Royal Caribbean International began work on its largest cruise ship ever – dubbed ‘Project Genesis’ – yesterday at Aker shipyard in Finland.

Project Genesis will be even larger than Royal Caribbean’s three Freedom class vessels, currently the largest passenger ships afloat. At 1,180 feet long, 154 feet wide, and 240 feet high, it will accommodate over 5,400 guests.

The graphic below shows what Project Genesis would look like docked in London (click to enlarge).

Project Genesis versus St Pauls - click for a full-size image

Standing upright Genesis would dwarf the One Canada Square building at Canary Wharf and New York’s Chrysler Building. The ship is one-and-a-half times taller than the O2 Arena and longer than four football pitches.

The first blocks of the 220,000 tonne Project Genesis have been laid into dry dock in preparation for construction.

The first block of Project Genesis is put into place in a dry dock at Aker shipyard in Finland

The ship is expected to float out (move from a dry to a wet dock) in winter 2008 as production nears the final stages. Project Genesis is expected to enter service in autumn 2009.