Freedom Ship on the move again
The project was put on hold when the economic recession hit, but team members decided to give it another go in memory of its lead architect, who passed away this year.
With a design length of 4,500 feet, a width of 750 feet, and a height of 350 feet, Freedom Ship would be more than 4 times longer than the Queen Mary. The design concepts include a mobile modern city featuring luxurious living, an extensive duty-free international shopping mall, and a full 1.7 million square foot floor set aside for various companies to showcase their products.
First proposed in 1995, the Freedom Ship has been put on hold for nearly two decades. In 2002, construction was estimated to cost around $11 billion, up from the 1999 estimate of $6 billion.
Freedom Ship would not be a cruise ship, it is proposed to be a unique place to live, work, retire, vacation, or visit. The proposed voyage would continuously circle the globe, covering most of the world's coastal regions. Its large fleet of commuter aircraft and hydrofoils would ferry residents and visitors to and from shore. The airport on the ship's top deck would serve private and small commercial aircraft (up to about 40 passengers each).
The proposed vessel's superstructure, rising twenty-five stories above its broad main deck, would house residential space, a library, schools, and a first-class hospital in addition to retail and wholesale shops, banks, hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities, casinos, offices, warehouses, and light manufacturing and assembly enterprises.
Finally, this concept would include a wide array of recreational and athletic facilities, worthy of a world-class resort, making Freedom Ship a veritable Community on the Sea.
As it circumnavigates the world, Freedom Ship would make a series of offshore stops, including exotic tropical islands accessible only by sea. These stops would provide the ship's residents and entrepreneurs with extensive and varied touring and business opportunities, and bring a continual stream of visitors to the ship to patronize its shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities.
The ship would provide as many as 40,000 tourists to ports around the world. These cities and countries would eagerly anticipate this influx, as well as the major market the ship represents for local farmers, fishermen, and merchants. Stopover schedules would be based on business volume and touring popularity. Customers, merchants, businessmen, and residents would be able to utilize the ship's fleet of aircraft and hydrofoils, as well as commercial commuter airlines, to come and go from the ship even between stopovers.
The ship's design would accept up to 40,000 full time residents, 30,000 daily visitors, 10,000 nightly hotel guests, and 20,000 full time crew. This population of 100,000 people provides a wealth of talent and diversity for the private businesses aboard the ship and to those they visit daily on their adventures ashore. ■