The World's Biggest Ship

floating city

­­No cruise ship that has ever been built can compare to the enormity of Freedom Ship. Imagine a mile-long stretch of 25-story-tall buildings in New York City; now imagine that floating on the water. If you can picture that, then you get the­ general idea of Freedom Ship's size. At 4,320 feet (1,317 meters) long, 725 feet (221 m) wide and 340 feet (103 m) tall, the ship is taller than the length of a football field and wider than two football fields put together. And not only can a ship that size float on water, but it may be navigating the world's oceans as early as 2005.

Freedom Ship will dwarf any ocean-going vessel operating today -- it will be more than four times longer than any current cruise ship. Here's a comparison of Freedom Ship to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Explorer of the Seas, the largest cruise ship as of December 2000:

Specifications Freedom Ship
Explorer of
the Seas

Length 4,320 ft / 1,317 m
1,020 ft / 311 m
Width 725 ft / 221 m
157.5 ft / 48 m
Height
Above Sea Level
340 ft / 104 m
200 ft / 61 m
Weight 2.7 million tons
2.4 million metric tons
142,000 tons
128,820 metric tons
Passenger Capacity 50,000 residents
20,000 visitors
3,000
Crew 15,000
2,000


Freedom Ship will be built on top of 520 airtight steel cells that will be bolted together to form a sturdy base. Each cell will be 80 feet (24 meters) tall, between 50 and 100 feet (15 and 30 m) wide and between 50 and 120 feet (15 and 37 m) long. These cells will be assembled to form larger units that are about 300 x 400 feet (91 x 122 m). These larger units will then be taken out to sea, where they will be put together to form the ship's nearly mile-long base. The rest of the ship will be constructed on top of this base. Norman Nixon, who developed the idea of a floating city, has said that it will take about three years to finish the ship once construction begins.

It will take a tremendous amount of engine power to push the gigantic ship through the water. The vessel will be equipped with 100 diesel engines that can generate 3,700 horsepower each. Developers project the cost of each engine to be about $1 million. That may give you an idea of how expensive the project is, although the total cost of Freedom Ship has not been released. The ship's high construction cost will be passed on to residents, who will pay up to $11 million to purchase living space on the floating city. In the next section, you'll find out what these residents will get for such a price.