The history of travel by sea and waterways dates back as early as 3000 B. C. according to some historians. Abydos boats of Ancient Egypt is currently the oldest ship in existence. It was uncovered from Abydos and are approximately 5000 years old. The hull of the boat is made from planks sewn together and stuffed with reeds or grass to seal the seams. They are believed to have been the ships of ancient pharaoh’s Khasekhemwy and Aha.
As years went by, boats were designed to become faster and bigger. Naval architecture started to take shape in the construction of larger boats that are used for long voyages and for naval superiority in territorial waters. The ships of the Spanish Armada during the 18th century were among these types during the expeditions of the New World and the Far East.
Building a faster sea craft was the next step in the development of sea transportation. From sails and oars, boats began using steam engine. Steam ships became widely popular during the 19th century. A decade later, steam ships would be superseded by a much faster and efficient diesel-driven ships. Today, the biggest and fastest sea transport is run by nuclear power.
By far the largest cargo vessel since November 2006 is the Emma Maersk by Maersk Line. Based in Denmark, this $38 billion cargo ship is the largest floating man-made object next to the Mega Float Airport of Japan. Compared to other ships, Emma Maersk is longer than any aircraft carrier in existence. Reported capacity of the ship is around 11,000 TEU, and can cruise its way at an amazing 27 knots.
Cruise ships still rank as the biggest passenger ships. Oasis of the Seas was set to sail last December 2009 as the biggest of its kind. Owned by Royal Caribbean International, in Nassau Bahamas, the massive $1.2 billion behemoth is powered by no less than eight v12 engines and housed two sixty-story high-rise buildings within its 1,181 feet long hull. The ship towers at a staggering 215 feet, and can carry up to 5,400 passengers within its 2,700 staterooms. Between the two monolithic structures is a courtyard the size of a football field called the Central Park filled with plants and soil to grow.