'The World': It's luxurious. It's big. And it's coming to Friday Harbor
July 5, 2009 · Updated 8:28 AM
The World, a luxury residential ship that is owned by its residents, will visit Friday Harbor for 48 hours on Sunday.
At 644 feet 2 inches, it is believed to be the largest cruise ship ever to anchor in Friday Harbor waters, Harbormaster Tami Hayes said. The ship has a beam (width) of 97 feet 2 inches and a draft (the part of the boat that's submerged) of 22 feet.
By comparison, the Bremen, which anchored off of Brown Island during a visit about 11 years ago, is 364 feet in length, with a 58-foot beam and a 16-foot draft.
The World is scheduled to drop anchor at 7 a.m. Sunday. Ironically, it will not be visible from the downtown area; it will anchor on the San Juan Channel side of Brown Island and its 125 residents and guests will be lightered to Spring Street Landing. The ship will be visible from the U.W. Friday Harbor Labs and from the Washington State Ferries.
Hayes said her office was contacted by representatives of the ship about six or eight months ago and she received confirmation of a visit last week.
According to the World's online itinerary, it is en route to Alaska, then Russia, Japan, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Australia.
According to Wikipedia: The World is a floating residential community owned by its residents. The residents, currently from 40 different countries, live on board as the ship slowly circumnavigates the globe, staying in most ports from two to five days. Some residents live onboard full time, while others visit their floating home periodically throughout the year.
The ship has 165 residential units (106 apartments, 19 studio apartments, and 40 studios), all owned by the ship's residents. The ship carries between 100 and 300 residents and their guests. The crew numbers 250.
The World was the idea of Knut U. Kloster Jr., whose family had a long history in the cruise ship industry. The ship was built in Rissa, Norway, and launched in March 2002.
In October 2003, the residents of the vessel purchased The World. ResidenSea in Miramar, Florida, remained the management company responsible for operations and administration of the ship, including hiring the hundreds of employees that offer on-board amenities and services. The residents, through their elected board of directors and committees, provide guidance to the management about the ship's itinerary, finances and lifestyle.
The World has many facilities similar to those on board a regular cruise ship but are unique due to the residential nature of the vessel. Her amenities include a small grocery store and delicatessen; a boutique; casino; and athletic facilities, including a golf simulator, putting green, full-sized tennis court, jogging track and fully equipped gym.
There are five restaurants that supplement the full kitchens in all apartments and the ever-changing variety of dining ashore as the ship travels. For on-board entertainment there is a movie theatre, library and music performances. In addition to shore excursions, classes have been offered on board in dance, navigation, language, cooking, arts and crafts, music, computers, and photography. In addition, The World provides high-speed Internet access in each residence.