Floating a great big idea: a tale of the world's superships

By the fall of 2009, the largest cruise ship in history is expected to be ready for its maiden voyage from a Finnish shipyard. Project Genesis is being built for Miami-based Royal Caribbean International, an industry leader. (The $1.24 billion cost reportedly will include not only construction, but also all amenities, down to the eating utensils.) It will have accommodations for up to 6,400 guests. The gross weight will be 220,000 tons. Still, despite its massive size, Genesis probably will be about a football field shy of the king of supertankers. The world's longest ships, their uses, and their length in feet:
Jahre Viking, supertanker: 1,504
Project Genesis, cruise ship: 1,180
SS Norway, Norwegian Cruise Lines ship (awaiting demolition due to a 2003 fire): 1,035
USS Nimitz, aircraft carrier: 1,092
Queen Mary, retired cruise ship: 1,019
Royal Caribbean's Eagle Class, cruise ships: 1,019
- Associated Press

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