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5 Record Breaking Cruise Ships

There’s no doubt that cruise ships are getting better and, in the case of Royal Caribbean especially, bigger. But which vessels hold some of the most sought after world records? Here’s our rundown of a few record breaking ships.

Largest Cruise Ship: Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas

A lot has been made about the size of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class ships which were launched in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The two sisters, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, both hold the record for being the largest cruise ship in the world in terms of tonnage. However, whilst they both weigh the same amount (225,282 Gross Tons) it is actually the latter of the two who is the longest.

The plan was always to keep these two maritime behemoths the same in every way, but warm weather during the construction of Allure of the Seas meant that some of the metal used on her hull expanded, resulting in her being 50mm longer than her gigantic sister. Royal Caribbean actually has plans to break their own record with the arrival of a third Oasis Class ship, recently dubbed Harmony of the Seas, in 2016.

Largest Square-rigged Ship: Royal Clipper

Royal Clipper

Tall ship cruising allows guests to enjoy the freedom and excitement of a cruise holiday within the surroundings of a classic sailing ship. Inspired by Preussen, the largest five-masted, fully-rigged sailing ship ever to be built, Royal Clipper has now taken on the mantle of being the largest ship in the above category currently in service. She also holds the distinction of being the largest square-rigged ship sailing today.

Cruises aboard her offer a mixture of comfort, luxury, and the chance to muck in with the sailing duties if you wish. She glides through the waves effortlessly and stands out in every port in which she docks.

Fastest Cruise Ship: SS United States

Queen Mary 2

In the days of the Blue Riband, given to the fastest ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, speed was a must. These were the days before commercial air travel and people wanted to get to their end destination as quick as possible. In 1952, SS United States became the world’s fastest ocean liner by completing this iconic crossing in 3 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes with an average speed of 35.59 knots.

Nowadays, speed is much less important as the journey has become part of the holiday itself. Guests now enjoy the time spent on the ship and so cruise vessels are deliberately built to be a lot slower. That said, it is Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 that is the fastest liner in current operation. The much-loved ship has an unofficial top speed of almost 30 knots.

Longest Cruise: Insignia – ‘Around The World In 180 Days’


The longest itinerary in modern cruising is currently being undertaken by Oceania’s Insignia, as she sails from Miami to Miami for a whopping 180 days. Passengers will get to visit ports in the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific, staying overnight in 11 of them and exploring an exciting 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

We would be talking about an entirely different situation though, had financial troubles not put pay to a proposed 335 day sailing by Spirit of Oceanus in 2010. This Cruise West ship was due to sail for 11 months straight on a cruise that was split into seven parts, each inspired by a different explorer. However, confused passengers had their holiday cut short when the ship reached Newfoundland and the company ceased trading just a few days later.

Largest Murder Mystery At Sea: Boudicca

Poison, Murder, and Mystery

This record is yet to be made, but if all goes to plan Fred. Olsen’s Boudicca will go into the history books for hosting the largest ever murder mystery event at sea. The ‘Poison, Murder and Mystery’ itinerary sets sail on the 10th of July 2015 from Rosyth and will visit two ‘poison gardens’ at Alnwick Castle and Guimar, Tenerife respectively. Guests will then be able to change into themed costumes and take part in immersive evenings of dinner, drinks, detective work.

Representatives from the Guinness Book of Records will be on board to officially recognise the record attempt and the person who successfully guesses the identity of the murderer will win a world cruise for two with Fred. Olsen.

We can offer cruises on many of the record breaking ships mentioned above. Please call us today for more details or submit an online enquiry.