Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas holds the title of the world’s largest cruise ship, so how does it stack up against the most famous ship of all time?
Photo by FGO Stuart (1843-1923)
The Titanic is more than possibly the best-known ocean liner due to its famous crash in 1912. Its sinking has never been eclipsed in the public imagination, despite decades of larger and safer cruise ships.
Nonetheless, if you mention cruise ships to someone new to cruising, references to the Titanic inevitably follow. So if your baseline for understanding what a cruise ship is is based on a ship that sailed over 100 years ago, here’s a look at the diversity of large ships today.
Meet Symphony of the Seas
At about five times the size of the Titanic, the world’s largest cruise ship is Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas.
Spanning 18 decks, the Symphony is the fourth Oasis-class cruise ship to be launched.
Height is everything at Symphony, as she is 1,184 feet 5.0. If you held it upright, it is almost as tall as the Empire State Building (1,250 feet without an antenna).
There are 25 pools, hot tubs, FlowRider surf simulators, and waterslides on board for you to enjoy.
Getting around on ships is quite easy, thanks to the neighborhood concept developed by Royal Caribbean for these ships. There are seven quarters inside the ship to help distinguish the areas from each other and make navigation easier for guests.
You’ll find 2,759 cabins, including 188 more suites and 28 more balconies than the next largest ship in the fleet (Harmony of the Seas).
Read more: Fun facts about Symphony of the Seas
Compare Symphony of the Seas and Titanic
Not only is the Symphony of the Seas bigger than the Titanic, but all Oasis Class cruise ships are bigger than the Titanic in gross tonnage, as well as in size.
The Titanic was 882 feet 9 inches long and weighed 46,328 gross tons.
Symphony of the Seas is 1,184 feet 5.0 inches in length and has a gross tonnage of 228,081.
In terms of gross tonnage, Titanic doesn’t even make the list of the world’s 64 largest cruise ships by gross tonnage.
Ditto for the length; Of the 64 largest cruise ships in the world today, the “shortest” ship reaches 984.1 feet with the AIDAprima and AIDAperla.
The Titanic was built at an estimated cost of $ 7.5 million in 1912, which, in today’s dollars, would cost around $ 400 million.
It cost $ 1.35 billion to build Symphony of the Seas.
Titanic could accommodate 2,453 passengers, while Symphony of the Seas has a capacity of 5,518 passengers based on double occupancy.
|Symphony of the Seas||Titanic|
|Passengers||5,518 passengers in double occupancy; 6,680 passengers maximum||2 435|
|Length||1,184 ft 5.0 in||882 feet|
|Weight||228,081 gross tonnes||46,328 gross tonnes|
|Maximum speed||22 knots||23 knots|
|Construction cost||$ 1.35 billion||$ 400 million (today’s cost)|
Illustration by PA Graphics
In terms of things to do on each ship, the Titanic offered a heated pool, gym, squash court, and Turkish bath.
Symphony of the Seas has 25 swimming pools, two FlowRider surf simulators, two rock faces, a life-size basketball court, an ice rink, a mini-golf course and a carousel.
At night, the Titanic would feature smoking rooms, billiards, music and dancing.
At Symphony of the Seas, you can find the Broadway musical Hairspray, ice skating shows, piano bars, karaoke, a jazz club, live music, film screenings and production shows. in the AquaTheater.
How much is a ticket for Titanic vs Symphony of the Seas?
Any cruise fan knows that there is no standard price for a cruise. Cruise prices vary from ship to ship and even from navigation to navigation.
It is not unreasonable to pay around $ 2,000 for a two-person balcony stateroom on Symphony of the Seas.
Ticket prices on the Titanic in 1912 ranged from £ 30 (equivalent to £ 3,000 in 2019) and £ 870 (equivalent to £ 100,027.45 in 2021) for a living room suite and a small private promenade deck in premiere class, £ 8 for third class adult fares and £ 3 for children. That’s roughly equal to between $ 100,000 and $ 345 at today’s prices.
Unlike modern cruise ships, the Titanic had different fare classes. First, second and third class, which differed in social status and cost of the ticket.
First class was reserved for the wealthiest and most prominent passengers. They were upper class people who had made a career in business, politics, the military or industry. They were the well-to-do and best-known people in sailing.
The second class was mostly made up of middle class people, which could include tourists, clergy, and educators.
The third class (sometimes called steerage) was mainly made up of immigrants who settled in North America.
How do these ships compare?
In short, Symphony of the Seas and Titanic don’t have much in common besides being ships. Today’s cruise ships are very different from liners like the Titanic.
What many people new to cruise ships fail to understand is the fundamental change that recreational cruising underwent in the second half of the 20th century. Liners and ferries have become the cruise ships we know today.
Passengers were primarily used to bring passengers across the ocean from one point to another, while cruise ships made pleasure trips, closer to the coast, sailing between ports.
Unfortunately, many new to cruising have the Titanic as their only frame of reference when it comes to non-cargo ships, so she ends up being the de facto benchmark.
Not only are ships like the Symphony of the Seas immeasurably larger, the onboard experience is vastly different, with more to see, do and eat than the Titanic could ever have dreamed of.