Top 15 Biggest Ships Ever Built In The World 2023

The largest ships in the world include oil tankers, freight carriers, and cruise liners. These enormous machines are engineering feats that are responsible for moving a large fraction of the world’s products and people.

Seeing one of these supertankers up close for the first time is an eye-opening experience, revealing the incredible manufacturing and design processes that went into its creation.

Here, we’ll take a look at the 15 largest ships in the world and talk about what makes them so impressive. There is a chance it’s a cruise ship, oil tanker, or cargo ship.

Let’s first determine how huge these ships really are. Normally, we don’t work with measurements this big. It’s challenging to comprehend these enormous sums. So let’s utilize a sizing chart to help us comprehend better. The graphic below shows the largest ship in the world next to some of the world’s most well-known landmarks to give you some perspective on its sheer scale.

Many of us have experienced the thrill of standing at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Empire State Building in New York and staring up in wonder. The “wow factor” is the same when visualizing the grand size of the world’s largest ship.

Check out the image below-

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The image above compares the size of the largest ship in the world with popular monuments like Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower, Great Pyramids, etc. You can clearly see that the ship surpasses the height of the Eiffel Tower, Empire State as well as Petronas Towers.

But before moving ahead with ships, let’s see how many types of ships there are.

Types of Ships

There are various types of ships serving different purposes. Mainly classified into the following types:

1. Container Ships

2. Bulk Carrier

3. Tanker Ships

4. Cruise Ships

5. Naval Ships

6. Ultra Large Crude Carrier

7. Special Purpose Ships

The 15 largest ships in the world are highlighted here. The article ranks all the ships and classes of ships based on their overall length, irrespective of their type and category.

Overall length – This is the maximum length of the vessel measured between the extreme points.

With each, a number of useful metrics are supplied. Explore metrics like a beam, capacity, passenger, decks, draught, year of construction, cost, and many others.

The Quantum Class Ships (348 m)

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As they are the smallest ships on this list, we will start with Quantum Class ships. The Quantum Class cruise ships from Royal Caribbean are among the fleet’s newest and most advanced vessels. They are jam-packed with popular activities, offer a variety of eating options, and have the technology installed all around the ships.

The Quantum Class of Royal Caribbean cruise ships was created to advance with its cutting-edge design and onboard activities. “RipCord by iFLY,” a skydiving simulator housed in a recirculating indoor recreational vertical wind tunnel, is a brand-new feature on the Quantum class. The “North Star” observation tower, which is situated at the forward end of the top deck, is another addition to the Quantum class.

Royal Caribbean has five Quantum Class cruise ships –

  • The Quantum of the Seas
  • The Anthem of the Seas
  • The Ovation of the Seas
  • The Spectrum of the Seas
  • The Odyssey of the Seas


Year built2015-presentGross Tonnage167800 GT
Flag state BahamasPassengers4168 – 4825
BuilderMeyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)Crew1300
Building costUSD 940 millionCabins2091
EnginesWartsila (72 MW / 96554 hp)OperatorRCI-Royal Caribbean International
Propulsion power55 MW (73756 hp)Length (LOA)348 m (1142 ft)
Speed41 kph (25 mph)Beam (width)49 m (161 ft)

The Oasis Class Ships (360-362 m)

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Five cruise ships from Royal Caribbean International belong to the Oasis class. Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the first two ships in the class, were delivered by STX Europe Turku Shipyard in Finland in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The STX France-built Harmony of the Seas, the third ship in the Oasis class, was delivered in 2016, while Symphony of the Seas, the fourth ship, was finished in March 2018. The fifth Oasis-class ship, Wonder of the Seas, entered service in March 2022.

Every Oasis Class cruise ship offers experiences for every type of traveller, whether you’re looking forward to an exhilarating escape with a group that spans multiple generations or a sun-drenched lovers’ retreat boosted by world-class dining and electrifying nightlife.

The Oasis-class ships are now the largest and longest passenger ships in the world, surpassing the older Freedom-class vessels. Oasis of the Seas is around 70,000 tonnes heavier and 8.5 m (28 ft) broader, with a gross tonnage of 225,282. Over 5,400 to 6780 passengers can board a ship of the Oasis class.


