Fastest Cruise Ship in the World,Cruising Speed

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Learn how fast is a cruise ship, which is the fastest cruise ship in the world, and all about the cruise ship speed (average/top speed), generally measured in knots, but also in mph/kmh. Integrated with cruise ship dimensions, cruise ship propulsion/engines,power and cruise ships tracker (current position).

How fast is the fastest cruise ship in the world?

Fastest Cruise Ship Speed - compare how fast are cruise ships in knots, mph, kmhThe Cunard’s Transatlantic liner rms Queen Mary 2 weights almost 151,500 tons, with cruising speed of over 29 knots (33,5 mph, or 54 kmh). This unique vessel is the only one currently operational Atlantic ocean liner crossing weekly in luxury and style the huge distance between the Great Britain’s maritime capital Southampton and New York City - the world’s financial capital.

The QM2 Transatlantic crossing distance is almost 3,000 nautical miles, or about 3,400 statute/normal miles (5,500 km), and this is done in less than 7 days. The most popular of the Cunard’s queens has an exterior deck space of 14,200 m2 for passengers to enjoy the “fastest sea ride” ever, and, of course, transparent wind-screens to shield them at the high speeds.

The world’s second fastest cruise ship is MS Voyager currently sailing under the name Costa Voyager (aka “Costa Grand Voyager”). She is now operated by Costa Cruises/Costa Crociere, a Carnival’s brand), with Carnival Corporation being her rightful owner.

Costa Voyager cruise ship service speed is 28 kn (32 mph – 51,5 kph /also km/h). But there’s a trick – this ship weights “merely” 24,400 tons. In comparison, the world’s largest cruise ships – the Royal Caribbean’s Allure and Oasis (almost 225,300 tons each) sail with an average speed of 20 knots (23 mph / 37 kph) and can go with a “top speed” of 22,5 kn (26 mph / 42 kph).

The world’s third fastest cruise ship is the P&O Oriana. In 1997, ms Oriana won the “Golden Cockerel” award for being the line’s fastest cruising vessel – accomplishing a maximum cruising speed of 26,2 kn (which is 31 mph or 50 kph).

Cruising Speed

what means ""cruising speed" - definition and information

By definition, the term “cruising speed” signifies the speed for any vehicle (could be cars, ships, aircrafts) and it’s usually about a speed somewhat below the maximum (as specified by the manufacturer) that is comfortable, but also economical.

Generally, modern cruise ships don’t have to be fast – it’s not necessary at all. Instead, the new cruisers’ demand is for big vessels (as tonnage and passenger capacity), stable and safe (related to propulsion and generators), comfortable, regular as departures, excitingly thrilling as to onboard activities and amenities, and also alluringly tempting as itineraries. And the latest trend is cruise ships also must be more and more fuel-efficient.

For the bigger ships the optimum cruising speed is 20-22 kn (23 mph / 37 kph). Bigger passenger ships have a large draft (the “invisible” part of the vessel, beneath the waterline), which causes huge resistance and hampers “fast and furious at sea” performances. In return for it, drafts of 23-30 ft (7-9 m) allow smooth rides when traveling even with 25-27 mph (over 40 kph). The vessel’s close to top speed cruising is generally used when avoiding storms (especially during the Caribbean summers), during tests, and sometimes when assisting other vessels.

The speed of cruise ships is measured in knots (kn), 1 knot is 1 nautical mile per hour. Cruise help - for the “normal” speed values, multiply knots by 1,15  (mph), or 1,852 (kph). Below, you may compare the avr passenger ship speed in the huge fleets of several big cruise ship companies and lines.

Knot is a nautical term, meaning cruising one hour the distance of one nautical mile. And one nautical mile (by the contemporary world standards) equals 1,15 statue (or “land”) miles (5,280 “modern” feet), or 1,852 kilometers. So, to convert the speed values of the word’s big and bigger passenger ships (and river boats, and of whatever floats) simply multiply knots by the above constants. Worldwide, the knot measuring is also used in meteorology and air navigation. And for all things “speed” related – follow this Wikipedia link.

Speed in KN Speed in MPH Speed in KMH
1 1,15 1,85
10 11,5 18,5
13 15 24
19 22 35
21 24 39
22 25 41
24 27,5 45
28 32 52
30 34,5 55,5
40 46 74.

