Largest Passenger Ships - Timeline of Ships

We use ship for traveling since the ancient times. Some of these ships were marvels of technology at their time and very large. Here are some of the largest passenger ships we built:

  • 240BC - “Syracusia.” She was designed by Archimedes and built around by Archias of Corinth for Hieron II of Syracuse. It is believed that she was the largest transport ship of antiquity.
  • 200 BC - “Thalamegos” was two-story Nile river palace barge. She was made for Hellenistic king Ptolemy IV Philopator and his wife Arsinoe III.
  • 15th century - Zheng He's Chinese treasure ships were, according to some sources, 137m long and 55m and could accommodate more than 500 passengers.
  • 16th century - Caravels were small, highly maneuverable sailing ships developed by the Portuguese for exploration. During the Age of Exploration they became passenger ships which carried people of Europe to the New World.
Picture Of Model Of A Medieval Mogadishan Ship
  • Between 1831 and 1837 SS Royal William, Canadian side-wheel paddle steamship, was the largest passenger ship in the world. She was 49 m long and 13 m wide.
  • 1837 - SS Great Western was an oak-hulled, iron-strapped, paddle-wheel steamship. It was the first steamship purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic. She had 76.8m in length.
  • 1839 - SS British Queen. She was a British steamship, passenger liner and a largest passenger ship in the world from 1839 to 1840.
  • 1840 - SS President (UK). She was the largest passenger ship in the world from 1840 to 1845 although she was lost at sea with all 136 on board in March 1841.
  • 1845 - SS Great Britain (UK). A passenger steamship - the longest passenger ship in the world from 1845 to 1854 and the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic.
  • 1854 - SS Atrato (UK). Iron-hulled side-wheel paddle steamship - largest passenger ship from 1853 to 1858.
  • 1858 - SS Great Eastern (UK). Had length of 211 m and could carry 4,000 passengers from England to Australia without refueling. Also known for laying the first lasting transatlantic telegraph cable in 1866.
  • 1871 - SS Adriatic - the first and one of the two White Star Line ocean liners to carry this name.
  • 1899 - RMS Oceanic was a transatlantic ocean liner built for the White Star Line with length of 215m.
  • 1901 - RMS Celtic an ocean liner owned by the White Star Line. It had capacity of 2,857 passengers.
  • 1903 - RMS Baltic - the one of The Big Four (the other three being RMS Celtic, Cedric, and Adriatic). It had 222.7m in length and could carry 2,875 people. She was the largest ship in the world until 1905.
Picture Of Resolution And Adventure With Fishing Craft In Matavai Bay
  • 1907 - RMS Lusitania. 239.9 m it is now for being torpedoed on Friday 7 May 1915 and influencing the decision by the US to declare war to Germany in 1917.
  • 1911 and 1912 - RMS Olympic (UK) and RMS Titanic (UK). Sister ships with 269m in length were the largest ships at the time. Titanic sank on her maiden voyage.
  • 1961 - SS France - French Line flagship. Had 316.1m in length and could carry 2,565 passengers and 1,253 of crew.
  • 1995 - Sun Princess is a Sun class cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises line. She is the largest ship to ever cross beneath the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
  • 2009 - MS Oasis of the Seas (Bahamas) - has 361.6 m in length and she can carry maximum of 6,296 passengers (5,400 passengers at double occupancy)
  • 2010 - MS Allure of the Seas - the sister ship of MS Oasis of the Seas. Although both ships have the same superstructure, MS Allure of the Seas is longer by 50mm making it, technically the largest ship in the world today.
Picture Of Model Of A Medieval Mogadishan Ship
Picture Of Resolution And Adventure With Fishing Craft In Matavai Bay
Picture Of Ships At The Battle Of Lepanto In 1571
Picture Of Tall Ships At Ocean