In service2009 – presentGross Tonnage225,282– 226,963 GT
Flag state BahamasPassengers5518 – 6780
BuilderChantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, STX France)Crew2394
Building costUSD 1.2 -1.4 billionCabins2759
EnginesWartsila (96 MW / 128738 hp)OperatorRCI-Royal Caribbean International
TypeCruise ShipsLength (LOA)360–362 m (1,181–1,188 ft)
Speed41 kph (25 mph)Beam (width)47-64 m (154 –210) ft

Valemax Ships (360-362 m)

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The Brazilian mining corporation Vale S.A. owns or charters a fleet of very large ore carriers (VLOC) called Valemax ships to transport iron ore from Brazil to ports in Europe and Asia.

The ships are capable of between 380,000 and 400,000 tonnes deadweight, and they conform to the Chinamax standard for ship dimensions, which sets limits on draught and beam. When comparing deadweight tonnes or overall length, Valemax ships are the longest bulk carriers ever built and among the longest ships of any kind still in operation.

Vale Brasil, the first Valemax ship, was delivered in 2011. Originally, it was anticipated that all 35 of the first series’ ships would enter service by 2013; however, the final ship did not arrive until September 2016.


In service2011 – presentGross Tonnage200,000 GT
Flag stateBrasilDepth30 m (98 ft)
BuilderDaewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd, South KoreaCrew33
ClassValemax ShipsDecks17
Building costUSD 460 million dollars.Draught22–23 m (72–75 ft)
EnginesMAN B&W 7S80ME-C8 (29,260 kW)OperatorVale Shipping Holding Pte. Ltd.
TypeBulk carrierLength (LOA)360–362 m (1,181–1,188 ft)
Speed28 kph (17 mph)Beam (width)65.0 m (213.3 ft)

TI Class Ships (380 m)

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The supertanker ships in the TI class, where “TI” stands for the Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) tanker pool operator Tankers International, are the TI Africa, TI Asia, TI Europe, and TI Oceania. The ULCCs (ultra-large crude carriers) in this class was the first to be constructed in 25 years.

All four oil tankers were built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in Okpo, South Korea, for the shipping business Hellespont Group, and they all went into service between March 2002 and April 2003. The initial names of the vessels were Hellespont Tara, Hellespont Alhambra, Hellespont Fairfax, and Hellespont Metropolis.


In service2003– presentGross Tonnage234,006 GT
Flag stateSouth KoreaTotal ships4
BuilderDaewoo Shipbuilding & Marine EngineeringCrew30
ClassTI Class shipsDraught24.5 m (80.5 ft)
Building costUSD 90 million dollarsCapacity3,166,353 barrels
EnginesHSD-Sulzer 9RTA84T-D (37,449kW)OperatorHellespont Group
TypeUltra Large Crude CarrierLength (LOA)380 m (1,247 ft)
Speed30.6 kph (19.0 mph)Beam (width)68 m (223 ft)

Berge Emperor (381.82 m)

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Mitsui constructed the supertanker Berge Emperor in Japan in 1975. She was among the world’s longest ships at 391.83 m (1,285.5 ft). She was introduced on August 30, 1975.

Bergesen d.y. & Co. owned the ship, which was later sold to Maastow BV and given the new name Emperor. On March 30, 1986, the ship was destroyed at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

This ship is made up of two vessels, the Berge Emperor and Berge Empress, with a combined length of 381.82 m.


In service1975–2004Gross Tonnage211,359 GT 
Flag stateJapanTotal ships2
ClassBergeDraught22.788 m (74.76 ft)
Building costUSD 89 million dollarsPort of registryStavanger, Norway
EnginesStal-Laval turbinesOperatorBergesen d.y. & Co
TypeSupertankerLength (LOA)381.82 m (1,253 ft)
Speed28.7 kph (17.8 mph)Beam (width)68.05 m (223.3 ft)

Nai Superba and Nai Genova (381.92 m)

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The Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC) Nai Superba and Nai Genova were introduced in 1978. At the Eriksbergs Mekaniska Verkstads AB shipyard in Goteborg, Sweden, they were created. They were some of the final ships constructed there until it was shut down in 1979 as a result of financial difficulties that had started when Japanese shipyards started to exercise some sort of dominance within the sector.

The steam-powered Nai Superba and Nai Genova had a length of 381.81 m (1250 ft), a deadweight tonnage of 409,400, and a gross tonnage of 188,947 GT. Their beam was slightly less than 63.4 m (208 feet).

