World's largest container ship docks in London

One of the largest container vessels in the world pulled into the London Gateway port this morning (Thursday).

The 400m long ship is the largest to have ever navigated the Thames and weighs 200,000 tonnes and is the size of four football pitches, the Evening Standard reports.

The Munkebo Maersk left Harwich, Essex early this morning and pulled into London just after 7am.

The Danish ship, which has the capacity to hold more than 18,000 units, will be unloaded by cranes as tall as 40 double-decker buses, before it leaves for the Far East later today.

The London Gateway port opened in Thurrock, Essex in 2012 and is able to handle the largest container ships in the world.

On Twitter this morning the Port General Manager, Cameron Thorpe said: "London Gateway is in an unrivalled location and built to handle biggest ships."

A marginally smaller Maersk ship, docked at London Gateway in October last year, the Edith Maersk is shorter than the Munkebo and is the second largest container ship in the world, the BBC reported.

Simon Moore, port chief executive, said: "By welcoming the Munkebo Maersk we have demonstrated again that we are more than capable of handling the world's biggest container ships, in this case operating on the Asia-Europe routes."

Ten of the largest cruise ships ever
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World's largest container ship docks in London

Quantum of the Seas is the newest ship from Royal Caribbean International. Launching from Southampton in Autumn 2014, it promises to takes guests to new heights (literally) with a jewel-shaped, glass capsule transporting them on a journey more than 300 feet above the ocean and over the sides of the ship to deliver awe-inspiring 360-degree views. As well as the incredible views, passengers can brave the onboard skydiving experience, get speedy on the bumper cars and test their surf skills on the FlowRider surf simulator. Oh and did we mentioned the ship is pretty huge too? It measures 348 metres in length, can carry 4,905 guests and has 16 passenger decks for you to explore.

Measuring 333 metres in length and weighing approximately 140,000 tonnes, MSC Preziosa is MSC Cruises' largest ship. She boasts 1,751 cabins, 26 lifts and 18 decks - 14 of these for passengers. Inside, passengers can enjoy six restaurants, 21 bars, a casino, four swimming pools, 12 whirlpools, a bowling alley, plus a sports area with playing fields, a children's area and the superb MSC Aurea Spa. The Doremi Castle kids aqua park is unique to Preziosa, with its swooping thrills of Vertigo, the longest single-rider waterslide on the seas.

The 4,100-passenger and 155,873-tonne Norwegian Epic from Norwegian Cruise Line incorporates innovations including several new types of accommodation – the curved New Wave staterooms, the largest Villas suite complex at sea comprising 60 suites and villas on two private decks at the top of the ship, plus spa and family-friendly accommodations. Kids and adults can have a blast with the world-class entertainment on the 330-metre-long ship, including the Legends in Concert live tribute show featuring for the first time at sea in more than a decade, the dinner and acrobatic show Cirque Dreams and Nickelodeon at Sea offering character meet and greets and interactive game shows.

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Family-friendly Ventura is P&O Cruises' biggest cruise ship, measuring 290 metres in length and weighing 116,017 tonnes. The 3,078-passenger ship features 14 decks for passengers and is home to 12 places to eat including a fine dining restaurant by Marco Pierre White, as well as 16 places to drink, a lavish two-deck theatre, spa, four swimming pools and countless spaces to relax and socialise. The endless entertainment includes cabaret, tributes, comedy, dancing and a bar with a panoramic video wall displaying a different city skyline each evening. And for the kids, there are children's clubs, Noddy and Mr. Men characters, as well as DJ decks and video games.

With its 14 towering decks, a ship length of 340 metres and capacity to accommodate 4,000 passengers, Disney Cruise Line's Disney Dream is one of the biggest cruise ships in the world. It boasts a weight of 130,000 tonnes, 1,458 crew members and 1,250 staterooms. Designed with families in mind, Disney Dream promises 'splashes of magic' at its themed restaurants, live musical shows and in the sparkling pools. For the adults, there are five nightclubs and lounges for dancing and socialising at sea.
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