The World’s maiden visit to South and East Africa
Dec 23, 2004
The world’s first authentic resort ship, The World, or, as the management company ResidenSea Ltd likes to describe themselves, the only private community at sea, is currently cruising in South African waters after having visited several East African destinations. Those on board will spend Christmas and New Year in Cape Town after having visited Durban on 18 and 19 December and Port Elizabeth from 21 until 22 December.
On sailing from Cape Town on the late afternoon of 1 January The World will visit Mossel Bay and Plettenburg Bay before making a second visit to Durban on 8 and 9 January and then heading out for Reunion, Mauritius, Madagascar and the Seychelles.
The World in Durban harbour, 19 December 2004 – picture by Terry Hutson
With apartments instead of cabins and staterooms, the ship is inwardly much different from other passenger carrying cruise ships. Beautifully outfitted throughout, the ambience on board is one of understated luxury and elegance.
The World possesses all the expected restaurants and less formal cafés as well as library, lounges and other public rooms including the obligatory casino. Other facilities include a chapel, hair and beauty salon, health and fitness centre and on-board travel agent, as well as shops and a grocery supermarket. For those who must still earn a living the ship carries its own business centre, and conference room with complete communication facilities including fax and high-speed Internet connectivity no matter where the ship might be.
Recreation facilities include two swimming pools, a full-size tennis court, golf with golf simulator plus driving and putting range.
Residents and guests are able to come and go as they please, leaving or joining the ship at any of the ports along the way. During the stopover in Durban a number of people joined or rejoined the ship.
Completed at the Fosen Mek Verksteder A/S works at Rissa, Finland in 2002, the ship quietly makes her way around the world on cruises selected by and for the residents. This is her first visit to southern Africa and must be a special treat for the four South African families who own apartments on board, in addition to several South Africans among the crew.
Americans own about 40 percent of the apartments, according to a spokesperson on board the ship during the Durban visit. The balance is spread around the nations of the world – appropriately! Publicity and the media is not encouraged while in port in order to protect the privacy of those on board – an understandable condition given the nature of this special and unique ship. Nevertheless, prior to the ship’s arrival a local agency has been hard at work publicizing the visit while looking for prospective purchasers. Prices range from between US.3m for a studio to about m for the top three bedroom apartment. Guests wanting to rent can expect to pay from 60 per night for a verandah studio or 00 a night for a two or three bedroom apartment, for a minimum of six nights.
For the technically minded, The World is measured at 43,000-gt and has a length of 196.35m with a beam of 29.8m and a draught of 6.7m. There are 12 decks and the ship maintains a maximum speed of 18.5 knots, burning diesel fuel in place of less environmentally friendly heavy fuel oil. The ship has a carrying capacity of 657 persons with an estimated average occupancy of 200 residents and guests in 106 apartments of between 102 and 301 square metres, 19 studio apartments and 40 studios. The crew consists of about 250 persons.
According to ResidenSea The World will have visited five continents, 136 ports in 54 countries and spent an average of 2.5 days in each port during 2004.
The South African agents for The World are Barwil SA.
Neville West, MD of ships agent Barwil SA, with Karla Kujat the ship’s clearance officer and the master of The World. Picture by Terry Hutson