How fast is a cruise ship (speed comparison by line)

Line Min-Max Tonnage (GT) Min-Max Speed in knots - in miles per hour - in kilometers per hour notes
AIDA 38,500 – 71,000 19,5 22,4 36
Azamara 30,300 18 21 34
CARNIVAL 70,400 – 128,300 19,5 – 22,5 22,4 – 26 36 – 42
Celebrity 70,600 – 122,000 21,5 – 24 25 – 28 40 – 45 MS Xpedition (2,850GT, 13,5kn
Costa 53,000 – 114,500 20 – 23 23 – 26,5 37 – 42,5 Allegra and Marina are smaller
Crystal 51,000 – 68,900 22 25,3 41
Cunard 90,000 – 151,400 23,7 – 29,3 27 – 34 43,5 – 55 RMS Queen Mary 2
Disney 83,300 – 124,000 22 – 24 25,3 – 28 41 – 45
HAL 55,500 – 86,800 20 – 22 23 – 25,3 37 – 41
iberoCRUICEROS /iberojet 46,000 – 47,000 20 – 28 23 – 32 37 – 51,5 MS Grand Voyager
LOUIS 11,200 – 40,900 17 – 21 19,5 – 24 31,5 – 38,5
MSC 35,100 – 138,000 21 – 23 24 – 26,5 38,5 – 43
NCL 77,100 – 153,000 21 – 24,5 24 – 28 38,5 – 45  
Oceania 30,300 – 65,000 18 – 20 21 – 23 34 – 37
P&O 30,300 – 113,700 18 – 24 21 – 28 34 – 45
P&O Australia 47,300 – 70,300 19,5 – 21,5 22,4 – 25 36 – 40
Princess 30,300 – 115,900 18 – 22,5 21 – 26 34 – 42
Pullmantur 33,200 – 73,200 18 – 21 21 – 24 34 – 38,5
ROYAL CARIBBEAN 69,100 – 225,300 21 – 24 24 – 28 38,5 – 45
Star Cruises 3,300 – 75,300 16,5 19 30,5.

Speed of Cruise Ships in Knots (kn)

The cruise ship top speed is 2-3 knots higher than its service speed, and it’s required rarely – in cases of emergencies (to avoid storms or on rescue operations) and during tests. The average speed of cruise ships is about 20-24 knots. But if you really need the details – well, enjoy the data from our table!

