Freedom Ship: The floating city that will navigate the oceans

Project billionaire wants to create a self-sustaining environment floating free of charge and full of entertainment options

Imagine a row of buildings with 25 floors extending over 1.3 km , all floating on the waters of the ocean . Planned during the 90s , this gigantic structure , known as Freedom Ship International, promises to offer a distinguished lifestyle for those who are willing to travel constantly around the world and has the money needed to fund this venture .

With 1.3 kilometers long, 221 meters wide and 103 meters high , the ship , which is higher than the length of a football field , aims to be home to 60,000 permanent residents ( 20,000 of them part of crew ) , allowing 40,000 additional people temporarily living in the midst of their structures . The design intent is not only to provide a decent lifestyle for a cruise , but also be an oasis for those who wish to live in an environment in which all cultures have their own space .

Developed by engineer Norman Nixon , the massive project , which should be ready , now nothing but a mere dream . Among the problems encountered on the way to make it a reality is the difficulty of attracting venture capital , something that has become even more difficult by the recent global financial crisis .
renewed enthusiasm

Considered abandoned for some years , the design of the Freedom Ship International came to be reconsidered due to a change in the global economic climate . Currently , the main name behind the initiative is Roger Gooch , part of the team that initially worked with the former U.S. President Richard Nixon . After some analysis , he decided that the best way to make the floating city a reality was to draw media attention and , consequently , the interested investors.


" It became something viral on the Internet ," said Gooch to website Business Insider . " In the last three or four days we were inundated with emails and answers and stuff , most of which are - to be honest - very positive ," he adds .

The press is a key piece for his company can overcome the main barrier faced by the Freedom Ship : its astronomical cost. Initially expected to cost $ 6 billion , the project currently has a budget of between $ 9 billion and $ 11 billion - according to Gooch , an investment that should provide a good return to those who take an interest in him.

The executive said that the attention received during the last months of 2013 resulted in contact from several private investors , although so far no company venture capital has come into contact . Currently , his team is interested in partnering with " well-established and notable private maritime authorities " to close the "capitalization of equitable construction " contracts - a system in which companies involved in construction would have equal opportunity to make their investments through obtaining discounts and services offered by the giant ship .
pharaonic project

If the Freedom Ship International can leave the paper , it should quickly become one of the greatest works produced by humankind . The gigantic structure will be built on 520 cells watertight steel 24 meters tall , joined together to form larger units with approximately 91x122 feet .

 These larger units will be thrown into the sea , where they will be joined together to form the base of a vessel , finalized, will present 1.3 km long. According to the original vision of Norman Nixon (d. 2012) , three years of work will be required before a giant floating city is fully completed .

To propel the giant ship across the ocean , a ship equipped with 100 diesel engines , each capable of generating 3,700 HP , whose individual cost verge $ 1 million will be used . Naturally , the high cost of construction of the ship will be passed on to your future residents , who pay up to $ 11 million to acquire one of several living spaces of the vessel .

In the 25 floors of the Freedom Ship International you can find residential spaces , libraries , schools , a hospital first class casinos , offices, warehouses and companies responsible for manufacturing lightweight items . The concept also includes several recreational areas and dedicated to sports spaces , complete with even a stadium full of baseball .


Gooch is confident about the viability of the project , stating that it should not be regarded as a city on a boat , but as a " superplataforma " . According to him , there are projects of the type being used in some parts of the world , such as the immense platform which Japan used as an airport .

" The superplataformas are not the issue . The real mystery is to discover if an autonomous city circumnavigating the world is economically viable , and really believe that it can be , "he says . However , allegations of Gooch are weakened by the fact most responsible for the original vision of the Freedom Ship not being more involved in the task , and the current team does not have a project manager nor with marine architects .
Critical to the project

Even after returning to the Freedom Ship International spotlight , the project was already the victim of a good deal of criticism. In 2001 , the economic theorist and political activist Patrick Frideman said the initiative is totally unreal in its pretensions - a position he has more than a decade after their initial statements .

"I 'm still very pessimistic ," said Friedman to Business Insider . To illustrate his point of view , he cited the residential cruise ship The World, operated by Risidensea , that even being 30 times smaller than the Freedom Ship , passes through various financial difficulties .

According to the activist , another problem is related to the form of financing chosen . " Here in Silicon Valley , you can raise 1 million dollars with little more than a good resume and a good idea , which could make him the next Google or Facebook ," he says . " But even Facebook has raised $ 1 billion before January 2011, when the company already had 600 million users and an estimated value of $ 50 billion ," he adds .

" Instead of trying to build a gigantic product and then sell it , startups now focus on creating the ' minimum viable product ' ," explains Friedman . " This is the smallest part that they can build to attract users or , even better , consumers who initiate traction market responses and of course sales . The result of this test determines whether venture capitalists will fund its new stage of development . When your minimum viable product is a town with a mile offshore extension would cost $ 11 billion , it's back to the drawing board , "he concludes .
Tax haven for the rich ?

Another criticism of the Freedom Ship International lies in its fiscal policy : according to the administrators do not need to pay any kind of tax to set up shops , buy or sell products . "No income tax , no property tax , no sales tax , business and imports ," describes the official site of the floating city .

Although those responsible for the project stating that it was not designed with the intention of becoming a tax haven ( the residents would have to continue paying fees in their countries of origin ) , the lack of information in this sense leaves an impression contrary to that. Policies expressed by those responsible for the initiative shows that it has great potential to turn into a kind of " tax oasis " the billionaires who wish to escape from any kind of tax.


According to Gooch , the ship will seek a country with laws favorable to their investors to make their record (probably the United States are not included in the list of options ) and will never contribute in any location - something that would have prevented his gigantic size . He claims that all communication with the outside world will be via boats and aircraft , responsible for performing sourcing city .

The executive also said that the project has no intentions elitists like those seen on the cruise " The World" or other luxury cruise lines . However , he says that some of the units available can be rented for $ 50,000 ( which guarantees the right to use them for two weeks ) or purchased for amounts that exceed $ 7 million . " This is an autonomous and self-sustaining city on a water platform , not a cruise ship modified for elitist ," says Gooch .
Dependence of global interest

Despite the challenges that the Freedom Ship International must face to get off the ground , Gooch remained hopeful about the future of the contract. " The current question is whether there is enough interest on a global scale," he says .


"For the first ship, we only need 50 thousand people interested from a universe of 3 billion people, and counting our numbers, we believe that we have to build 2 or 3 ships in future. But is that the right time is now, in this decade? We're not sure about it yet, and that's why we're exploring the idea of the current way to see if there is demand and interest, "he explains.

Had the opportunity to live in the floating city, Gooch said he did not think twice before accepting it. "I was bought by the concept. The first time I heard about it, I thought: 'If you can build it, I live it. "I just want that to happen while I'm still alive, so I better run with it, "he concludes.