Itís not the largest vessel to call at the port, but the MSC Chicago will be sure to turn a few heads when it steams through Charleston Harbor if it arrives on time early Thursday afternoon.

The 1,105-foot-long vessel will mark one of the biggest container ships ever to call on Charleston. It is expected to be visible in the harbor around 1 p.m. on its way to the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant, where work will begin at 7 p.m., said Allison Skipper, spokeswoman for the State Ports Authority.

MSC Chicago, built in 2005 and operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co., is the same size as the MSC Bruxelles, which visited Charleston for the first time in July 2011.

Both ships are technically smaller than the MSC Sindy, which called on Charleston in August 2011. While Sindy is about the same length as the other two, it is configured to hold the equivalent of 9,580 20-foot-long shipping containers. Thatís about 380 more than the MSC Chicago.

These super carriers are more than 200 feet longer than the 888-foot Yorktown aircraft carrier at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.