Carnival: The Biggest Ship They Never Built


Pinnacle (Fincantieri rendering)

In 2004, the Carnival Corporation launched a development program called the ‘Pinnacle Project’. It was shrouded in secrecy, however it is said that the aim was to design the world’s biggest cruise ship, at the time.

They say project Pinnacle was to be a 200,000+ gross tonnes, 6,000+ passenger prototype cruise ship.


(Fincantieri rendering)

Around the same time Royal Caribbean International were developing their ‘Genesis’ Project, which later went on to become ‘Oasis of the Seas’.

Carnival abandoned their Pinnacle project, stating that the Dollar to Euro rate was not conducive at the time, to making such a large investment in a giant ship.

(Photo from intelcom)

(Oasis: Photo, intelcom)

Clearly RCI disagreed and ‘Oasis’ entered service in 2009, at 225,000 gt carrying 5,000+ passengers, easily making her the world’s biggest cruise ship at the time – and her class still is.

In fact there is now  three more ‘Oasis’ class ship, the latest being ‘Symphony  of the Seas’ which entered service in 2018.  She is slightly bigger at around 227,000gt.

However some ideas from the ‘Pinnacle’ design have been incorporated in Carnival, RCI and MSC ship designs since – for example the ‘split-superstructure’ of Oasis.

Carnival have announced some new ‘big’ ships for some of their Carnival, AIDA, Costa and P&O brands at around 185,000 gross tonnes, carrying up to 6,600 passengers.  The first ship will be delivered in 2019 for AIDA, called AIDAnova.

Excellent Pinnacle documentary below:


Carnival have many big impressive ships today and more on order. However none are as big and impressive as Pinnacle would have probably been. RCI, NCL, MSC and now Genting are building increasingly big,  state-of-the-art ships, whereas Carnival’s still look a little ‘safe’.


The biggest class of ship today: ‘Oasis of the Seas’ review: HERE

Read, RMS Titanic v The Oasis class: HERE