The names of the cruise ships

The Cruise companies  take again the tradition of the liners: besides distinctive colours and logo, they have a policy of characteristic names, making it possible to identify the company of membership. The market is primarily held by three large American companies, having repurchased several competitors whose name was preserved: Carnival, RCCL and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Carnival owns the followings:
  • AIDA Cruises
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Costa Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Holland America Line
  • Ibero Cruises
  • P&O Cruises
  • P&O Cruises Australia
  • Princess Cruises
  • Seabourn Cruise Line, United States

Under Royal Carribbean Cruise Line, we find the following marks:

  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Pullmantur Cruises
  • Azamara Club Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line, founded in 1966, having then left the company to create Carnival Cruise Lines, names its ships "Norwegian" as Norvegian Wind ex-Windward, built in 92 at St Nazaire, sold in 2007. The company knew the celebrity with the repurchase of FRANCE, transformed into Norway.

Previous ships were named:

  • Sunward 1966-1976 (scrapped in April 2004)
  • Starward 1968-1995 
  • Skyward 1969-1991 
  • SOUTHWARD 1971-1994 
  • Sunward II 1977-1991 (now CORAL for Louis Cruise Lines)

Norwegian Wind

The company from now is controlled by a Hong Kong company, Star Cruises, who holds 50% of NCL and 100% of Cruise ferries, with 22 ships, named Megastar and Superstar.
Southward CORAL
SOUTHWARD does not resemble the original ferry any more - the garage was removed into 77 - but sails until 2010, before being reconverted in floating hotel for the Israeli Mano Cruises.

In spite of its line the Seventies, ex-CUNARD ADVENTURER become SUNWARD II, ssails as CORAL under the colours of Louis Cruises.

Royal Caribbean International develops a series of ships starting from SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS (1987) : MONARCH OF THE_SEAS then Majesty of the Seas. With success, follows the Vision class with Vision of the Seas, LEGEND of the SEAS, Grandeur of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas. In 2000, VOYAGER OF THE SEAS is the first of a new series of 5 cruise ships comprising Explorer of the Seas (2000), Adventure of the Seas (2002), Navigator of the Seas (2002) and Mariner of the Seas (2003). In 2002, Radiance class succeeds to its with BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS. Finally 2006 see the birth of FREEDOM OF THE SEAS : Freedom class includes also LIBERTY OF THE SEAS and INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS. Royal Caribbean is distinguished by not joining systematically its mark in the name of the ships, recognized by the termination "of the seas".
SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS Legend of the Seas

In December 1987, SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS is delivered by Chantiers de l'Atlantique (French yards) to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Then celebrated like the largest liner of the world, with 268 meters length and 73,000 GRT, this ship will mark the beginning of the reconversion of Saint-Nazaire towards the large cruise ships.

Completed in 95 during its first navigation, LEGEND of the SEAS is one of the first built ships following new SOLAS standards which impose lower lifeboats.

Brilliance of the Seas

BRILLIANCE  of the SEAS is propelled by two gas turbines, thus eliminating the vibrations

Celebrity Cruises takes again CENTURY of Blue Saphire to integrate her in its fleet under the name of CELEBRITY CENTURY Century
Azamara takes again 2 of the 8 ships of Renaissance Cruises, after its bankruptcy in 2001: R Six et R Seven devenus Azamara Journey et Azamara Quest.


COSTA Lines, whereas it serves South America, names its ships Franca C, Bianca C or EUGENIO C (1964). After its transformation into Costa Crociere S.p.A., lthe company perennializes this rule: EUGENIO C becomes EUGENIO COSTA in 1987. Later, it will be COSTA MARINA (1990) then COSTA PLAYA (1995) or COSTA MAGICA (2004). Before its integration to CARNIVAL group in 2000, COSTA VICTORIA (Sky class) arrives in 96 to reflect the Italian spirit.
The yellow funnels with an upper black strip are the mark of recognition of the COSTA ships.
Eugenio C Costa Playa
Liner from 1966 to 1984 between Genoa and South America, EUGENIO C becomes in 84 EUGENIO COSTA and will finish her career in 2004. Ferry reconverted in 75, COSTA PLAYA enters the Italian fleet after the the owners of Paquet also owned Costa Crociere and is the first cruise ship to visit Cuba after the end of the USSR.

