15 Largest Cruise Companies in the World

In this article, we are going to list the 15 Largest Cruise Companies in the World. You can skip our detailed analysis of the cruise industry and its outlook in 2021 and beyond and go to 5 Largest Cruise Companies in the World.

The cruise industry was one of the biggest casualties of the coronavirus crisis, suffering heavy losses and layoffs as millions of customers cancelled their bookings are asked for refunds. But there are clear signs of recovery in the industry and analysts think now could be the right time to invest in cruise companies. Cruise review website Cruise Critic saw a 40% increase in interest from customers in January. Shares of top 3 cruise companies are up about 50% over the last 6 months.

Not a Smooth Sail

 In 2018, the industry posted a 10-year growth of 74.9% globally in sourced cruise passengers. Then came the pandemic which brought the industry to a complete halt. The suspension of cruise activities has caused over 245,000 job losses and about $32 billion in monetary losses, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). 

In 2019, the U.S. cruise industry generated an economic impact of $55.5 billion, up 5.3% from 2018, according to CLIA’s annual report. The 13.8 million U.S. passenger embarkations in 2019, up nearly 8% from 2018, created $25.1 billion in direct spending and supported 436,600 jobs.

The U.S. government is preparing to pass a stimulus package of about $2 trillion to aid the economy and businesses. Unfortunately, the largest cruise ship companies in the world are not headquartered in the US. The CLIA confirmed that the Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL), Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE: NCLH), and Carnival Corp (NYSE: CCL) are incorporated in other countries, and they won’t be eligible for the $500 billion aid for the large conglomerate in the massive bill from the Senate. But thanks to the Fed, Carnival Corp reported having raised $6 billion in April 2020, and the company sold $4 billion in senior secured notes due in 2023 at an 11.5% interest rate and another $1.75 billion in convertible notes due in 2023 at a 5.75% interest rate. The company also raised $625 million by selling an additional common stock at a low price of $8 per share.

15 Largest Cruise Companies in the World


Should You Buy Cruise Stocks in 2021?

According to Statista, the number of global cruise passengers has increased to 29.7 million in 2019 from 17.8 million in 2009 with an annual growth rate of 5.4%. Besides, the cruise industry has generated total revenue of $150 billion globally. In a CLIA-Qualtrics Survey, two out of three cruisers are willing to cruise within the next year. And specifically, 58% of international vacationers who have never cruised are likely to try it in the next few years. In 2020, Expedia posted a 30% surge in search numbers for cruises in October and November. With the vaccines being rolled out since the beginning of this year, booking activities for cruises continue to rise.

In October 2020, shares of the largest cruise companies rose after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared the new “Conditional Sailing Order” after the 8 months of no-sail order. This new order will help cruise lines recover.

Most Expensive Cruises in the World


Ready to Set Sail in 2021

Although operations are still restricted in the U.S., the rest of the world is sailing back to the seas. TUI Group’s Hapag-Lloyd Cruises set sail to Hamburg in July 2020. The new normal in boarding a cruise ship requires a negative COVID-19 test. Onboard, the company installed a testing lab and invested in cold fog machines for disinfecting public areas and cabins. No COVID cases have been reported after 30 completed trips carrying more than 4,000 passengers.

Sailing in a pandemic is far from what it used to be before. Everyone is required to wear a mask and observe social distancing. Buffet stations are now manned by servers which is safer. And most of all, cruise ships are embarking with 50% of their passenger capacity. 

To protect their customers, cruise lines have invested in innovative technologies that will contain the spread of COVID-19. Royal Caribbean provides a snap-on electronic wrist band per passenger that gives digital access to their pre-registers for boarding, promotes cashless purchases, and gives them digital access to their cabin. Cruise companies have also improved their air filtration systems for safety.

To give you accurate insights into the largest cruise companies in the world, we ranked the global cruise companies based on their market cap and total assets.

Let’s take a look at the largest cruise companies in the world starting from number 15.


15. OneSpaWorld (NASDAQ: OSW)

Based in The Bahamas, OneSpaWorld ranks among the 15 larges cruise companies in the world because of its massive exposure to the cruise industry. It is a provider of wellness and health services onboard cruise ships. In the third quarter, OSW reported total revenue of $117.1 million, a 72% decrease from $422.8 million with total liquidity of $62.2 million. The services offered by the company include body, salon, and skin care services, and products, personal training, and detoxification programs. OSW is operating in over 16 luxury cruise lines including Carnival, Costa Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Silversea, and Princess Cruises.

In May 2020, OSW received a $75 million rescue deal from global spa service provider Steiner Leisure.

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14. Viking Line ABP (HEL: VIK1V)

Ranking 14th on our list of the 15 largest cruise companies in the world is Finland-based Viking Line with a market cap of $203 million. Aside from recreational travel services, the company also provides cargo carrier services and sails through the Baltic Sea between Estonia, Sweden, and Finland. Based on the company’s 2020 year-end report, Viking Line sales amounted to $227 million and total assets are worth $512 million. 

