Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


World's Biggest and Most Expensive Ship
June 24, 2008 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Project Genesis - "It's destined to be the world's largest cruise ship—when launched next year, Royal Caribbean's US$1.24 billion Project Genesis will be 1,180 feet long, and carry 5400 passengers (6,400 at a pinch). It's the most expensive ship in history, and it's longer, wider and taller than the largest ocean liner ever built, (Cunard's QE II), 43 per cent larger in size than the world's largest cruise ship, (Freedom of the Seas [previously]) and remarkably, bigger than any military ship ever built, aircraft carriers included. In a world where choice of amenities count, Project Genesis has yet another trump card—in the the center of the ship is a lush, tropical park which opens to the sky." cf. The Lilypad
posted by kliuless (81 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Count down to the "I'd never want to cruise, how bourgeois" comments in 3...2...1...
posted by Keith Talent at 1:06 PM on June 24, 2008


I'd never want to cruise, how bourgeois.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:09 PM on June 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


I think you want this Wikipedia link, not the Star Trek one.
posted by jedicus at 1:09 PM on June 24, 2008


This is not going to end well. The last time anyone threw that many superlatives at a ship was a little cruiser called Titanic.
posted by Gungho at 1:10 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Somehow I can see this vessel having a starring role in "Waterworld II".
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 1:12 PM on June 24, 2008


This is not going to end well. The last time anyone threw that many superlatives at a ship was a little cruiser called Titanic.

Are you sure about that? I mean, in the past 96 years or so you don't think anyone has thrown out more then ... eight ... superlatives about a new ship?

Seems hard to belive.
posted by delmoi at 1:13 PM on June 24, 2008


I rather like it with the Star Trek link, personally. If you all favorite the post, cortex will be powerless to fix the brokeded link.
posted by Mister_A at 1:15 PM on June 24, 2008


Somewhere, Irwin Allen is laughing.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:17 PM on June 24, 2008


KHAAAAAAAANNNNNN I get an upgrade to an exterior cabin?

Its our honeymoon.

posted by ND¢ at 1:18 PM on June 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


But then the holodeck breaks down, Evil Lincoln is gonna open a can of wupass in that indoor park.

Seriously, when the more common 3,000 passenger liners throw up their load on the shores of my town, you can't even get down the sidewalk. I can't imagine how horrid this vessel would be.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:21 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


US$1.24 billion

Is that the build the ship or to fill up the fuel tanks?
posted by three blind mice at 1:23 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


This seems like something conceived in the era of cheaper fuel... how much does it cost to move this thing from place to place?
posted by Spacelegoman at 1:23 PM on June 24, 2008


Will it inCLUDE a gladitorial arENa, where I can LIE about and eat have GRAPES fed to me as I watch DENizens of islands the boat visits PUMMEL each other to death for a SANDwich? If NOT...I shall take my disposable income ELSEwhere, THANK you.

/ Hedonismbot
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:25 PM on June 24, 2008


This is awesome! I've totally been looking for a moving island on which to house my own independent nation.

Thanks RCCL!
posted by oddman at 1:25 PM on June 24, 2008


"Huh huh. Check this out. I bet I can make a bigger one than you, Beavis."

Bigger cruiseships: inherently less cool than better mousetraps.
posted by nosila at 1:26 PM on June 24, 2008


I wish they had gone for something way more bigger, like bigger than Saturn. That would have been cool.
posted by Mister_A at 1:29 PM on June 24, 2008


How does this compare to The World?
posted by crickets at 1:32 PM on June 24, 2008


Some design renderings of the ship and photos of construction.
posted by Kabanos at 1:35 PM on June 24, 2008


I don't care how big of a ship this is; I'm still going to end having to tan sitting next to the gruesome twosome and a guy who will spend six hours trying to impress the underage girls that holding his football shaped mug full of alcohol ontop of his belly makes him very very sexy.
posted by Stynxno at 1:41 PM on June 24, 2008


sovereign class :P
posted by kliuless at 1:41 PM on June 24, 2008


If this is bigger than an aircraft carrier, how can it not run on nuclear fuel?
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 1:42 PM on June 24, 2008


> I wish they had gone for something way more bigger, like bigger than Saturn. That would have been cool.

