Technical advances in ship building mean that modern ships are getting bigger. From colossal cruise ships to super supertankers, check out these monster ocean-going vessels of the present and not-too-distant future
Super Ships: A look at some of the largest ships on the ocean
The Xin Los Angeles
Designed and built by Samsung Heavy Industries, the Xin Los Angeles is one of the world’s largest cargo ships.
Capable of carrying a staggering 9,600 six-meter cargo containers – 8x18 tiered rows on the weather deck of the >vessel, 16x10 in the hold itself - the Xin Los Angeles is 337 metres long and 46 metres wide. Despite being far larger than most ocean-going ships, she only requires a crew of 19.
The Emma Maersk
Currently the largest containership on the seas, she can carry more than11,000 six-metere containers in one go – similar to a 71-kilometer-long train capable of carrying 528 million bananas in a single trip. The Emma Maersk just squeaks by the Xin Los Angeles for the title of biggest ship at 397 metres long and 63 metres wide with an engine that produces the equivalent output of 1,156 cars! The anchor alone weighs in at an impressive 29 tonnes.
Ships of the Future: Super Supertankers
And if you thought the Emma Maersk was impressive, the near future could well see the dawn of mega-sized cargo vessels that are regularly able to carry more than 20,000 six-metre containers. South Korean ship-building company STX Shipbuilding has designed – but as yet not built – a new prototype of a containership that is 450 metres long and 50 metres wide, with a full load capacity of 22,000 containers.
Cruise Ships Get Supersized
While the need to transport more and more cargo in a single journey to save on fuel consumption makes the rise of bigger and bigger container ships almost inevitable, the desire to go big is also affecting cruise ships, as companies vie to offer cruise ship passengers more and more choices on board. Built by STX Europe in Finland, the largest cruise ship ever – the Oasis of the Seas – will set sail in late 2009. At 360 metres long and 47 metres wide, she is unique in that she features in the middle of the ship her very own 110-metre-long and 19-metre-wide version of Central Park, complete with green space, lawns, plants and trees.