Costa Victoria

Costa Mediterranea

COSTA sold in 1996 EUGENIO COSTA to Vulkan yards as contribution to COSTA VICTORIA building.

Derived in 2003 of Carnival SPIRIT class, COSTA MEDITERRANEA offers 1067 cabins including 620 with private balcony.

Costa Fortuna

Costa Concordia

With COSTA FORTUNA, 100 000 GRT are over to receive more than 2700 passengers
The ship designed is in fact COSTA ATLANTICA or her sister COSTA MEDITERRANEA

Avec 114 000 GRT, COSTA CONCORDIA, first of CONCORDIA class, the largest Italian cruise ship ever built in history.

NASM, Dutch company of steamers and liners, founded in 1871, more known as Holland America Line, used the suffix dam for its passengers ships. Holland America Line, became cruising company and now subsidiary of the Carnival group, continues this policy with RYNDAM, according to a dam on the Rhine (RYN) ou STATENDAM (dam of the States, the States where Staten-Generaal being Parliament of the Netherlands), MAASDAM dam on the river Maas in Netherland. Keeping the suffix  DAM as mark, the company displays the 4 cardinal points for the Vista-class: WESTERDAM, OOSTERDAM, ZUIDERDAM et NOORDAM. Between 1881 and 1921, several ships were called EDAM (in honour of a city which gave its name to cheese) by Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij. 
Veendam Prinsendam

VEENDAM est the 4th and the last of Statendam Class, a series of the Nineties. Named according to a city of the north of the Netherlands, it is the 4th ship to bear this name after a steamer in 1888 and two liners in 1923 and 1958.

PRINSENDAM, built as Royal Viking Sun becomes Seabourn Sun after the merging of Cunard and Seabourn Cruises from 99 to 2002.

The Vista class is thus named because of the intensive use of glass in the superstructures. 

Built by Fincantieri in 2004, WESTERDAM, 82500 t, can receive 1916 passengers

ZUIDERDAM of size comparable with Spirit class (Costa
Mediterranea), is propelled by a two diesel engines and a gas turbine.

Passengers division of P&O becomes P&O Cruises in 1977 with a first new ship in 1995 : ORIANA  will be followed by ADONIA, then ARCADIA. OCEANA, of Sun class, as SEA PRINCESS bulit by Fincantieri in 2000, ex-OCEAN PRINCESS, changing in 2002 of home port and of company.




Bermuda flag replaced the British register in order to enable Weddings at Sea to take place on board ORIANA  

Launched as SEA PRINCESS for Princess Cruises, ADONIA is transferred in 2000

ARCADIA, initially conceived for Cunard, keeps the funnel and the style mast similar to those found on the QE2 


OCEAN PRINCESS, built for Princess Cruises in 1999, was transferred in 2002 and becomes OCEANA during  the first double ship naming in history, common with ADONIA.

Princess Cruises is an old subsidiary of P&O, now held by Carnival, whose ships are, obviously, Princesses. By 1974, ISLAND VENTURE is bought and renamed ISLAND PRINCESS. Its first ship especially built for cruising is ROYAL PRINCESS in 1984. REGAL PRINCESS in1991 puts the fleet of Princess to the " top ten " of luxury cruise ships. First of 3 Grand-class, GRAND PRINCESS enters in service in1997.
Island Princess Royal Princess Regal Princess

ISLAND PRINCESS is built at Oslo in 1971 and features in an American  TV series "The Love boat" with ROYAL VIKING SKY

ROYAL PRINCESS is christened on 15 November 84 by Diana, Princess of Wales; sold in 2005, she becomes Artemis, Greek goddess comparable in Roman mythology with... the goddess Diane.

The Italian architect Renzo Piano is inspired by to draw the superstructures of REGAL PRINCESS in 1991.

Grand Princess


GRAND PRINCESS is more than large: it is a giant of 108,000 tons who, in his time, the largest and most expensive passenger ship ever built at the time. She was the setting for a task in the second series of the UK version of the reality TV show The Apprentice.

After the bankruptcy of Renaissance Cruises, the fleet issue of French yards in St Nazaire is dispersed : R Three (Explorer class) integrates Princess Cruises and becomes PACIFIC PRINCESS with R Four, now OCEAN PRINCESS.
Another company of the Carnival group issued of P&O, P&O Cruises Australia proposes cruises in the South Pacific and names the ships as PACIFIC.
It charters successively PACIFIC SUN in 1985, PACIFIC PEARL in 1988, PACIFIC JEWEL in 1989, PACIFIC DAWN in 1991.
Former Carnival JUBILEE, PACIFIC SUN is, in 2010, the first cruise vessel after 78 years to visit Norfolk. PACIFIC DAWN is in fact REGAL PRINCESS which changes of assignment in 2007 after a refurbishment.
Initially built for SITMAR, PACIFIC PEARL and PACIFIC JEWEL come in Princess Cruises service (as STAR PRINCESS and CROWN PRINCESS). After a few years in other fleets of the group, they are finally assigned to P&O Cruises Australia.

Mediterranean Shipping Co
, result of the expansion of a company of container ship, is the 4th operator, who endeavoured to develop the market in Mediterranean Sea, with its fleet with the Italian names, inspired by music. After Mistral class (2001/2004 : Armonia, Sinfonia, Lirica, Opera), follow Musica class and Fantasia class.
MSC MUSICA is the twin ship of the flagship of the fleet, MSC Orchestra  MSC SPLENDIDA is the largest passenger ship
ever built for a European company: 135 000 tons !


Mistral-class MSC LIRICA delivered in 2003 has a capacity of 2069 passengers in 780 cabins, served by about 700 crew.

Several minor companies settled on the top of range market with ships of modest size but of grand luxury. 
Thus Royal Viking Line operates between 72 et 98, but was purchased by Norwegian Caribbean Lines of Kloster group.
Kloster orders in 1973 three identical ships: ROYAL VIKING SKY, ROYAL VIKING STAR and ROYAL VIKING SEA, lengthened by approximately  25 m in the Eighties.
 Only 208 passengers board on ROYAL VIKING QUEEN ROYAL VIKING SUN enters the fleet in 1988. She is then one of
the most roomy ships in the world. After a passage in Seabourn, she
is sold to HALL which names her PRINSENDAM

The small company SAGA Cruises makes like the large ones with SAGA ROSE in 1997, SAGA PEARL in 2003, SAGA RUBY in 2005, SAGA PEARL II (ex- ASTORIA built in 1981) bought in auctions in 2010.

Saga Rose


SAGA ROSE, former liner (SAGAFJORD built in 1965) has had a beautiful career which ends in China in 2010

SAGA RUBY (ex-VISTAFJORD built in 1965) follows SAGAFJORD in the company SAGA

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
, acquired in 1998 by TUI AG, owns MS Europa, MS Hanseatic and MS Bremen. Hapag-Lloyd is the result of  Hamburg America Line (HAPAG) and Norddeutscher Lloyd (founded in 1856 in Bremen) merging and whose several ships were called  Bremen in 1858, 1897, 1929, 1951 and finally in 1993. Hanseatic was the name of a Hapag ship in 1934.



A hundred meters long, BREMEN and HANSEATIC are expedition-cruise ships (Galapagos, Antarctique) for 164 et 188 passengers respectively. 
is the 4th to bear this name in the company..



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