Freedom Ship is a concept of a floating city proposed by Norman Nixon in the late 1990s. It is named after the 'free' international life on board the floating colony.
The ship with 50,000 people on board would travel continuously around the world with stops in several ports. With a constant distance of 12 nautical miles between shore and ship, this private community is accessible to visitors via ferries. This concept makes it possible to work and travel at the same time.
Freedom Ship would be 1370 m long, 230 m wide and 110 m high. The cost of this 25-storey colossus is estimated at USD 11 billion. It will weigh approximately 3 million tonnes and provide accommodation for 50,000 people. There are 33,000 spaces of which 18,000 are for residential purposes, 3,000 commercial spaces, 2,400 timeshare accommodations and 10,000 hotel rooms. Accommodations include casinos, an airport, marinas, schools, hospitals, etc.
The propulsion of the ship is realised by some 100 small pods. The use of many pods has the advantage that no large engine room is required. Each pod has a capacity of 30,000 hp with a price tag of USD 5 million. The power is generated by a nuclear reactor. Despite the abundance of power, the Freedom Ship will have a maximum speed of only 10 knots (18 km/h) due to its mass of 3 million tonnes.
Due to the size of the ship, it is not possible to construct it in a dry dock. Inspired by the mega float project in Tokyo Bay, the construction would take place in the water. The Bay of Trujillo in Honduras was chosen as a suitable location because of its large surface area of protected water and because it is relatively close to the United States from where the engineers and materials come.
The 120 m long steel cells, fabricated on land, are pushed into the water where they are welded together. 600 of these cells form the basis of the ship. Module construction brings the cost down to USD 4,500 per square metre compared to USD 13,000 per square metre with traditional construction methods. Despite the cheap and fast method, the complete construction will take 3 years.
Officially, 2001 was the deadline to implement the Freedom Ship project. In November 2016, the construction has still not started. People are not sure if the ship really works and the company cannot find enough funds to finance the construction.
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