The world’s largest cruise ship is the Oasis of the Seas, built-in 2006. At a length of nearly 1,187 feet with accommodations for 4,400 passengers, it dwarfs all other ships combined. But how big can ships get?
The largest cruise ships can carry 6,000 passengers, have an internal volume of 120,000 gross tons, and are 1,000 feet long. More extensive than most other modes on land or sea! The average size is around 3,000 passengers, but some smaller versions exist depending on what you’re looking for in your vacation experience.
A cruise ship is a floating city. It’s one of the most amazing things in modern civilization, showing how much we’ve come along since Christopher Columbus set sail for America on his first voyage.
But what kind of ships are these? How big can they get before sinking into oblivion? Let’s look at some interesting facts about this massive floating metropolis.
Cruising Around The World
Some people travel across oceans by plane or train, while others prefer to explore them by sea. Either way, you go, though, once you reach your destination, you’ll find yourself standing on the deck with an incredible view of nature and all sorts of activities around you.
As I mentioned, there are some fascinating statistics about the size of the largest vessels.
Great Britain – The famous QE2 was built in 1997 and had 963 feet long and 178 feet wide, making her the third-longest passenger ship in the world. She holds 2,700 guests below decks and features six swimming pools, three restaurants, two observation lounges, 15 elevators, and even its police precinct. This huge vessel also carries a helicopter pad where helicopters land and take off daily during certain times throughout the year. Her maiden voyage occurred in April 1999 when she traveled from Southampton, England, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Australia – When measured against other great nations’ superliners, Australia’s newest addition, Voyager Australis, may not seem so impressive. At 870 ft long and only 90 ft wide, it doesn’t quite make it onto the top 10 list. However, if you’re looking for something smaller than that, you might consider the Ovation Spirit, which measures 730ft long and 140ft wide. Built-in 2002, it offers 1,200 guest accommodations and includes amenities such as disco dancing areas, mini-golf courses, waterfalls, and tennis courts. If you’d rather see Tasmania instead of Sydney, try taking a tour aboard Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam. It’s currently the largest passenger ship ever to visit Hobart Island.
Japan – Not to be confused with Japan’s giant ferries, Japanese mega-ships measure over 800 feet long and 200 feet wide. These monsters were used to transport passengers between islands until recently when larger aircraft started flying directly to destinations. One example is Taiyo Oyama, which measures 820ft long and 240ft wide. Its maximum capacity is 524 passengers, but sometimes it takes fewer because many opt to ride inside cabins instead of paying extra for outside seats.
United States Of America – The U.S.’s flagship, Carnival Destiny, is the longest passenger liner globally at 1150ft long. The ship opened in 2004 and boasted 3,400 rooms, eight dining options, a spa, a pool complex, a casino, a library, a fitness center, and multiple theaters. Other notable American liners include Disney Dream, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Victory, Celebrity Summit, Star Pride, and Carnival Elation.
Canada – Canadian mega-ships aren’t too large, either. Although Princess Anne wasn’t completed until 1994, it still stands at 685ft long and 150ft wide. With a seating capacity of 750 passengers, it accommodates nearly twice as many as its rival, Yukon Canada, which is another enormous vessel measuring 610ft long and 160ft wide. Both boast luxury suites, saunas, jacuzzi tubs, shopping centers, gyms, spas, casinos, dance clubs, and more.
Europe & Africa – While France & Germany don’t have any significant ocean liners yet, their neighbors do. Sweden’s largest carrier, Viking Ocean Cruises, came online in 2006. Measuring 1205ft long and 230ft wide, it contains 4,500 staterooms and provides service to Western Europe and Northern Africa ports. Another Swedish company, Tallink, operates several boats, including Tallink Opera, Tallship Europa, and M.S. Zenith. All three are among the largest cruise liners in Scandinavia. They’re all excellent choices if you happen to travel through Stockholm. Be sure to stop by their websites for more information.
Southeast Asia & India – South Korea isn’t known for having many ships, but those that exist are pretty nice. Hapag Lloyd, the country’s premier cruise line, has five vessels carrying thousands of visitors annually. Two of them, Yong Ho and Hanjin Sun, are among the largest in Asia. Yong Ho, launched in 2003, travels to various Southeast Asian countries, while Hanjin Sun debuted in 2007. This ship serves China, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
Finally, Russia has two giants of its own: Novosibirsk and Rossiya. Novosibirsk is one of the oldest ships afloat, dating back to 1965. As for Rossiya, it was commissioned in 2008 after being laid down in 2005.
Big Ships Are Sinking!
Of course, they could always sink no matter how big these ships grow. There are a few possible causes for this, but mostly it comes down to bad design and lack of maintenance. Take, for instance, the Titanic. This legendary disaster occurred in 1912 when her hull split open due to poor welding techniques.
Bad steering caused the ship to hit an iceberg and sink faster than expected. Now, imagine hundreds of thousands of lives lost in similar accidents. That would certainly put a damper on future growth, wouldn’t it? Fortunately, new designs are emerging to prevent this from happening again.
One recent innovation involves adding keels to the bottom of ships. A ship will automatically maintain stability regardless of whether or not the cargo is loaded above. This helps reduce problems associated with shifting weights, especially when crossing rough waters.
Keelboats already existed centuries ago, but using them on regular-sized ships proved difficult. Instead, sailors preferred building small auxiliary sails called “keelson” that helped stabilize the boat. Newer versions of keels use ballast stones placed strategically within the body of the keel itself. This makes them less likely to shift positions, helping ensure safe passage.
Another popular idea concerns propellers. Since they generate power simply by pushing forward, rotating blades cause little friction and offer relatively low resistance. Propeller shaft seals help keep foreign materials out of the engine, allowing cleaner operation.
Unfortunately, propellers create drag, meaning speed must slow down as they move toward the ship’s stern. More giant propellers need wider openings to allow enough airflow to avoid losing momentum. This results in higher fuel consumption rates, more noise pollution, and wasted energy.
Luckily, newer engines employ different pumps to push fluid backward instead of relying solely on spinning blades. This allows the propeller to operate without slowing down, resulting in lower fuel costs and better efficiency.
New technologies emerge daily, bringing us closer to safer, environmentally-friendly transportation. Keep reading for lots more exciting content about maritime history and technology.
The Greatest Innovations In Passenger Sailing
It seems fitting that we should finish our discussion about ship sizes with some tips on enjoying yourself onboard the best cruise ships out there. After all, these majestic ocean liners provide unforgettable experiences for everyone who boards them.
Most importantly, they offer travelers opportunities to discover breathtaking locations and experience unique cultures. Below are some examples of some of the most significant innovations in sailing and the ships that embody them. Enjoy!
First, let’s talk about the latest ships created by Royal Doulton. Their Crystal Symphony is the tallest ship globally at 295 meters high. Guests can choose between riding in glass capsules or enjoying the views from windows on upper decks.
What’s neat about this particular model is that it uses solar panels to produce electricity, eliminating the need for additional fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also, the ship incorporates WiMAX Internet access points to link residents together. Lastly, a special section is devoted entirely to recycling waste products and keeping everything clean and green.
Now, let’s discuss Carnival Vista. This gigantic ship is owned by Carnival Corporation, which owns Carnival Cruise Lines. This colossal vessel is home to four swimming pools, dozens of eateries, shops, bars, casinos, and nightclubs. Best of all, it sports 13 elevators servicing all ship levels.