Although most cruise passengers hail from the United States, it's common for cruise lines to register their ships in foreign countries -- often referred to as "flags of convenience" -- while headquartering themselves in America.
Below, we tell you where several of the most popular cruise lines' ships are flagged and where you can find their headquarters.
Where is Azamara Cruises based, and where are Azamara cruise ships registered?
A member of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family, Azamara's ships are all registered in Malta. The line's headquarters can be found in Miami.
Where is Carnival Cruise Line based, and where are Carnival cruise ships registered?
Carnival Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, maintains offices in Miami. The majority of its fleet is registered in Panama, with a few vessels flying the flags of the Bahamas and Malta.
Where is Celebrity Cruises based, and where are Celebrity cruise ships registered?
Celebrity Cruises is part of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family, with headquarters near Royal Caribbean's in Miami. Most of its vessels are registered in Malta, but a couple are flagged to the Bahamas. Its expedition ships are registered in Ecuador.
Where is Crystal Cruises based, and where are Crystal cruise ships registered?
Part of Genting Hong Kong Ltd., Crystal Cruises has its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles. It has both a river cruising division and an ocean one that operates a mix of Bahamas- and Malta-flagged ships.
Where is Disney Cruise Line based, and where are Disney cruise ships registered?
Like Disney's other mouse-themed operations, Disney Cruise Line (part of The Walt Disney Company) makes its home in Celebration, Florida -- about 30 minutes from Orlando. All of the line's ships are registered in the Bahamas.
Where is Holland America based, and where are Holland America ships registered?
Owned by Carnival Corp. & plc, Holland America Line's headquarters are in Seattle. All of its vessels are registered in the Netherlands.
Where is MSC Cruises based, and where are MSC cruise ships registered?
Privately owned MSC Cruises is a division of the Mediterranean Shipping Company, a cargo shipping entity registered and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. (The office for its U.S. operations is in Fort Lauderdale.) Its fleet is largely flagged to Panama, but there are some Maltese and Italian exceptions.
Where is Norwegian Cruise Line based, and where are NCL cruise ships registered?
Norwegian Cruise Line, which falls under the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings umbrella, has a home base in Miami. Its ships are largely Bahamas-flagged, with others registered in Panama. Its Pride of America ship, which sails solely around the Hawaiian islands, is the only mainstream cruise vessel to be registered in the United States.
Where is Oceania Cruises based, and where are Oceania cruise ships registered?
Oceania Cruises falls under the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings umbrella. Its head offices are in Miami, and all but one of its ships are registered in the Marshall Islands. The remaining vessel is flagged to Gibraltar.
Where is Princess Cruises based, and where are Princess cruise ships registered?
Although Princess' ships are mainly registered in Bermuda, a small number is U.K.-flagged. The line has its headquarters in Santa Clarita, near Los Angeles. Princess is part of Carnival Corp. & plc.
Where is Regent Seven Seas Cruises based, and where are Regent cruise ships registered?
Regent sails most of its fleet under Bahamas registration, with the remaining vessels flagged to the Marshall Islands. The line is part of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and it's based in Miami.
Where is Royal Caribbean based, and where are Royal Caribbean cruise ships registered?
Royal Caribbean International, overseen by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., is headquartered in Miami, and its ships are registered in the Bahamas.
Where is Seabourn Cruises based, and where are Seabourn cruise ships registered?
Falling under Carnival Corp. & plc's list of cruise brands, Seabourn sails a fleet of Bahamas-registered ships and has its headquarters in Seattle.
Where is Silversea Cruises based, and where are Silversea cruise ships registered?
Silversea, in which Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. owns a majority share, flags most of its ships in the Bahamas, while its Galapagos vessels are flagged to Ecuador. The line's head office is in Monaco, but it operates a U.S. branch in Miami.
Where is Viking Cruises based, and where are Viking ocean cruise ships registered?
Privately held Viking Cruises, which operates both river and ocean divisions, is registered to do business in Basel, Switzerland, with U.S. headquarters in Woodland Hills, California -- about a half-hour from Los Angeles. Its river ships are flagged to Switzerland, and its oceangoing vessels are registered in Norway.
Learn more about who owns and operates your favorite cruise line.