They carried chemicals to ports all over the world, despite their initial reputation as oil tankers. They were offered for sale numerous times between 1985 and 1997 despite their adaptability. In 2000 (for Nai Genova) and 2001, the tragic decision to scrap them was decided following three more years of economic hardship (for Nai Superba).


In service1978–2001Gross Tonnage188,947 GT
Flag stateSwedenTotal ships2
BuilderEriksbergs Mekaniske Verkstads – Gothenburg, SwedenCrew30
ClassNaiDepth29.49 m (96.7 ft)
Building costUSD 90 million dollarsStatusDead
Engines1ST-16 engines (31920 kW)OperatorNav Alta Italia SpA
TypeCrude Oil TankerLength (LOA)381.92 m (1,253 ft)
Speed30.6 kph (19.0 mph)Beam (width)63.30 m (207 ft)

Pioneering Spirit (382 m)

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The Allseas Group’s catamaran crane vessel Pioneering Spirit was built for the single-lift installation and removal of substantial oil and gas platforms as well as the installation of record-weight pipelines. The 382 m (1,253 ft) long and 124-m (407 ft) broad ship is the largest ship by gross tonnage and, as of 2022, the largest floating sheerleg.

It cost €2.6 billion to construct in 2013 in South Korea by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. It started operating offshore in August 2016.


In service2014 – presentGross Tonnage403,342 GT
Flag stateMaltaDraft10–27 m (33–89 ft)
BuilderDaewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co, GeojeCrew571
StatusActiveCapacity48,000 tonnes
Building costUSD 2.58 billion dollarsPort of registry2014–2015: Panama City, Panama
EnginesRolls-Royce Diesel-electric azimuth thrustersOperatorAllseas Engineering BV.
TypeCrane’s vesselLength (LOA)382 m (1,253 ft)
Speed26 kph (16 mph)Beam (width)124 m (407 ft)

Ever G- Class Ships (399.96 m)

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11 container ships in the Evergreen G class were created by Imabari Shipbuilding in Japan for Evergreen Marine. These vessels can theoretically carry up to 20,124 to 20,388 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

All 11 of the ships are leased by Evergreen Time from Shoei Kisen Kaisha, an Imabari Shipbuilding leasing company. The Ever Golden, a ship with a 20,338 TEU capacity, was delivered on March 30, 2018.

11 ships, in particular: Ever Golden, Ever Gifted, Ever Glory, Ever Globe, Ever Goods, Ever Given, Ever Grade, Ever Genius, Always Kind, Always Govern, Always Greet


In service2017– presentGross Tonnage219,775 GT
Flag stateJapanDraught14.5 m (47 ft 7 in)
BuilderImabari ShipbuildingCrew25
StatusActiveCapacity4,82,976 metric tonnes
Building costUSD 550 million dollarsPort of registry Panama City, Panama
EnginesMitsui–MAN B&W 11G95ME-C9 (59,300 kW)OperatorEvergreen Marine
TypeContainer shipLength (LOA)399.96 m (1,312 ft)
Speed42.2 kph (26.2 mph)Beam (width)58.8 m (192 ft 11 in)

MSC Class Ships (400 m)

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Gianluigi Aponte created the worldwide shipping company Mediterranean Shipping Company SA (MSC) in Italy in 1970; its head office has been in Switzerland since 1978. The business is active in all significant ports across the world.

In 2022, MSC is operating 570 container ships with a 3,920,784 twenty-foot equivalent unit intake capacity (TEU). Also, its MSC Cruises section specializes in vacation cruises.

Many of the container ships on this list are of the MSC class. These ships are of the same size and construction. MSC Diana, MSC Ingy, MSC Sloane, MSC Mirjam, MSC Rifaya, and MSC Leanne are a few notable examples.


In service2016– presentGross Tonnage193,489 GT
Flag state LiberiaDraught16m (52.5 ft)
BuilderDaewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME)Crew35
ClassOlympic classCapacity19,224 TEU
Building costUSD 1 billion dollarsPort of registryPanama
EnginesMAN B&W 11S90ME-C two-stroke diesel engine; 62.5 MW (83,800 hp)OperatorMediterranean Shipping Company
TypeContainer shipLength (LOA)400 m (1,312 ft)
Speed42.2 kph (26.2 mph)Beam (width)59 m (194 ft)

MOL Triumph ships (400 m)

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Six container ships in the Triumph class are currently being used by the Japanese shipping business Ocean Network Express (ONE). The ships may theoretically carry up to 20,182 TEU.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) placed the order for the ships in 2015. Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea constructed four ships. The remaining two are chartered from Shoei Kisen Kaisha and were constructed in Japan by Imabari Shipbuilding.

The MOL Triumph, MOL Trust, MOL Tribute, and MOL Tradition are the class’s principalships.


In service2015– presentGross Tonnage210,678 GT
Flag stateMarshall IslandsDraught16 m (52.5 ft)
BuilderSamsung Heavy IndustriesCrew30
ClassMOL Triumph-classCapacity20,170 TEU
Building costUSD 1.8 billion dollarsDraft16 m
EnginesMAN B&W G95ME (82,440 kW)OperatorMitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd
TypeContainer shipLength (LOA)400 m (1,312 ft)
Speed44 km/h (27.3 mph)Beam (width)59 m (194 ft)

Barzan Ships (400 m)

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Barzan is an ultra-large container ship. It is the first of a set of six 18,800 TEU container ships that the United Arab Shipping Company has built in South Korea (UASC). It was one of the world’s largest cargo ships as of 2015. It emits much fewer carbon emissions than container ships of the Maersk Triple E class, claims the maker.

Some major names are – Al Muraykh, Al Nefud, Al Zubara, Al Dahna, and Tihama.


In service2015– presentGross Tonnage195,636 GT
Flag stateMaltaDraught16m (52.5 ft)
BuilderHyundai Samho (Mokpo)Crew35
ClassA18-classCapacity18,800 TEU
Building costUSD 105 million dollarsDecks10
EnginesMAN B&W (82,936 kW)OperatorHapag-Lloyd
TypeContainer shipLength (LOA)400 m (1,312 ft)
Speed42.2 kph (26.2 mph)Beam (width)58.6 m (192 ft)

Ever A- class Ships (400 m)

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Ever G class was discussed above, and now it’s time for A class. 13 container ships in the Evergreen A class are being constructed for Evergreen Marine. The largest ships are the biggest container ships in the world, with a maximum theoretical capacity of about 23,992 TEU. Samsung Heavy Industries is constructing six ships in South Korea. China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) will construct a further seven at two shipyards in China.

The Ever Ace, which transported 21,710 TEU of containers from Yantian to Europe, holds the record as of 2022 for the most containers loaded aboard a single ship.


In service2021– presentGross Tonnage235,579 GT
Flag statePanamaDraught17 m (55 ft 9 in)
BuilderSamsung Heavy Industries, China State Shipbuilding Corporation  Crew35
ClassEver A- classCapacity23,992 to 24,004 TEU
Building costUSD 600 million dollarsDecks10
EnginesWinGD X92-B, 11 cylinder 58,600 kW (78,584 hp)OperatorEvergreen Marine
TypeContainer shipLength (LOA)400 m (1,312 ft)
Speed42.2 kph (26.2 mph)Beam (width)61.5 m (202 ft)

Esso Atlantic-class supertankers (406.57 m)

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The two ships of the Esso Atlantic class, Esso Atlantic and Esso Pacific, were two of just seven vessels in maritime history to exceed 500,000 tonnes deadweight.

The ships could not pass through the English Channel, Suez Canal, or Panama Canal when fully loaded due to their 25.3 m (83 ft) fully laden draught when at sea.


In service1977–2002Gross Tonnage259,532 GT
Flag stateBahamianDraught25.29 m (83 ft)
BuilderHitachi Zosen Corporation AriakeCrew35
ClassEsso Atlantic-classCapacity234,626 tons
Building costUSD 1 billion dollarsDepth31.22 m (102.43 ft)
EnginesSteam TurbineOperatorEsso Tankers Inc
TypeUltra Large Crude CarrierLength (LOA)406.57 m (1,334 ft)
Speed28.7 kph (17.83 mph)Beam (width)71.07 m (233.17 ft)

Batillus Class Ships (414.22 m)

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Four ships of this type were constructed between 1976 and 1979 in France, where the Batillus-class supertankers were a class of supertanker ships built in the late 1970s. After less than ten years of the oil transport operation, three of the ships were scrapped, and the fourth was scrapped in 2003.