Yeah, or a cruise ship *on* Saturn! That I would pay for.
posted by you just lost the game at 1:44 PM on June 24, 2008


I rather like it with the Star Trek link, personally. If you all favorite the post, cortex will be powerless to fix the brokeded link.

Too late. I have retconned the post.
posted by cortex at 1:45 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Somehow I can see this vessel having a starring role in "Waterworld II".

For real. Naming it Project Genesis pretty much guarantees that the cruisers are going to be the the only hope for the continuation of humanity after the cataclysm.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 1:45 PM on June 24, 2008


Well, if the price of fuel simply climbed too high to make it worth sailing, you could always anchor it in a port and make it a floating hotel. Or tow it out to sea, find a nuclear-weapon-wielding Inuit to defend it, and declare yourself an independent nation, like in Snowcrash.

It just seems like jumbo cruise-liners would be too expensive to retrofit, but they can't be financing it up front, so letting it rot in port probably isn't an option, either. I do wonder what ships like this would be used for if they were ever repurposed.
posted by spiderwire at 1:48 PM on June 24, 2008


Also, I'd never want tom going on a cruise next month, how weird but interesting it will probably bourgoise.
posted by cortex at 1:48 PM on June 24, 2008


If this is bigger than an aircraft carrier, how can it not run on nuclear fuel?

by being ridiculously inefficient and not needing to make extended voyages. also, by burning the tears from a thousand fallen angels.
posted by spiderwire at 1:49 PM on June 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


It will be sad when the great ship goes down.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:52 PM on June 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


This seems like something conceived in the era of cheaper fuel... how much does it cost to move this thing from place to place?

It doesn't move. You get on at one end and spend two weeks walking to the other end.
posted by tommasz at 1:52 PM on June 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Annnnnnnnd it's unsinkable!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 1:56 PM on June 24, 2008


Hmm. All of the high-res renderings in that gallery appear to be stock photos cut-n-pasted into screenshots from The Sims. Seriously, look at the skin tones of the people in this picture. This cruise liner is apparently designed by Will Wright.
posted by spiderwire at 1:58 PM on June 24, 2008


runs on water :P
posted by kliuless at 1:59 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The use of the Sims is a little more obvious in this picture.

(It also appears that the guy on the far left in aisle 6 is shooting the bird. Perhaps he's angry that the show is not in proper perspective.)
posted by spiderwire at 2:01 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is a brilliant way of visualising a billion dollars. Just think, instead of the Iraq war we could have ordered 3000 of these,
(Insanely, that would probably have been the better decision)
posted by greytape at 2:12 PM on June 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


And in this picture we see what looks like Uma Thurman holding an Uzi to a waitress' head (sitting at the bar on the far left side).

This rules.
posted by spiderwire at 2:13 PM on June 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


If this is bigger than an aircraft carrier, how can it not run on nuclear fuel?

Not all carriers are nuclear, and I'm pretty sure the ones the ones that are aren't because they need it to be able to move. I think being able to make extended voyages and be on station without fuel tenders motivated that one. Are there any marine nukes in civilian hands anyway?
posted by adamdschneider at 2:13 PM on June 24, 2008


Not to split hairs, but the QE2 is substantially smaller than it's sister ship, the Queen Mary 2, and is also smaller than her other sister ship, the Queen Victoria. I've seen them all in very close detail (they park behind my house).
posted by jivadravya at 2:23 PM on June 24, 2008


The use of photoshopped in people at random locations, angles, lighting and even resolution sure is weird.
posted by delmoi at 2:28 PM on June 24, 2008


All I can think of right now is this post from robocop is bleeding...
posted by inigo2 at 2:30 PM on June 24, 2008


There's an evil Easter Bunny to the left of the circus-tent bar in the picture spiderwire linked. Great, now I'm having Donnie Darko flashbacks.
posted by Democritus at 2:32 PM on June 24, 2008


but can it fit through the Panama Canal?
posted by caddis at 2:34 PM on June 24, 2008


We fear change...
posted by Senator at 2:40 PM on June 24, 2008


God himself couldn't sink that ship!
posted by marxchivist at 2:41 PM on June 24, 2008


This picture features Vince Vaughn walking down the boardwalk next to... Vince Vaughn. Oh god

OK, I'll stop now... this is like Where's Waldo on acid
posted by spiderwire at 2:48 PM on June 24, 2008


Generally speaking, when it comes to ships, bigger is more efficient, since cargo space goes up as a cube, while drag goes up as a square. So one massively huge cruise ship technically may be more effective than enough smaller cruise ships carrying the same number of passengers. Although I have no idea how the whole theme park thing fits into it.
posted by Comrade_robot at 3:02 PM on June 24, 2008


Generally speaking, when it comes to ships, bigger is more efficient, since cargo space goes up as a cube, while drag goes up as a square.

