Florida-based firm Freedom Ship International is developing a modern 1.4-kilometre long floating city designed to create a unique lifestyle that allows families and individuals to work, live, and travel at the same time.
Freedom Ship would not be not like a conventional cruise ship. It is projected to be a place where people can live, work, retire, vacation, or visit and would be the largest vessel ever built and the world’s first floating city.
The ship's plans call for schools, hospitals, art galleries, shops, parks, an aquarium and a casino, as well as offices, warehouses, and light manufacturing and assembly enterprises. The plans also include an airport on the roof, with a runway serving small private and commercial aircraft carrying up to 40 passengers each.
If completed, the floating city will be 229 metres wide, 107 metres high and 1,370 metres in length. It will weigh more than 2.5 million tones and will be able to house 50,000 permanent residents with room for an extra 30,000 daily visitors, 20,000 crew members and 10,000 overnight guests.
According to its designers, Freedom Ship's main objectives are to provide a unique, travelling residential community, combining the amenities of a modern city with those of a premium resort in an attractive, stimulating, and secure environment, and to create a dynamic commercial community whose privately-owned on-board enterprises will sell their products and services worldwide.
The proposal also aims to establish the world's largest duty-free retail shopping mall and bring it to markets around the world.
The infrastructure would include different transport systems and the necessary facilities to move people and goods on and off the ship as well as the airport, a port authority (marina), and an on-board subway system.
Powered by solar panels and wave energy, the vessel would constantly sail around the world, completing a full circuit every two years; it would spend 70 per cent of its time anchored off major cities and the rest sailing between countries. Visitors and residents would be able to leave the ship, either by plane or by boat, to visit cities and countries where the ship will also pick up supplies when needed.
While the floating city would cost an estimated of $10 billion, the Freedom Ship International firm is trying to raise the funds needed to turn the prototype into a reality after several years of planning.
“This will be a very heavily capitalised project and the global economy in the last few years has not been too inviting for unproven progressive projects like ours," said Freedom Ship director and vice president Roger M Gooch. "[But] in the last six months we have been getting more interest in the project and we are hopeful we will raise the $1billion to begin construction.”