One of the not-so-great things about being on a ship is that you sometimes feel like you're actually on a ship. A new Norwegian vessel might soon make that splish-splash feeling a thing of the past.
As profiled on Wired.com, the 500-foot-long ship features internal water tanks that create waves in order to cancel out the natural motion of the ocean. You're on a ship, but you feel as if you're on land.
In the above video, you can see the difference through a scale model. On the upper left, the model is shown with full tanks. Note how it isn't affected by the waves. Contrast that to the video in the upper right. The model's all over the place (not shown: little action figures puking over the railing).
According to Wired.com, the "hotel ship" is intended for people who are repairing offshore oil platforms. And while a steadier journey will probably result in less sickness, that's not the main benefit.
Designers wanted to make it as safe and efficient as possible for people on the ship to board the oil platforms.
"The most important thing has been to improve the efficiency and safety of the connection between the offshore installation and the gangway, which is as much as 55 meters [180 feet] long,” said Johannes Eldøy of SALT, the maritime design firm who penned the new ship. “This is a critical point because the vessel must display the least possible vertical motion in response to the waves while at the same time maintaining its position.”
Gizmag explains that air valves at the top of each tank "will control the direction and rate at which the water inside sloshes back and forth."
When the ship is completed in 2015, it will also feature two swimming pools, a gym and a sauna.