Ships Names Year Built (service) Speed in Knots
AIDAaura 2003 19,4
AIDAbella 2008 19,5
AIDAblu 2010 19,5
AIDAcara 1996 21
AIDAdiva 2007 19,5
AIDAluna 2009 19,5
AIDAmar 2012 19,5
AIDAprima 2015 23
AIDAsol 2011 19,5
AIDAstella 2013 23
AIDAvita 2002 19,4
Albatros 1973 17,6
Alandsfarjan 1972 17
Alexander von Humboldt 1990 18
Amadea 1991 21
Artania 1984 22
Artemis 1984 22
Asia Star 1992 12,5
Astor 1987 17,8
Asuka II (ex Crystal Harmony) /NYK Line 1990 22
Athena 1948 19
Azamara Journey 2000 18
Azamara Quest 2000 18
Bahamas Celebration 1981 21
Balmoral 1988 20
Birka Paradise 2004 21
Black Watch 1972 19,5
Boudicca 1972 20
Braemar 1993 19
Bremen 1990 15
C. Columbus 1997 18,5
Carnival Breeze 2012 22
Carnival Conquest 2002 19,6
Carnival Destiny 1996 20
Carnival Dream 2009 22,5
Carnival Ecstasy 1991 19,5
Carnival Elation 1998 19,5
Carnival Fantasy 1990 19,5
Carnival Fascination 1994 19,5
Carnival Freedom 2007 19,6
Carnival Glory 2003 22,5
Carnival Imagination 1995 19,5
Carnival Inspiration 1996 19,5
Carnival Legend 2002 22
Carnival Liberty 2005 19,6
Carnival Magic 2011 22,5
Carnival Miracle 2004 22
Carnival Paradise 1998 19,5
Carnival Pride 2001 22
Carnival Sensation 1993 19,5
Carnival Spirit 2001 22
Carnival Splendor 2008 22,5
Carnival Triumph 1993 19,1
Carnival Valor 2004 22,5
Carnival Victory 2000 22,5
Carnival Vista 2016 23
Celebrity Century 1995 21,5
Celebrity Constellation 2002 24
Celebrity Eclipse 2010 23
Celebrity Equinox 2009 23
Celebrity Infinity 2001 24
Celebrity Millennium 2000 24
Celebrity Reflection 2012 24
Celebrity Silhouette 2011 23
Celebrity Solstice 2008 23
Celebrity Summit 2001 24
Celebrity Xpedition 2001 13,5
Clipper Adventurer 1977 17
Clipper Odyssey 1989 17
Costa Atlantica 2000 22
Costa Classica 1991 19,8
Costa Concordia (accident) 2006 20
Costa Deliziosa 2010 23,6
Costa Diadema 2015 22,5
Costa Fascinosa 2012 20
Costa Favolosa 2011 20
Costa Fortuna 2009 20
Costa Luminosa 2003 23,6
Costa Magica 2004 20
Costa Marina 1969 20
Costa Mediterranea 2003 22
Costa Pacifica 2009 20
Costa neoRomantica 1993 19,8
Costa Serena 2007 20
Costa Victoria 1996 23
Costa Voyager (ex ms Grand Voyager) 2000 28 - the world’s second fastest cruise ship
Crystal Serenity 2003 22
Crystal Symphony 1995 22
Cunard ms Queen Elizabeth 2010 23,7
Cunard RMS Queen Mary 2 2004 29,3 – the fastest cruise ship in the world
Cunard ms Queen Victoria 2007 23,7
Deutschland 1998 20,5
mv Discovery 1972 21,5
Disney Dream 2011 22
Disney Fantasy 2012 22
Disney Magic 1998 24
Disney Wonder 1999 24
ms Europa 1999 21
ms Europa 2 2013 21
Expedition /GAP 1972 17
ms Explorer /Semester at Sea 2002 28
Fram 2006 15
Freewinds /Maduro Shipping 1968 20
Fuji Maru /Mitsui OSK 1989 20
Funchal 1961 14,5
Hanseatic 1991 16
Hebridean Princess 1964 14
Hebridean Spirit 1991 16
ms Amsterdam 2000 21
ms Eurodam 2008 21,9
ms Maasdam 1993 20,3
ms Nieuw Amsterdam 2010 21,9
ms Noordam 2006 22
ms Oosterdam 2006 22
ms Prinsendam 1988 21,8
ms Rotterdam 1997 22,5
ms Ryndam 1994 20,3
ms Statendam 1992 20,3
ms Veendam 1996 20,3
ms Volendam 1999 20,2
ms Westerdam 2004 22
ms Zaandam 2000 20,2
ms Zuiderdam 2002 22
Grand Celebration 1987 21,6
Grand Holiday 1985 21,5
Grand Mistral 1999 19,5
Island Adventure 1976 18,5
Island Escape 1982 18
Island Sky 1992 16
Kristina Katarina 1982 17,5
ms Leisure World 1969 16
Long Jie 1972 21
Louis Cristal 1992 21
Louis Majesty 1992 21
ms Marco Polo 1965 19,5
Mein Schiff 1 1996 21,5
Mein Schiff 2 1997 21,5
Mein Schiff 3 2015 21
Mein Schiff 4 2015 21
mv Minerva 1995 13,5
ms Mona Lisa 1966 20,6
ms Monet 1970 12
MSC Armonia 2001 21
MSC Divina 2012 21
MSC Fantasia 2008 21
MSC Lirica 2003 20,8
MSC Magnifica 2010 23
