It’s to be expected that some of the largest ships in the world are oil tankers, cargo carriers and cruise liners. Over 90% of the world’s goods are transported on these beasts. See one of them up close, and you realize just how much goes into building one of these mega-machines. The propulsion systems are massive, with diesel, nuclear, wind or even solar power being responsible for them moving!
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6 - MSC Meraviglia
This beauty is the first of MSC's Meraviglia class of ships and it won’t be long before we see her twin sister, ready for delivery in 2019. Meraviglia translated means “wonder” and she is really a wonder. One of her many selling points is that the Cirque du Soleil will be performing 12 times a week on board in 2019. She was built at Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France and can accommodate 4,500 passengers. She’s been working in the Mediterranean but in 2019 she’ll be heading to Miami. MSC Meraviglia was christened by her godmother, Sophia Loren, in 2017. She boasts the longest LED dome at sea, atmosphere pool and can reach speeds of 22.7 knots.
5 - Oceania
This is a TI class supertanker and she’s certainly an attractive ship. If you had to see this ship from a great distance, it would resemble a giant iceberg. Her job is to transfer crude oil and she’s one of four TI class of supertankers. They include TI Africa, TI Asia, TI Europe and TI Oceania and all 4 were constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in Okpo, South Korea between 2002 and 2003. Oceania’s deadweight is roughly 440,000 tonnes and she can reach speeds of up to 18-knots. Her length is 1,246 feet or 380-meters. Her last port call was on the 1st of November 2018 and she continues to sail.
4 - Planet Solar
Solar power is not something that is generally used in the shipping industry, because the large surface area required for the panels is challenging to incorporate into transportation ships. PlanetSolar has managed to defy the odds and develop a 31-meter or 100-foot long craft that’s 15-meters or 50-feet wide, capable of capturing 103.4 kW of solar energy to power its 20kW engine. It’s no beast when you compare it to previous entries, but it’s remarkable in that it can reach speeds of 8 knots despite weighing 60 tonnes! It cost $24.4 million to build her and takes the title of the largest solar-powered boat in the world. She was built at Knierim Yacht Club in Kiel, Northern Germany and designed by LOMOcean Design. It too 14-months to get her ready for her successful launch in 2010.
3 - MS Vale Brasil
This is the largest bulk carrier in the world and owned by Vale, a Brazilian mining company. It’s her job to carry iron ore from Brazil to Asia via South Africa. It’s been quoted that, ''she can carry as much iron enough to produce steel for three Golden Gate Bridges''. She has a deadweight tonnage of 402,347 tons and was ordered by Vale from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea. This figure was problematic because China didn’t allow ships into their harbour that weighed more than 400,000 tonnes. They had to do some tweaking to reduce the weight to 380,000 tons. The red beauty is 1,187.7 ft in length or 362.0 metres and burns 96.7 tons of heavy fuel oil per day! She received her first cargo on 24 May 2011 and was renamed Ore Brasil in 2014.
2 - Globtik Tokyo
One of the biggest tankers of all time, this is the Globtik Tokyo. She did her first voyage in February 2013 and could reach speeds of up to 17 knots. She was one of three oil tankers in her class and reached 1,243 feet or 378 meters in length. Her deadweight tonnage capacity is just under 484,000 tons and she had a hold capacity of 580 million litres.
She worked for a solid 13-years before retiring in 1986 and landed up at the scrap heap. A model of this grand tanker was donated to the Science Museum in London by Indian-born shipping entrepreneur Ravi Tikoo.