Shares of VIK1V fell 16.13% over the past twelve months.

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13. Virgin Group

Ranking 13th on our list of the 15 largest cruise companies is London-based Virgin Voyages, a subsidiary of the Virgin Group with $347.5 million worth of assets and $83.7 million net profit. Virgin Voyages is a new cruise line offering trips to Havana, Bimini, the Bahamas, Puerta Plata, and Costa Maya. Virgin Group was founded by serial entrepreneur Richard Branson in 1970 and today operates as a venture capitalist conglomerate. As an investment firm, Virgin Group operates in different sectors including travel and leisure, TV and radio, mobile, health, and finance. 

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady is set to sail in the second quarter of 2021. The extravagant ship will have ultra-fast Wi-Fi onboard provided by telecom and satellite company SES Network. 


12. Genting Hong Kong (OTC: GTHKF)

Genting Hong Kong ranks 12th on our list of the largest cruise companies in the world with a market cap of $557 million. Genting owns world-famous fleets of cruise ships including Star Cruises, Dream Cruises, and the luxurious Crystal Cruises. In 2019, the company reported total revenue of $1.5 billion, a decrease of 2.4% from $1.6 billion in 2018. Genting’s cruise revenue amounted to $1.3 billion making it the main driver for the growth of the company. 

Shares of GTHKF fell 12% over the past twelve months.

Most Expensive Cruises in the World


11. Hurtigruten AS

Norwegian transportation company Hurtigruten is a trusted provider of cruises to the most remote areas of Antarctica, Norway, Western Europe, the Baltic Sea, and Greenland. The company also operates as a public transportation service providing buses, ferries, and high-speed vessels not only in Europe but also in the US and South America. The company recently posted a loss of $195 million for 2020, citing pandemic-related restrictions.

In June 2020, Hurtigruten was the first cruise company to restart cruise operations with four ships navigating through the Norwegian coastal tours between Bergen and Kirkenes.

Most Expensive Cruises in the World


10. Saga Plc 

UK-based Saga Plc ranks 10th on our list of the 15 largest cruise companies in the world with a market cap of $737 million. Saga plc provides insurance and travel services for customers aged 50 and above. As of 2020, the company has net assets worth $816.9 million. Saga reported forward booking of the cruise in 2021/2022 amounting to $40 million. In 2020, its underlying profit before tax came in at £109 million.

Shares of SAGA fell 9.30% over the past twelve months.

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9. Lindblad Expeditions Holdings (NASDAQ: LIND)

Ranking 9th on our list of the 15 largest cruise companies in the world is NY-based Lindblad Expeditions Holdings with a market cap of $1.04 billion. Lindblad Expeditions owns over 50 specialized cruise ships that sail to the most remote areas on Earth such as Antarctica, Galapagos, Alaska, and Egypt. 

In the third quarter of 2020, LIND announced tour revenues of over $1 million, down from $100 million in the same quarter in 2019. 

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8. NYK Line (OTC: NPNYY)

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha ranks 8th on our list of the largest cruise companies in the world, with a market cap of $4.84 billion. NYK Line operates as a cruise and shipping company with global operations. The company owns a fleet of 615 vessels making it the largest marine transporter in Japan. NYK Cruises was one of the Asian cruise companies that were allowed to operate in the middle of the pandemic in November 2020. NYK Cruises and terminal and harbor transport services account for approximately 20% of the company.

Shares of NPNYY increased by 102.32% over the past twelve months.



Germany-based Touristik Union International, or TUI Group, ranks 7th on our list of the largest cruise companies in the world, with a market cap of $6.6 billion. The company provides global tourism services from cruises to airlines, hotels, and resorts. TUI Group owns TUI Cruises, Marella Cruises, and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. In 2020, TUI generated total revenue of $9.5 billion. In July 2020, the company’s TUIS Mein Schiff 2 sailed back to the sea carrying 1,200 passengers to have a Norwegian cruise.

Shares of TUIFF increased by 28.8% over the past twelve months.

Most Expensive Cruises in the World


6. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: NCLH)

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. is one of the major cruise lines in the world, with a market cap of $9.3 billion. The company owns and operates the Norwegian Cruise Lines, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Oceania Cruises. The company owns a total of 28 ships sailing through more than 490 destinations across the globe.


In 2020, the company’s revenue came in at $1.2 billion, an 80.2% decrease from $6.5 billion in 2019. Yet the company remains positive as they secured $1.2 billion of advance ticket sales and approximately $0.85 billion future cruise credits by the end of 2020. 

The company plans to sell a total of $500 million of its 5.875% Senior Notes due in 2026 in a private offering. Norwegian Cruise Lines continues its cruise suspension through the end of May 2021. 

Shares of NCLH decreased by 13.11% over the past twelve months. 

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Largest Cruise Companies in the World.

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Disclosure: None. 15 Largest Cruise Companies in the World is originally published at Insider Monkey.