Really? It seems like mass should scale with cargo space, and displacement with mass, so there's technically more surface area exposed as the bow rides lower. And even if the engines have proportionally less drag to fight against, they're still providing less relative thrust per m^3 and they still have to move more weight. It seems like you'd have to use a lot of fuel just to fight inertia.
posted by spiderwire at 3:18 PM on June 24, 2008


I can't imagine the claustrophobia I'd feel being trapped in the middle of the ocean with 5400 other people.
posted by Kloryne at 3:22 PM on June 24, 2008


Large ship with a park on top. Sounds like a wee tiny GSV.

It looks from the pictures like much the ship design is geared around creating "balcony" rooms where the balcony overlooks the inside of the fucking ship instead of something you'd want to see. The marketing-drones are strong with Royal Caribbean.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:24 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's things like this that make me really sad I never finished those night classes in piracy on the high seas.
posted by quin at 3:30 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is totally the set for some 70's sci-fi television series. After some global disaster, the crew and guests sail from one coast to another, always in search of signs of other survivors or civilization.
posted by sourwookie at 3:44 PM on June 24, 2008


Don't worry, quin. There are online course materials available. They're behind a paywall, of course, but you could always pirate them, at which point you can by implication just throw them away.
posted by cortex at 3:45 PM on June 24, 2008


Are there any marine nukes in civilian hands anyway?

There are or have been four civilian ships powered by reactors. The N.S. Savannah is the boat that got all the press, back in the 60s. It was essentially a commercial failure.
posted by Fupped Duck at 3:48 PM on June 24, 2008


This is totally the set for some 70's sci-fi television series. After some global disaster, the crew and guests sail from one coast to another, always in search of signs of other survivors or civilization.
posted by sourwookie at 3:55 PM on June 24, 2008


Genesis is forbidden!
posted by Snyder at 4:09 PM on June 24, 2008


spiderwire: per capita, the larger cruise ships are indeed more fuel efficient. I can't offer a physics explanation, but from practical observation of the financials, they are.

ROU_Xenophobe: the ship definitely maxes out the outside balconies, too. The inside ones are at least an improvement over the alternative -- looking at a wall. =)

On the Star Trek thing, I am currently about as geeky about cruise ships as I was about Star Trek when The Wrath of Khan came out. So when I heard about Genesis I couldn't help blog a bit about Royal Caribbean's overall Star Trek similarities (self-link).

Oh, and RCI's supposed "Central Park" looks NOTHING like the one in NYC. It's a frikkin' collection of trees. Inside a ship. Or should I say botany. Inside a ship's bay. Botany Bay? Botany Bay! Oh no!!!!!!!! (audio file).
posted by CruiseSavvy at 4:26 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not all carriers are nuclear, and I'm pretty sure the ones that are aren't because they need it to be able to move.

Many years between refuelings is pretty compelling to the Navy, I'd imagine. Generally, non-nuke carriers tended to be that way because they were old. With the decomissioning of the USS John F Kennedy last year, the Kitty Hawk is the only remaining non-nuclear carrier, and she's due to retire early next year.

(falls down) The..needs.. of the...many..outweigh the needs... of the few.... or the one...
posted by jalexei at 5:29 PM on June 24, 2008


Canadians might be interested in the wastewater treatment system on-board Genesis. Unlike the good old 20th century, some of today's cruise ships actually have to clean up their laundry, galley, and toilet-water before dumping it overboard. You'd be surprised at how hard an engineering challenge that is.
posted by anthill at 5:34 PM on June 24, 2008


I'd be more worried about this ship if we hadn't sent Khan off into space, cryonically frozen, back in '96.
posted by A dead Quaker at 5:45 PM on June 24, 2008


ROU_Xenophobe: the ship definitely maxes out the outside balconies, too. The inside ones are at least an improvement over the alternative -- looking at a wall. =)

I dunno. I'd be really pissed if I reserved a BALCONY STATEROOM and all I got was a view of other balconies and shoppers.

