Brian lives with his wife, Valerie, in the beautiful coastal town of Troon. He writes to educate, entertain, inform and amuse.
The terms used when referring to the “largest” or “biggest” ships are rather subjective as they can be measured in a number of metrics from tonnage, length, height, to carrying capacity. Whatever terms are used, these ships, in my opinion, are "amazingly awesome."
Explanation of Terms Used
● Beam (Width) and Height
The width (or beam) can be two different lengths; the hull width and the width including the bridge wings. The figures here include the bridge wings where applicable. Where mentioned the height of a ship is calculated from its keel to its funnel or mast.
● Gross Tonnage
Gross Tonnage (GRT) is an index used for a ship’s overall internal volume. It is defined as “the moulded volume of all enclosed spaces of the ship” and determines the number of crew required, safety requirements and port fees as well as various other fees.
● Deadweight Tonnage
Deadweight Tonnage (DWT) or Deadweight is a measurement of how much total weight a ship is carrying. It is the sum of the weight of cargo, fuel, water, provisions, crew, and, where applicable, passengers.
● USS Theodore Roosevelt
Length ► 332.8m/1,092ft
Width ► 76.8m/252ft (includes flight deck)
The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) entered service on 26th October 1986. It is the fourth in the US Navy’s Nimitz class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and has a maximum speed of more than 30 knots (34 mph) and can, if necessary, remain at sea for up to 25 years. It cost around $4.5 billion (£3.2 billion).
It has a crew of 3,200 in the ship’s company and 2,480 for the air wing and can carry up to 90 aircraft.
● MS Vale Brasil
Length ► 362m/1,187ft
Width ► 65m/213.3ft
DWT ► 402,347
GRT ► 200,000
The MS Vale Brazil, launched in December 2010, is one of seven bulk carriers, or very large ore carriers (VLOC), operated by the Brazilian mining company Vale. The ship is designed to carry iron ore from Brazil to Asia. It has a maximum speed of 15.4 knots (17.7 mph).
● Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller
Length ► 399m/1,309ft
Width ► 59m/193ft 6in
DWT ► 196,000
GRT ► 174,500
The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller cost $185m (£124m) to develop and build and is the first of a planned fleet of twenty identical container ships for the Maersk Line, which will be known collectively as the Triple-E class. It has a maximum speed of 17.2 knots (19.7 mph).
● Oasis of the Seas
Length ► 361.7m/1,187ft
Width ► 65.5m/215ft
Height ► 65m/213ft
DWT ► 15,000
GRT ► 225,282
The Oasis of the Seas (she also has a sister ship the Allure of the Seas) was launched on the 22nd November 2008 and entered service in 2009 and is operated by Royal Caribbean International. It cost $1.26 billion (£850m) to build and fit out and has a maximum passenger occupancy is 6,360 with a crew of 2,394. Its normal cruising speed is 22 knots (25.3 mph).
A unique feature of the ship is its telescopic funnels, which are lowered to allow passage beneath certain bridges.
● Queen Mary 2
Length ► 345m/1,132ft
Width ► 45m/147ft 6in
Height ► 72m/236ft 2in
DWT ► 19,189
GRT ► 151,400
The Queen Mary 2 is operated by the Cunard Cruise Line and made its maiden voyage on the 12th January 2004 sailing from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale. Its first transatlantic crossing was westbound from Southampton to New York 16th April 2004.
The ship cost Cunard $820m (£550m) to build and fit out and can accommodate 2,620 passengers and a crew of 1,253.
It can travel at up to 30 knots (34 mph) but her normal cruising speed is between 24-26 knots (27-30 mph).
Interestingly the ships’ overall height was limited by the need to pass under the Verazzano Narrows Bridge in New York.
Some other interesting facts concern the on board annual consumption figures which include; 230,000 bottles of wine, 24,950kg (55,000lbs) of coffee, 1,350,000 teabags and 17,237kg (38,000lbs) of smoked salmon.
● Any one of the four TI-class Supertankers
Length ► 380m/1,247ft
Width ► 68.8m/226ft
DWT ► 441,893
GRT ► 234,006
Also know as the “Fantastic Four”, or Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC), the TI Supertankers can carry around 3 million barrels of oil, about 105 million imperial gallons and can reach a speed of 16.5 knots (19 mph)
Rigged Sailing Ship
● Sea Cloud
Length ► 109.5m/360ft
Width ► 15m/49ft
Height ► 54.2m/178ft
GRT ► 2,532
Originally built in 1931 The Sea Cloud entered service, after an extensive re-fit, as a luxury cruise sailing ship in 1979 and is currently owned and operated by Sea Cloud Cruises based in Germany.
She is classed as a four-masted barque (which simply means a sailing ship with more than three masts). The mainmast is 54.2m (178ft) high and she uses 30 sails when fully underway. Her maximum speed is a sedate 10 knots (11.5 mph) and she can accommodate 64 passengers and 60 crew.
● Club Med 2
Length ► 194m/637ft
Width ► 20m/65.6ft
Height ► 80m/262.5ft
DWT ► 1,674
GRT ► 14.983
Club Med 2 is a five masted sailing ship owned and operated by Club Med. She has a mix of power using seven computer controlled sails or four diesel generators.
The ship, which was built in 1992, can carry up to 394 passengers and 214 crew and spends her days cruising the waters of the Adriatic, Mediterranean and the Caribbean at around 10-15 knots (11.5-17 mph)
Length ► 180m/591ft
Width ► 20.8m/68ft
Azzam, which cost $600m (£403m) to build and fit out, was launched on 05th April 2013 and is one of the world’s largest private yachts. It has a top speed of 30 knots (34 mph).
@ 2013 Brian McKechnie (aka WorldEarth)
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2013 Brian OldWolf
Touhid on October 09, 2017:
Brian OldWolf (author) from Troon on August 08, 2017:
Thanks for that Ben. Changes made.
Ben on August 05, 2017:
Article states QM2 can carry 5,710 passengers, this is nonsense, actual figure is 2,695.