'Freedom Ship' Plan Envisions A 40,000-Resident Floating City That Will Continuously Circle The Globe
The Florida-based company Freedom Ship International said last week that their plan to build a floating city "looks as if it is a live project again" following a several-year hiatus due to the weakened economy. The $10 billion project calls for the construction of a 25-story, mile-long ship that would circle the globe every two years. The floating city would keep its 40,000 full-time residents busy with shops, schools, restaurants, a casino, art galleries, parks and even an airport, should people want to take off for a while.
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"Envision an ideal place to live or run a business, a friendly, safe and secure community with large areas of open space and extensive entertainment and recreational facilities," reads the Freedom Ship site. "Finally, picture this community continually moving around the world. You are beginning to understand the Freedom Ship concept of a massive ocean-going vessel."
The floating city would spend 30 percent of the year in motion, with 70 percent of the time spent moored. Departing on a two-year journey from the east coast of the United States in June, the Freedom Ship would cross the Atlantic, where it would loop around Scotland and then hug the coast of Europe, slipping through the Straight of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean for Christmas. Then the floating city would cruise down and around the coast of Africa, hitting up Australia in March and Japan in August. The ship would spend its second Christmas in Mexico, circling down South America and up to New York two Junes after its departure. The ship would spend the next two years repeating the same route (see a map of the route here).
At none of these destinations would the Freedom Ship dock. That's because the floating city would be too big for that. At 2.7 million tons, the ship is about ten times the weight of the Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world. Those aboard the Freedom Ship would still be able to get to shore, as the vessel will have its own built-in dock.
In addition to the floating city's 40,000 residents, 30,000 daily visitors could be accommodated alongside 10,000 overnight hotel guests; a staff of 20,000 crew members would keep the city humming along. The price for a condominium on the floating city would range greatly, from $153,000 for a the cheapest unit and $2,000,000 for the most expensive.
The idea for the Freedom Ship has been around since 1999, when engineer Norman Nixon created the first designs.
"We are not trying to create an independent country. We are not building a tax haven," Nixon said at the time. "The real reason we are building Freedom Ship is to have fun, make some money and see the world."
Fourteen years later, Nixon's massive dream ship may be getting a little closer to reality. Roger Gooch, director and vice-president of Freedom Ship International, said last week that in "the last six months we're getting more interest in the project and we are hopeful we will raise the $1 billion to begin construction." (That would still leave $9 billion that would eventually need to be raised.)
Now we'll just have to see which pie-in-the-sky project will be completed first: will it be the Freedom Ship or the more modestly priced SeaOrbiter?
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