What's the point of a balcony where you can't walk out bare-ass nekkid in the morning, or maybe even schtupp under a blanket in the chilly night?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:21 PM on June 24, 2008


There are or have been four civilian ships powered by reactors.

And L. Bob Rife is lookin' to make it 5.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:22 PM on June 24, 2008


My favourite description:

World's Biggest Petri Dish.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:33 PM on June 24, 2008


Four cargo ships that are nuclear powered. A few more icebreakers. The Russians seem to have all of the successful ones (although the German one did ok too). I tend to have elaborate (read: crazy) technological ideas, and the other day I was wondering if it'd be possible to build a nuclear powered civilian cargo submersible for Japan to Europe shipping underneath the ice cap. Probably a moot point now that the northwest passage is melting.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:30 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Really? It seems like mass should scale with cargo space, and displacement with mass, so there's technically more surface area exposed as the bow rides lower. And even if the engines have proportionally less drag to fight against, they're still providing less relative thrust per m^3 and they still have to move more weight. It seems like you'd have to use a lot of fuel just to fight inertia.

I think you are thinking that I am saying that a big ship uses less fuel than a small ship, which I am not. I am saying that it is more efficient to make one big ship than it is to make smaller ships which add up to the same displacement.

IIRC, the drag force is something like (1/2)*(density of medium)*(cross sectional area)*(shape coefficient)*(velocity squared). Obviously the density of the water is going to be higher than the density of the air, so we're really concerned with the stuff underwater. Ships also tend to be much longer than they are wide (so the cross sectional area is less for a given volume change), and kind of pointy (so your shape coefficient is lower). Hence, increasing the mass of a vessel does increase its cross sectional area, but proportionally not as much in comparison to building another ship. You can even use this space to put in bigger engines, which is why big ships are surprisingly fast. (I believe this is mentioned in Brodie's A Layman's Guide to Naval Strategy).

Here is a link to a sea story by a person who served on the USS Bainbridge. Note that the story talks about the super speedy ships CVAN-65 Enterprise -- a 89,084 ton carrier -- and BB-62 New Jersey, which displaced 57,540 fully loaded.

Transport by sea tends to be comparatively efficient. It is much more efficient, for example, than transport by truck, which is much more efficient than transport by air. (I know that transport by rail-road is more efficient than transport by truck, and I suspect transport by sea is more efficient than transport by rail-road, though I don't have the figures for that off the top of my head.)

I think a lot of people were reacting "This is like the wasteful SUPER HUMMER SUV of the OCEAN!" This is not necessarily the case -- it can be more efficient to build one giant cruise ship than it is to build lots of little cruise ships. What might make it less efficient is adding in, like, a theme park, or if all the cabins were not filled. Then again, they do have displacement to play with. I would be surprised if Royal Caribbean has not considered these factors.
posted by Comrade_robot at 7:46 PM on June 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Are there any multi-hull cruise ships, or does the sheer size of these behemoths cancel so much wave motion that multi-hull becomes superfluous?
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:58 PM on June 24, 2008


Comrade_robot: That makes more sense. In general, I don't doubt that it's true, though intuitively it does seem to me that at some point there have to issues with inertia, assuming that the scale of the engine is not a problem; there has to be a sweet spot where they're fighting inertia spinning up the engine to its optimal speed.

But on the other hand, I imagine that the entire ship is designed to maintain a very specific cruising speed since in general they can probably work within a more limited range than military or cargo vessels based on what's probably a more predictable load and speed (naval vessels have to change speeds a lot, I assume, and cargo ships have to deal with varying displacements). So I imagine they can design around that. But I'm not much of an engineer -- and speculating about technical issues regarding engines designed to move 222 million gross tons is way beyond my ken.

Another possibility is that the ship just isn't very efficient because it doesn't really have to be. But I really don't know.
posted by spiderwire at 7:59 PM on June 24, 2008


Are there any multi-hull cruise ships, or does the sheer size of these behemoths cancel so much wave motion that multi-hull becomes superfluous?

