10 Best Cruise Ship Art Collections

by Donna Heiderstadt

10 Best Cruise Ship Art Collections

by Donna Heiderstadt

If your impression of cruise ship artwork is limited to the hulls of megaships and kitschy, sea-day gallery auctions, think again. Several lines — notably Oceania, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean — have invested millions in museum-quality art. Whether you’re a serious aficionado or just appreciate a painting that makes you go “hmm,” here are 10 ships with an artsy aesthetic.

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Argent's "from afar" on Quantum of the Seas / Royal Caribbean International / Roy Riley
Oceania Riviera's Grand Bar
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Oceania Riviera 

The collections onboard Oceania’s newest ship are truly impressive: more than 2,000 pieces by both famous and emerging artists detailed in a catalog and audio tour — among them a signed Picasso lithograph on Deck 5, and more than a half dozen Picasso etchings in the Grand Bar.

The collections onboard Oceania’s newest ship are truly impressive: more than 2,000 pieces by both famous and emerging artists detailed in a catalog and audio tour — among them a signed Picasso lithograph on Deck 5, and more than a half dozen Picasso etchings in the Grand Bar.

Oceania Marina's Canyon Ranch Spa Club
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Oceania Marina 

Like its younger sister Riviera, Marina is home to etchings by Picasso, as well as lithographs by Joan Miró in the Grand Bar and Damien Hirst’s “Spin” in the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Both ships also have a handcrafted Lalique Grand Staircase that's a chef d'oeuvre in and of itself.

Like its younger sister Riviera, Marina is home to etchings by Picasso, as well as lithographs by Joan Miró in the Grand Bar and Damien Hirst’s “Spin” in the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. Both ships also have a handcrafted Lalique Grand Staircase that's a chef d'oeuvre in and of itself.

Anish Kapoor's "Mirror" on Celebrity Silhouette
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Solstice-Class Ships, Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity’s fleet features about $60 million in contemporary art — much of it on its five Solstice-class ships — with iPads that offer digital tours. Notably, Reflection has works by American icons Jeff Koons and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as a giant living tree installation by Miami-based Bert Rodriguez suspended in the Grand Foyer. Silhouette has the mesmerizing Mirror by British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor.

Celebrity’s fleet features about $60 million in contemporary art — much of it on its five Solstice-class ships — with iPads that offer digital tours. Notably, Reflection has works by American icons Jeff Koons and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as a giant living tree installation by Miami-based Bert Rodriguez suspended in the Grand Foyer. Silhouette has the mesmerizing Mirror by British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor.

Installation by Paul Villinski
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Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean has amassed a fleet-wide collection worth $120 million, and Quantum of the Seas debuted in 2014 with $5 million in contemporary art onboard — including a self-portrait by Andy Warhol, an atrium wall installation by New York-based Paul Villinski depicting 210 butterflies, and an eight-ton magenta bear ("from afar") by Lawrence Argent, known for public art, that looms over the SeaPlex.

Royal Caribbean has amassed a fleet-wide collection worth $120 million, and Quantum of the Seas debuted in 2014 with $5 million in contemporary art onboard — including a self-portrait by Andy Warhol, an atrium wall installation by New York-based Paul Villinski depicting 210 butterflies, and an eight-ton magenta bear ("from afar") by Lawrence Argent, known for public art, that looms over the SeaPlex.

Jean-Francois Fourtou sculpture
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Anthem of the Seas, Royal Caribbean 

Equally art-filled as her sister Quantum, Anthem of the Seas arrived in 2015 with 3,000 works onboard — including colorful, interactive commissions and a whimsical SeaPlex sculpture of a giant giraffe by Morocco-based Jean-Francois Fourtou.

Equally art-filled as her sister Quantum, Anthem of the Seas arrived in 2015 with 3,000 works onboard — including colorful, interactive commissions and a whimsical SeaPlex sculpture of a giant giraffe by Morocco-based Jean-Francois Fourtou.

Allure of the Seas's Britto Gallery
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Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean

Allure’s notable works include Korean artist Keysook Geum’s aft elevator lobby installation of 34 floating dresses, and the multicolored creations of Neo-pop artist Romero Britto in Central Park. Oasis’s cache includes Puerto Rico-born Carlos Betancourt’s 100-foot-high “A Flock of Seagulls” aluminum sculpture.

Allure’s notable works include Korean artist Keysook Geum’s aft elevator lobby installation of 34 floating dresses, and the multicolored creations of Neo-pop artist Romero Britto in Central Park. Oasis’s cache includes Puerto Rico-born Carlos Betancourt’s 100-foot-high “A Flock of Seagulls” aluminum sculpture.

Lebigre and Roger's NYC skyline sculpture
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Nieuw Amsterdam, Holland America Line 

Nieuw Amsterdam has $3 million in artwork onboard — including pieces in the style of the Dutch Masters, works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and photorealist Richard Estes. A translucent sculpture of the New York City skyline — by Italian husband and wife duo Gilbert Lebigre and Corinne Roger — hangs upside down in the Atrium.

Nieuw Amsterdam has $3 million in artwork onboard — including pieces in the style of the Dutch Masters, works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and photorealist Richard Estes. A translucent sculpture of the New York City skyline — by Italian husband and wife duo Gilbert Lebigre and Corinne Roger — hangs upside down in the Atrium.

Etchings by Victoria and Albert
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Queen Victoria, Cunard

An audio tour details the $2 million collection onboard Cunard’s Queen Victoriawhich comprises more than 500 works by British painters, sculptors, and glass artists, as well as treasured circa-1840 etchings by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of their three dogs.

An audio tour details the $2 million collection onboard Cunard’s Queen Victoriawhich comprises more than 500 works by British painters, sculptors, and glass artists, as well as treasured circa-1840 etchings by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of their three dogs.

Art Tour on the Europa 2
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Europa 2, Hapag-Lloyd

This luxurious ship from German line Hapag-Lloyd is home to a deep collection of around 890 works of contemporary art by David Hockney, Damien Hirst, Gerhard Richter, Ólafur Elíasson, and Hans Hartung, among other bold-faced names.

This luxurious ship from German line Hapag-Lloyd is home to a deep collection of around 890 works of contemporary art by David Hockney, Damien Hirst, Gerhard Richter, Ólafur Elíasson, and Hans Hartung, among other bold-faced names.

Fernando Boteroʼs “Reclining Woman 2004”
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Costa Luminosa, Costa Cruises 

While Costa ships are known for their over-the-top décor, Luminosa offers a modicum of sophistication with its collection of figurative art, including Fernando Botero’s “Reclining Woman 2004” in the Supernova Atrium.

While Costa ships are known for their over-the-top décor, Luminosa offers a modicum of sophistication with its collection of figurative art, including Fernando Botero’s “Reclining Woman 2004” in the Supernova Atrium.

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