Reader Peter Norman has been tracking the residence ship MS The World, which was attempting to make a “rare and exciting Expedition along the Northwest Passage.” However, unexpectedly thick ice may have thwarted their plans.
Peter noticed on the Cruise Mapper web-site that The World appears to have turned back, seemingly abandoning its cruise through the passage. When I (Robert) checked the website a couple of hours ago, The World was represented by an arrow pointing East, which would indicate that it had indeed turned back.
The trip was billed as a fantastic journey. According to The World website, its residents would begin this year on the shores of South Africa before heading for Madagascar. They would then spend the winter months exploring the beaches, lagoons, and reefs surrounding the islands of the Indian Ocean. After that, they would move on to Sri Lanka, India, Oman, and Israel.
Come springtime, they were scheduled to travel the Mediterranean, then journey to the United Kingdom and the Faroe Islands before heading north. From Iceland and Greenland they were take a “rare and exciting Expedition along the Northwest Passage.”
After traversing the Northwest Passage, they would spend fall in East and Southeast Asia, finally arriving in Hong Kong just in time for a glorious New Year’s Eve celebration.
I’m guessing that the sharp upturn in Arctic sea ice extent (as shown below), has thwarted their Northwest Passage plans.
Update on September 4.
On the cruisemapper website it looks like they may have made it through.
When I checked the cruisemapper website a few minutes ago, The World was represented by a circle, which I’m guessing means it has stopped moving and is now in port. I will check its progress again tomorrow and bring you up-to-date.
You can see the map of their proposed journey here:
Thanks to Peter Norman for this info
Peter has also been tracking two other vessels, the MS Roald Amundsen and LAustral.
About The World:
According to Wikipedia, The World is the largest privately owned residential yacht. The residents, from about 45 countries, live on board as the ship travels, staying in most ports several days. Some residents live on board full-time while others visit periodically throughout the year.