Largest Cruise Line Companies

By ,   November 26, 2015 ,   Ships and Lines

This is a concise review and a complete list of all the world's largest cruise line companies, associations and organizations. About the corporate cruise line ownership - who are the owners of all the best cruise ships in the world - the absolute masters of the world's best lines and companies and all their big bigger biggest ships. The following is integrated with our list of cruise companies.

According to the latest cruise industry statistics, the 4 largest cruise companies continue slowly to conquer the cruising world - their combined cruise market share will be increasing over the forecast period 2015-2021 from 83,2% to 84,4%. In the world of the "largest cruise lines", Carnival and MSC Cruises are expected to shrink their market shares, while Royal Caribbean and NCL Norwegian will continue to grow.

Largest cruise line companies in the world

The biggest cruise companies - they all are very big, some are bigger big, one is the biggest. They all are very very very much rich!

Largest Cruise Line Companies - CruiseMapper

Carnival Corporation & plc (American-Panamanian passenger ship company, founded in 1972) is the world's largest cruise company, with almost 52% share of the market. Dual listed as Carnival Corp. (Doral-Miami FL, controlling the North America operations), and Carnival plc (Carnival UK for United Kingdom operations - former P&O Princess Cruises PLC, headquartered at Carnival House, Southampton, and Costa Cruises Group for the rest of Europe operations).

Combined fleet of 106 cruise passenger ships (including 10 on order), more than 160,000 berths, over 10,000 employees and 75,000 crew, USD 38,9 billion in assets, and USD 16,4 billion revenue (data 2016). Owns 11 cruise brands (in brackets - the year of acquisition /establishment) - AIDA (2000), Carnival (1972), Costa (2000), Cunard (1998), Holland America (1989), Ibero (2007), P&O UK and P&O Australia (2003), Princess (2003), and Seabourn (1992). The Carnival's major stock-holder is the company founder's Arison family (47%).Carnival Corporation cruise line companies

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) - founded 1997 as an American-Norwegian ship cruise company. RCCL is the 2nd largest cruise line in the world, with headquarters in Miami FL. RCCL controls over a quarter of the cruise market, with 58,000 employees, nearly US $20 billion in assets, and almost US $7 billion revenue (data 2011). Combined fleet of 46 cruise passenger ships (including 3 on order), of 5 distinct brands - Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity, Pullmantur (purchased 2006), Azamara Club (established 2007), CDF Croisières de France (est 2008 / merged with Pullmantur in 2017). RCCL also fully owns Air Pullmantur, and 50% of TUI Cruises (2009, a joint venture with TUI AG).

Apollo Global Management LLC (founded in 1990 as Apollo Advisors). Apollo is one of the world's largest private investment companies (over US $37 billion in assets, US $16 billion in companies, headquartered in NYC). The firm specializes in private equity funds (buyout transactions, and purchasing distressed securities), and capital markets (with hedge funds and real estate funds, corporate restructuring, and consolidations).

The Walt Disney Company - founded in 1923, and nowadays the largest and richest media conglomerate in the world. Headquartered in Burbank CA, and owning 6 major divisions, 10 subsidiaries (almost 150,000 employees, US $71 billion in assets, US $38 billion revenue - data 2011). Amongst the Disney's best known (and priced) assets are the ABC media, the ESPN cable network, and the PIXAR Animation Studios, along with all the Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide.

Mediterranean Shipping Company SA (MSC, founded in 1970, owned by the Aponte family) - the 2nd largest shipping line in the world (by container ship capacity), with more than 555 vessels of almost 2,2 million TEU (including 11 under construction - some of the world's largest container ships ever built, with capacity 15,000 TEU each). The MSC shipping line serves 270 ports worldwide, with over 29,000 employees.

Genting Group (founded in 1964, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). Genting is a leading Asian multinational company (developing, operating and marketing in Tourism, 1,800 ha Resorts World Genting, Gaming (casinos), Real Estates, 54,000 ha Plantations, Power Generation, Oil-Gas, e-commerce, over 58,000 employees, US $5,1 billion revenue, US $13,5 in assets). One of the most famous tourist features of Malaysia is the "Genting Highlands" resort, with a world class casino and a theme park. Owns about 20% of Star Cruises (the world's 3rd largest operator).

NYK Line ("Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha", translated as "Japan Mail Shipping Line"), main headquarters Chiyoda (Tokyo) and regional in London, NYC, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Sao Paulo. Established 1870, a core Mitsubishi company and currently the world's 10th largest cargo-container and shipping company. In the recent past, the majority of the Japan's merchant fleet sailed under its flag (1900-1950). Entered the passenger cruise ship business with one of the most expensive cruise lines in the world - its newly formed in 1989 subsidiary Crystal Cruise Lines. The NYK Line also operates the MS Asuka II (the ex MS Crystal Harmony), catering to the Japanese market exclusively. Financial data: revenue about US $25 billion, about 55,000 employees worldwide, with 240 offices in 26 countries.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH) ownership is 43,4% Genting Group, 32,5% Apollo Management and 10,8% TPG Capital (Texas Pacific Group, a very large private equity global investments firm). NCL controls ~8% of the global cruising market.

P&O Princess Cruises PLC was a restructured company between 2000 and 2003. This company was the successor of "Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company" (P&O, founded in 1837). P&O owns 6 cruise line brands and 26 ships. The company merged into Carnival Corp in 2003.

Cruise line owners - list of international associations and organizations

(external links to their official websites)

  • CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) - since December 17 2012 this is a Global Trade Association (an umbrella company) for 9 of the largest cruise industry associations, the list of which includes: CLIA itself (the world's largest, representing lines, operators, agents, port authorities, partners; also engaged in training, marketing & research), ECC (European Cruise Council), ACA (Asia Cruise Association), PSA (Passenger Shipping Association), CLIAFrance (France, Association Francaise des Compagnies de Croisieres), ABREMAR (Brazil), NWCCA (Northwest & Canada Cruise Association), ACA (Alaska Cruise Association), ICCA (International Cruise Council AustralAsia). For more info and details - read here.
  • Another large one is ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations) - ICOMIA is a global (marine industry) trade association with the majority of its members being national marine industries and manufacturers (for the complete list of all its members by country click here). The biggest there (full members) are IMCI (International Marine Certification Institute), CCYIA (China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association), FIN (French Nautical Industries Federation), DBSV (German Boat & Shipbuilders Association), JBIA (Japan Boating Industry Association), HISWA (Dutch Boating Industry Association), BMF (British Marine Federation), NMMA (National Marine).
  • Now the list of all the rest:
  • (in UK) ACE (Association of Cruise Experts) and LCA (Leading Cruise Agents)
  • AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators)
  • CSA (Caribbean Shipping Association)
  • ECSA (European Community Shipowners Associations)
  • FCCA (Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association), its members list currently includes the names of AIDA, Azamara, Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Cunard, Disney, HAL, MSC, NCL, P&O, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn and TUI.
  • IG RiverCruise (the Europe's river cruises association)
  • JOPA (Japan Oceangoing Passenger Ship Association).