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World's Largest Cruise Ship Pulls 360s with Joystick

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Published in the June 2007 issue.

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Price Tag: $1.2 billion
Completion Date: 2009
Total Length: 1180 feet
Passengers: 6400

In the cruise ship industry, the battle for bragging rights has turned into a QE2-size slugfest. In 2003, Cunard stole the crown for world’s largest cruise ship when it launched the 151,410-ton Queen Mary 2; three years later Royal Caribbean topped it with the 154,000-ton Freedom of the Seas. Now, Royal Caribbean is set to raise the stakes yet again with the 220,000-ton Genesis, slated to launch in 2009 from a shipyard in Turku, Finland. (A second Genesis will launch a year later.) Why is bigger better? “Having more real estate, we can provide more deck area,? says Royal Caribbean’s Harri Kulovaara. “That means more entertainment options and better amenities.?

Make no mistake, Genesis will be no lumbering behemoth. The ship’s three main propellers will swivel 360 degrees on independent bearings. All will be driven by electric motors powered by the ship’s central bank of six diesel generators, and steered by an integrated navigation and control system. From the bridge, the captain will be able to move the ship in any direction — forward, backward, sideways — with the flick of a joystick. No tugboats required.

Sizing Up: Boats

Knock Nevis
Knock Nevis
Claim to fame Largest ship ever (now retired)
Length 1504 feet
Displacement 564,763 tons
Launched 1981
Capacity 4.1 million barrels


Emma Maersk
Emma Maersk
Claim to fame Longest ship (in service)
Length 1303 feet
Displacement 156,907 tons
Launched 2006
Capacity 11,000 shipping containers


USS Ronald Reagan
USS Ronald Reagan
Claim to fame Largest warship
Length 1092 feet
Displacement 98,235 tons
Launched 2003
Capacity 85 aircraft and a crew of over 6000
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