P&O Cruises Carnival Corporation & plc 241.5 1.7 466.79 2.0
P&O Cruises Australia Carnival Corporation & plc 127.3 0.9 134.98 0.6
Cunard Line Carnival Corporation & plc 99.7 0.7 427.11 0.6
Seabourn Cruise Line Carnival Corporation & plc 33.8 0.2 345.12 1.4
Royal Caribbean Group 3,278.5 23.6 5,054.21 21.2
Royal Caribbean International Royal Caribbean Group 2,657.9 19.1 3,048.67 12.8
Celebrity Cruises Royal Caribbean Group 540.0 3.9 1,452.3 6.1
Silversea Cruises Royal Caribbean Group 48.9 0.4 391.71 1.6
Azamara Cruises Royal Caribbean Group at the time of the statistics; subsequently sold to Sycamore Partners[8] 31.7 0.2 161.53 0.7
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings 1,319.9 9.5 2,996.28 12.6
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings 1,200.3 8.6 2,057.99 8.6
Oceania Cruises Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings 71.1 0.5 373.14 1.6
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings 48.5 0.3 565.15 2.4
MSC Cruises Mediterranean Shipping Company 1,414.7 10.2 1,539.65 6.5
TUI Cruises TUI Group (50%) and Royal Caribbean Group (50%) 481.5 3.4 1,318.47 5.6
TUI Cruises TUI Cruises 330.1 2.4 903.79 3.8
Marella Cruises TUI Cruises 102.9 0.7 281.77 1.2
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises TUI Cruises 48.5 0.3 132.91 0.6
Genting Hong Kong 385.1 2.8 1,054.34 4.4
Dream Cruises Genting Hong Kong 264.1 1.9 723.03 3.0
Star Cruises Genting Hong Kong 80.2 0.6 219.67 0.9
Crystal Cruises Genting Hong Kong 40.8 0.3 111.64 0.5
Disney Cruise Line Disney Parks, Experiences and Products 312.2 2.2 653.45 2.7
Viking Cruises Other 143.7 1.0 393.41 1.7
Hurtigruten Hurtigruten, Inc. 122.3 0.9 334.93 1.4
Virgin Voyages Virgin Group and Bain Capital 111.1 0.8 304.1 1.3
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Bonheur 110.7 0.8 303.03 1.3
Ponant/Paul Gauguin Cruises Artémis 85.4 0.6 233.92 1.0
Celestyal Cruises Louis PLC 64.1 0.5 175.44 0.7
Paradise Cruise Line 50.5 0.4 138.23 0.6
Phoenix Reisen Other 43.7 0.3 119.62 0.5
Saga Cruises Saga plc 38.8 0.3 106.22 0.4
Windstar Cruises The Anschutz Corporation 23.3 0.2 63.80 0.3
Lindblad Expeditions Other 17.5 0.1 47.85 0.2
Quark Expeditions Travelopia 15.5 0.1 42.42 0.2
American Cruise Lines Other 13.6 0.1 37.21 0.2
Star Clippers Star Clippers Ltd 11.7 0.1 31.90 0.1
Voyages to Antiquity Other 7.8 0.1 21.27 0.1
SeaDream Yacht Club Other 3.9 0.0 10.63 0.0
Blount Small Ship Adventures Other 3.9 0.0 10.63 0.0
Hebridean Island Cruises Other 1.9 0.0 5.32 0.0
Grand Circle Cruise Line Other 1.9 0.0 5.32 0.0
Total 13,905.8 100% 23,834.84 100%

List of ocean cruise lines

Operational

The following is a list of operational ocean cruise lines.

Name Owner Headquarters Notes
AIDA Cruises Carnival Corporation & plc  Germany
American Cruise Lines  USA Based in Guilford, Connecticut, offers coastal cruises and paddle-steamer cruises
Ambassador Cruise Line  United Kingdom Replacement of cruise and maritime voyages
Aurora Expeditions  Australia Operates arctic cruises with Polar Pioneer
Azamara Cruises Sycamore Partners  USA
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line  USA Formed by former executives from the defunct Celebration Cruise Line, operates the Grand Celebration
Birka Line[9]  Finland Subsidiary of Rederiaktiebolaget Eckerö, operates the Birka Stockholm. As of July 20, 2020 and after 49 years on the Baltic Sea, Birka operations ceased in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Bohai Cruises[10] China (state owned)  China Owns Chinese Taishan.
Carnival Cruise Line Carnival Corporation & plc  USA /  United Kingdom
Celebrity Cruises Royal Caribbean Group  USA (originally  Greece)
Celestyal Cruises  Cyprus Previously named Louis Cruises
Compagnie du Ponant  France Based in Marseille, operates yacht cruises
Costa Cruises Carnival Corporation & plc  Italy
Crystal Cruises Genting Hong Kong  USA
Cunard Line Carnival Corporation & plc  United Kingdom
Disney Cruise Line Disney  USA/ United Kingdom
Dream Cruises Genting Hong Kong  Hong Kong
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines  United Kingdom
FTI Cruises  Germany Cruise branch of Bavarian travel company FTI Group, operates MS Berlin (1980)
Hansa Touristk  Germany Privately owned (Kilian family), offers ocean cruises with MV Ocean Majesty and river cruises
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises TUI Group  Germany
Holland America Line Carnival Corporation & plc  USA (originally  Netherlands)
Hurtigruten  Norway Also marketed as Norwegian Coastal Express
Iceland ProCruises  Switzerland Operates arctic cruises with MV Ocean Diamond
Majestic International Cruises  Greece
St Hilda Sea Adventures  United Kingdom Dunoon (Scotland), offers Scottish island cruises
The Majestic Line  United Kingdom Dunoon (Scotland), offers Scottish island cruises
Mano Maritime  Israel
Marella Cruises TUI Group  United Kingdom
MSC Cruises Aponte family (private)  Switzerland /  Italy
Mystic Cruises  Portugal Has yet to receive its first of three new builds
Nanhai Cruises[11] China (state owned)  China Exclusively run South China Sea cruises
Nicko Cruises  Germany Operates MS World Explorer, MS World Voyager and Vasco da Gama in Northern Europe
North Pacific Expeditions Teevin family (private)  USA Offers Alaska cruises with M/Y Sea Star
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd  USA (originally  Norway)
Oceania Cruises Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd  USA
One Ocean Expeditions  Canada Operates arctic cruises with MS Akademik Ioffe
P&O Cruises Carnival Corporation & plc  United Kingdom
P&O Cruises Australia Carnival Corporation & plc  Australia
Pampa Cruises  Argentina Operates cruises with MS Salamis Filoxenia
Paul Gauguin Cruises  United States Branch of Regent Seven Seas Cruises till 2010, offers South Pacific cruises
Pearl Seas Cruises  United States Offers Great Lakes, New England and Cuba cruises
Phoenix Reisen Zurnieden family (private)  Germany
Plantours Kreuzfahrten  Germany Operates MS Hamburg and several river cruise ships
Polar Cruises  USA Operates arctic cruises with MS Ocean Atlantic
Poseidon Expeditions  United Kingdom Arctic cruises with nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy
Princess Cruises Carnival Corporation & plc  USA/ United Kingdom
Quark Expeditions  USA Expedition cruising
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd  USA
Royal Caribbean International Royal Caribbean Group  USA (originally  Norway)
Saga Cruises Saga Group  United Kingdom
Seabourn Cruise Line Carnival Corporation & plc  USA
SeaDream Yacht Club Atle Brynestad (private)  Norway
Silversea Cruises Royal Caribbean Group  Monaco
Star Cruises Genting Hong Kong  Hong Kong
TUI Cruises Royal Caribbean Group
and TUI Group
 Germany
UnCruise Adventures  USA
Variety Cruises  Greece Yachts and small cruise ships
Vidanta Cruises Grupo Vidanta  Mexico
Viking Line  Åland ( Finland) Cruiseferries
Viking Ocean Cruises Viking Cruises  USA
Windstar Cruises Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc.  USA
Voyages to Antiquity  United Kingdom
CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Carnival Corporation & plc  China

Club Med 2

Shipping line still in service

The following is a list of defunct ocean cruise line with their shipping line is still in service.

Name Status Headquarters Notes
Club Cruise No longer operates cruise ships  Netherlands Continues to charter cruise ships to other companies
Far East Shipping Company No longer operates cruise ships  Russia
Finnlines No longer operates cruise ships  Finland
Kristina Cruises No ships in operation  Finland Last cruise ship Kristina Katarina sold off in 2013
Ocean Star Cruises No ships in operation  Mexico Last cruise ship Ocean Star Pacific sold for scrap in 2014
Silja Line No longer operates cruise ships  Finland

Defunct

The following is a list of defunct ocean cruise line.

Name Headquarters Notes
Admiral Cruises  USA Acquired by Royal Caribbean Group. in 1988. Ceased operations in 1992.
American Classic Voyages  USA Bankrupt
Baltic Shipping Company  Soviet Union
Black Sea Shipping Company  Soviet Union
Blue Star Line  United Kingdom Merged and sold into P&O Nedlloyd
Celebration Cruise Line  USA Re-branded into Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line in 2014
Chandris Cruises  Greece Merged and re-branded into Celebrity Cruises in 1988
Classic International Cruises  Australia Liquidated on 20 December 2012[12]
Commodore Cruise Line  USA
Croisières de France  France Owned by Royal Caribbean Group, ceased operation in 2017
Crown Cruise Line  USA
Cruise & Maritime Voyages South Quay Travel & Leisure Ltd.  United Kingdom Ceased operations due to the Coronavirus pandemic July 2020
Cruise West  USA Ceased operations on September 18, 2010[13]
Cunard-White Star Line  United Kingdom Reverted name to Cunard Line in 1950
Crystal Cruises  USA Ceased operations in 2022
Dolphin Cruise Line  Greece Merged into Premier Cruise Line
Eastern Cruise Lines  USA Merged into Admiral Cruises in 1986
EasyCruise  Greece Sold to Hellenic Seaways
Effoa  Finland
Epirotiki Line  Greece Most well known for losing three of its cruise ships between 1988 and 1991, including the MTS Oceanos in 1991
Fathom  USA Ceased operations in June 2017
Festival Cruises  Greece
Hamburg Atlantic Line
German Atlantic Line
Hanseatic Tours
 Germany Merged into Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
Home Lines  Italy Merged into Holland America Line
Iberocruceros  Spain Merged into Costa Cruises
Imperial Majesty Cruise Line  USA Became Celebration Cruise Line in 2009
Island Cruises  UK
Italian Line / Italian Cruises  Italy
Jalesh Cruises  India Ceased operations in 2020 due to Covid
Majesty Cruise Line  Norway Merged into Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian America Line  Norway Merged into Cunard Line
Norwegian Capricorn Line  Australia Merged into Star Cruises
Ocean Cruise Line[14]  USA Formed in 1984 by a combination of British, Swiss and American travel interests
Ocean Star Cruises  Mexico First Mexican cruise line
Ocean Village  United Kingdom Ceased operations in 2010
Orient Lines  USA
Orion Expedition Cruises  Australia Taken over by and merged with Lindblad Expeditions in 2013
Peter Deilmann Cruises  Germany Ceased operations in 2015
Polar Star Expeditions  Canada Ceased operations in 2011 after major damage to MV Polar Star
Premier Cruise Line  USA
Pullmantur Cruises  Spain Ceased operations due to the Coronavirus pandemic in July 2020
Renaissance Cruises  USA
Royal Viking Line  Norway Merged into Cunard Line
Sally Cruise  Finland Merged into Silja Line
Shaw, Savill & Albion Line  United Kingdom
Sitmar Cruises  Italy Merged into P&O Cruises/Princess Cruises
Sundance Cruises  USA Merged into Admiral Cruises in 1986
Swan Hellenic  United Kingdom Ceased operations in 2017 after shutdown of All Leisure Holidays
Swedish American Line  Sweden
Transocean Tours  Germany From 2014 to 2020, German branch of Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Ceased operations due to the Coronavirus pandemic July 2020.
Van Gogh Cruises  United Kingdom
Voyages of Discovery  United Kingdom Ceased operations in 2017 after shutdown of All Leisure Holidays
Western Cruise Lines  USA Merged into Admiral Cruises in 1986
White Star Line  United Kingdom Merged with Cunard Line to form Cunard-White Star Line in 1934
Windjammer Barefoot Cruises  USA

List of river cruise lines

Operational

The following is a list of operational river cruise line.

Name Headquarters Notes
1AVista  Germany River cruises in Europe
AmaWaterways  USA River cruises in Europe, Asia and Africa
American Cruise Lines  USA Paddle-steamer cruises on US rivers
Aqua Expeditions  Peru Privately owned by Francesco Galli Zugaro, eco-friendly river cruises on Amazon and Mekong rivers
American Queen Steamboat Company  USA Mississippi river
A-ROSA Flussschiff  Germany River cruises in Europe, offered ocean-going cruises with A-Rosa blu 2002-04
Australian Pacific Touring (APT)  Australia Privately owned (McGeary family), river cruises in Europe, Asia and Africa, shares many ships with AmaWaterways
Avalon Waterways  USA River cruises in Europe, Egypt, Asia and South America
Century Cruises  China Operates along the Yangtze river
CroisiEurope  France Privately owned (Schmitter family), river cruises in Europe and Asia
Crystal Cruises  USA Owned by Genting Hong Kong, river cruises in Europe
DouroAzul  Portugal Owned by Mystic Invest, river cruises in the Douro, Portugal
Emerald Waterways  USA Owned by Australian river cruise operator Scenic, river cruises in Europe and Asia
European Waterways  United Kingdom Operates converted trading barges on European Rivers
Grand Circle Cruise Line  USA Owned by Grand Circle Corporation, river cruises in Europe
Great Lakes Cruise Company  USA Privately owned (Conlin family), Great Lakes and river cruises in USA and Canada
Hansa Touristk  Germany Privately owned (Kilian family), offers ocean and river cruises (Europe, Asia)
Heritage Line  Vietnam River cruises in Asia
Lüftner Cruises  Austria Privately owned (Lüftner family), river cruises in Europe
Nicko Cruises  Germany Owned by Mystic Invest, river cruises in Europe and Asia
Orthodox Cruise Company  Russia River cruises in Russia
Pandaw River Expeditions  Vietnam River cruises in Asia
Paradise Cruises  Vietnam Ha Long Bay
Phoenix Reisen  Germany Privately owned (Zurnieden family), river cruises in Europe, Egypt, Asia and South America
Plantours Kreuzfahrten  Germany Offers ocean and river cruises (Europe, Asia)
President Cruises  China Operates along the Yangtze river
Reisebüro Mittelthurgau  Switzerland Owned by Twerenbold Group, river cruises in Europe
Riviera Travel (DBA Riviera River Cruises)  United Kingdom Luxury river cruises in Europe on the Rhone, Rhine, Danube, Duoro, Seine, Main and Moselle.[15] Travel Brand of the Year 2017.[16]
Sanctuary Retreats  United Kingdom River cruises in Asia
Scenic  Australia Owned by coach tour operator Transit Scenic Tours, river cruises in Europe and Asia
Tauck River Cruises  USA Privately owned (Tauck family), river cruises in Europe
The River Cruise Line  United Kingdom River cruises in Europe
Uniworld River Cruises  USA River cruises in Europe, Egypt and Asia
Victoria Cruises  USA The only American-based cruise line operating along the Yangtze River
Victoria Mekong Cruises  Vietnam Partnership between Vietnam-based hospitality managers Thien Minh Group and Wendy Wu Tours
Viking River Cruises  Switzerland River cruise line of Viking Cruises with operating HQ in Basel, Switzerland, marketing HQ in USA (California)
Vodohod  Russia Owned by UCL Holding, river cruises in Russia
Yangtze Gold Cruises  China Operates along the Yangtze River

Defunct

The following is a list of defunct river cruise line.

Name Headquarters Notes
DDSG  Austria
Transocean Tours  Germany From 2014 to 2021, German branch of Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Ceased operations due to the Coronavirus pandemic July 2020
TUI FlussGenuss  Germany Former river cruise branch of TUI Group, ceased operations in 2014

See also

References

  1. ^ "Cruise line definition". Travel industry dictionary. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Member Cruise Lines". Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Ship sales and transfers". Cruise industry news. 22 November 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Cruise ship orderbook". Cruise Industry News. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Cruise line market share". Cruise market watch. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Member reviews of cruise lines". Cruise Critic. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  7. ^ "2021 Worldwide Cruise Line Market Share". Cruise Market Watch. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  8. ^ "Royal Caribbean Group Completes Sale of Azamara". EatSleepCruise.com. 19 March 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  9. ^ "Vi slutar kryssa - tack för oss!". Birka Cruises (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  10. ^ ""中华泰山"号邮轮烟台首航日本-渤海轮渡集团股份有限公司". Archived from the original on 5 April 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  11. ^ "南海邮轮官方网站". www.nanhaicruises.com.
  12. ^ "Classic International Cruises Pty Ltd". Press Release. Lawler Partners. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Cruise West".
  14. ^ "Ocean Cruise Line". www.simplonpc.co.uk.
  15. ^ "Explore Our Rivers". Riviera River Cruises. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Which? Awards 2017 winners revealed". Which? News. 17 May 2017.