I thought multiple hulls were just for shielding supertankers. Was I just totally wrong about that too?
posted by spiderwire at 8:00 PM on June 24, 2008


Not like multi-hull layered hulls, but catamaran or trimaran designs. A lot of the fast ferries seem to be catamaran hulls.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:06 PM on June 24, 2008


Oh, and I'll take my first cruise when they start building giant nuclear powered dirigibles.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:11 PM on June 24, 2008


You know, back in 1996 or thereabouts, I swear I remember someone was planning to build a catamaran-style cruise ship (it was also going to be the largest cruise ship in the world, IIRC) ... but I can't find it on Google. I remember reading about it in a magazine.
posted by Comrade_robot at 8:14 PM on June 24, 2008


Oh, and I'll take my first cruise when they start building giant nuclear powered dirigibles.

... That sounds like the setup for a steampunk romance novel or something.
posted by spiderwire at 8:20 PM on June 24, 2008


My dad took a trip on the Freedom of the Seas a few months ago, and said it was pretty impressive. From the videos, the Promenade does bear a remarkable resemblance to a shopping mall, which is amazing for a ship... and sad. The dining room really was amazing though, with balconies and a three story atrium.
posted by smackfu at 8:43 PM on June 24, 2008


You can even use this space to put in bigger engines, which is why big ships are surprisingly fast.
A longer ship will also have a higher hull speed. I don't know if that's a limiting factor for cruise ships, though. I suspect it is.
Oh, and I'll take my first cruise when they start building giant nuclear powered dirigibles.
Weren't there giant nuclear dirigibles in that Clarke story ... um, A Meeting with Medusa?
posted by hattifattener at 9:34 PM on June 24, 2008


Are there any multi-hull cruise ships

There are one or two SWATH cruise ships, which are multihull but not exactly like catamarans. They're more like building a superstructure on top of two submarines.

On googling, the only one I can find is now the Asia Star, formerly Radisson Diamond.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:39 PM on June 24, 2008


I just hope it doesn't sink in too deep a location. Looks like a great dive spot in the making...
posted by DreamerFi at 11:22 PM on June 24, 2008


Not to split hairs, but the QE2 is substantially smaller than it's sister ship, the Queen Mary 2, and is also smaller than her other sister ship, the Queen Victoria. I've seen them all in very close detail (they park behind my house).

Those ships are actually ocean liners, and not cruise ships. Also, your house is in an awesome location, I envy you.
posted by !Jim at 12:06 AM on June 25, 2008


Some fact-check in the comments section. The article got a lots of details wrong, apparently.
posted by the cydonian at 1:00 AM on June 25, 2008


Will there be enough lifeboats for those 5400 people?
posted by cass at 6:58 AM on June 25, 2008


Those ships are actually ocean liners, and not cruise ships. Also, your house is in an awesome location, I envy you.

Actually, the Queen Victoria is in fact a cruise ship - the QE2 and the QM2 are in fact, ocean liners. The Queen Victoria " ... unlike most other Cunard Queens, she is not an ocean liner, but rather a cruise ship. 1.

As to my location, yes I am truly blessed. In addition to the Queens, the submarine The Growler, I believe, is also now currently docked behind the homestead whilst awaiting the refurbishing of the aircraft carrier that docks on the west side (whose name I am incapable of recollecting). It's got a rocket on it. A freaking rocket!
posted by jivadravya at 7:50 AM on June 25, 2008


With the decomissioning of the USS John F Kennedy last year, the Kitty Hawk is the only remaining non-nuclear carrier, and she's due to retire early next year.

The UK's new aircraft carriers won't be nuclear powered: "the British government rejected nuclear propulsion as too costly".

Also, this cruise ship needs more art deco. It looks like a cheap mall.
posted by Freaky at 10:31 AM on June 25, 2008


Will there be enough lifeboats for those 5400 people?

No need - she will be unsinkable!
posted by kcds at 1:37 PM on June 25, 2008


Meh. There's a bigger one in Second Life.
posted by chuq at 1:42 PM on June 25, 2008


« Older Pecha Kucha...  |  The Website is Down! is a shor... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments