Who Owns the World Cruise Ship?

By Alice Nichols

The world’s cruise ships are floating cities, a combination of luxury and convenience that takes passengers to all corners of the world. Cruise ships offer a unique way of experiencing the world, from sun-drenched beaches to ancient ruins. But who really owns them?

The answer is complicated and depends on the individual ship in question. Most of the world’s larger cruise ships are owned and operated by publicly traded companies.

These companies own their ships outright, and are responsible for their maintenance, operations, and overall customer experience. Examples of major cruise ship companies include Carnival Corporation & PLC, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and NCL Corporation.

Smaller cruise lines may be independently owned or part of a larger company. These cruise lines often lease their vessels from other companies or investors.

This means they pay a fee to use the ship but do not actually own it outright. This is common in the industry, as it allows smaller companies to get into the business without having to invest large amounts of capital in buying their own vessels.

Finally, some of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships are owned by private individuals or entities. These owners purchase these vessels outright and then rent them out for private cruises or charters. Often times these owners are wealthy individuals who have an affinity for luxury travel and want to share it with others.


Overall, who owns a particular cruise ship is complex and depends on many factors such as size, purpose and ownership structure. Generally speaking however, most of the world’s larger cruise ships are owned by publicly traded companies while smaller ones may be leased from other organizations or investors. Finally, some luxury vessels are owned privately by wealthy individuals or entities.