A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience. Cruising has become a major part of the tourism industry, accounting for U.S.$27 billion with over 18 million passengers carried worldwide  in 2010. The worlds largest cruise liner is Royal Carribean Internationals, Oasis of the Seas. The industry's rapid growth has seen nine or more newly built ships catering to a North American clientele added every year since 2001, as well as others servicing European clientele. Smaller markets such as the Asia-Pacific region are generally serviced by older tonnage displaced by new ships introduced into the high growth areas. Cruise ships operate mostly on routes that return passengers to their originating port. In contrast, dedicated transport oriented ocean liners do "line voyages" and typically transport passengers from one point to another, rather than on round trips. Some cruise ships also engage in longer trips which may not lead back to the same port for many months (longer round trips).
Last edited by Mike M; February 23rd, 2010 at 01:41 AM.
Reason: Edited to remove commercial link