MSC Musica 2007 23
MSC Opera 2004 21,7
MSC Orchestra 2007 23
MSC Poesia 2008 23
MSC Precioza 2013 24
MSC Sinfonia 2002 20,8
MSC Splendida 2009 21
National Geographic Endeavour 1966 11,5
National Geographic Explorer 1982 18
Nippon Maru /Mitsui OSK 1990 18
Norwegian Breakaway 2013 22
Norwegian Dawn 2002 24
Norwegian Epic 2010 22,5
Norwegian Escape 2015 ?
Norwegian Gem 2007 24
Norwegian Getaway 2014 22
Norwegian Jade 2006 24,6
Norwegian Jewel 2005 24
Norwegian Pearl 2006 24
Norwegian Spirit 1998 24
Norwegian Sky 1999 23
Norwegian Star 2001 24
Norwegian Sun 2001 22,6
NCL Pride of America 2005 21
Ocean Countess 1976 18
OCEANIA Insignia 1998 18
OCEANIA Marina 2011 20
OCEANIA Nautica 2000 18
OCEANIA Regatta 1998 18
OCEANIA Riviera 2012 20
Ola Esmeralda 1966 20
mv Orion 2003 16
P&O Adonia 2001 18
P&O Arcadia 2005 22
P&O Aurora 2000 24
P&O Azura 2010 21,7
P&O Britannia 2015 ?
P&O Oceana 2000 21
P&O Oriana 1995 26,2 – the world’s third fastest cruise ship
P&O Ventura 2008 21,7
P&O Pacific Dawn 1991 19,5
P&O Pacific Jewel 1990 19,5
P&O Pacific Pearl 1989 19,5
ms Paul Gauguin 1997 18
Caribbean Princess 2004 21,7
Coral Princess 2002 21,5
Crown Princess 2006 21,7
Dawn Princess 1997 21,4
Diamond Princess 2004 22,1
Emerald Princess 2007 21,7
Golden Princess 2001 22,5
Grand Princess 1998 22,5
Island Princess 2003 21,5
Ocean Princess 1999 18
Pacific Princess 1999 18
Regal Princess 2015 23
Royal Princess 2013 23
Ruby Princess 2008 21,7
Sapphire Princess 2004 22,1
Sea Princess 1998 21
Star Princess 2002 22,5
Sun Princess 1996 21,4
Princess Danae 1955 16
Princess Daphne 1955 17
ms Empress 1990 19,5
ms Horizon 1990 18
ms Sovereign 1987 21
ms Zenith 1992 18
Royal Iris 1971 18
Regent Seven Seas Explorer 2016 20
Regent Seven Seas Mariner 2001 20
Regent Seven Seas Navigator 1999 19,5
Regent Seven Seas Voyager 2003 22
Adventure of the Seas 2001 23
Allure of the Seas 2010 20,2
Anthem of the Seas 2015 22
Brilliance of the Seas 2002 24
Enchantment of the Seas 1997 22
Explorer of the Seas 2000 22
Freedom of the Seas 2006 22
Grandeur of the Seas 1996 22
Independence of the Seas 2008 22
Jewel of the Seas 2004 24
Legend of the Seas 1995 24
Liberty of the Seas 2007 22
Majesty of the Seas 1992 21
Mariner of the Seas 2003 22
Navigator of the Seas 1992 22
Oasis of the Seas 2009 20,2
Quantum of the Seas 2014 22
Radiance of the Seas 2001 24
Rhapsody of the Seas 1997 22,3
Serenade of the Seas 2003 24
Splendour of the Seas 1996 24
Vision of the Seas 1998 22,3
Voyager of the Seas 1999 22
Saga Pearl II 1981 20,5
Saga Ruby 1973 21
Salamis Filoxenia 1975 21
Sea Cloud 1931 12
Sea Cloud II 2001 13
Spirit of Adventure 1980 17,5
Seabourn Legend 1992 19,3
Seabourn Odyssey 2009 19
Seabourn Pride 1988 19,3
Seabourn Quest 2011 19
Seabourn Sojourn 2010 19
Seabourn Spirit 1989 19,3
SeaDream I 1984 17,5
SeaDream II 1984 17,5
Silver Cloud 1994 18
Silver Discoverer 1989 14
Silver Explorer 1989 16
Silver Galapagos 1990 17
Silver Shadow 2000 18,5
Silver Whisper 2001 18,5
Silver Spirit 2009 19,5
Silver Wind 1994 18
Royal Clipper 2000 17
Star Clipper 1992 16
Star Flyer 1991 16
MegaStar Aries 1989 16
MegaStar Taurus 1989 16
Star Pisces 1990 21,3
SuperStar Aquarius 1993 21
SuperStar Libra 1988 21,5
SuperStar Virgo 1999 24
ms The World cruise ship 2002 18,5
Thomson Celebration 1984 21
Thomson Dream 1986 22,5
Thomson Spirit 1983 21
Vistamar 1989 16,5
Wind Spirit 1988 12
Wind Star 1986 12
Wind Surf 1989 14,1
RMS Titanic 1912 21 kn (24 mph, 39 kph)
Titanic 2 (replica) 2016 23.

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Fastest Cruise Ship in the World,Cruising Speed 5.00/5 (2 votes)

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