All four tankers were constructed at Saint Nazaire, France’s Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyards, in the Bassin C dock.

The four ships in the Batillus-class were only surpassed by the supertanker Sea-wise Giant in terms of length overall or deadweight tonnage while being the largest ships ever built by gross tonnage up until Pioneering Spirit.

Ships in this class are –

  • Batillus, built in 1976, was scrapped in 1986.
  • Bellamya, built in 1976, was scrapped in 1986.
  • Pierre Guillaume was built in 1977 and scrapped in 1983.
  • Prairial, built in 1979, was scrapped in 2003.


In service1976–2003Gross Tonnage275,268 GT
Flag stateFranceDraught25.29 m (83 ft)
BuilderHitachi Zosen Corporation AriakeCrew30
ClassBatillus Draft28.5 m (94 ft)
Building costUSD 800 million dollarsDepth35.92 m (117.8 ft)
EnginesStal-Laval steam turbine enginesOperatorSociété Maritime Shell France
TypeSupertankerLength (LOA)414.22 m (1,359 ft)
Speed30 kph (18 mph)Beam (width)63.01 m (206.7 ft)

Sea-wise Giant (458.45 m)

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The longest self-propelled ship in history, the Seawise Giant was a ULCC supertanker constructed by Sumitomo Heavy Industries in Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan, between 1974 and 1979. She possessed the highest recorded deadweight tonnage. Her displacement at full load was 657,019 tonnes.

With a weighted draw of 24.6 m (81 ft), she was the heaviest self-propelled ship of any kind and was unable to pass through the English Channel, the Suez Canal, or the Panama Canal. She is typically regarded as the largest self-propelled vessel ever constructed. The Floating Liquified Natural Gas installation Shell Prelude (FLNG), a monohull barge designed 488 m long and 600,000 tonnes displacement, surpassed her overall length by 30 m (98.4 ft) in 2013. Ljungström turbines were used to power the Seawise Giant’s engines.

Numerous names, including Oppama, Happy Giant, Jahre Viking, Knock Nevis, and Mont, are emblazoned on the oil ship.

During the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, she was sunk but was eventually rescued and put back into service. In 2004, the ship was modified to become a floating storage and offloading unit (FSO), and it is currently moored at the Al Shaheen Oil Field in the Persian Gulf, off the coast of Qatar.


In service1974–2010Gross Tonnage260,941 GT
Flag stateJapanDraught 24.611 m (80.74 ft)
BuilderSumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. Yokosuka, KanagawaCapacity4 million barrels
StatusScrappedDraft24.611 m (80.74 ft)
CostUSD 39 million dollarsDepth29.8 m (97.77 ft)
EnginesSumitomo Stal-Laval AP steam turbine, 50,000 hpOperatorPrayati Shipping (2009–2010)
TypeUltra Large Crude CarrierLength (LOA)458.45 m (1,504.10 ft)
Speed30.6 kph (19.0 mph)Beam (width)68.6 m (225.07 ft)


So these are the top 15 ships and classes of ships on our list. We can also compare them with each other on various parameters.

Top 3 ships with the highest Gross tonnage

Gross tonnage is a nonlinear measure of a ship’s overall internal volume. It should be confused with measures of mass or weight, such as deadweight tonnage or displacement.

  1. Pioneering Spirit currently holds the first position in this segment, having the highest gross tonnage among all the ships on this list. It is a crane vessel with 403,342 GT.
  2. The second position is held by Batillus class of ships. Four ships belonging to this class have the following measure of gross tonnage –
    Bellamya – 275,276 GT
    Batillus – 275,268 GT
    Pierre Guillaumat and Prairial – 274,838 GT
  3. The third position is held by the largest ship that existed ( by length), Sea-wise Giant, with a gross tonnage of 260,941 GT.

Top 3 ships in terms of Beam

Beam – The overall width of the ship measured at the widest point of the nominal waterline.

  1. In this section also, Pioneering Spirit maintains the lead with a beam of 124 m (406.82 ft), the widest ship in the world.
  2. Second place is held by Esso Atlantic-class supertankers with a beam of 71 m (232.9 ft).
  3. Sea-wise Giant, on the other hand, held the same position as above – Third place with a beam of 68.6 m (225 ft).

With this, we wrap up our list of the world’s biggest ships by the length that ever existed or are existing on this planet.

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