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The World

8 August, 2007; 5:00 Leave a comment Go to comments

dscf1018.jpgThere are normally a few mid-sized cruise ships in Stockholm’s harbor, usually docked alongside Södermalm’s north shore so I can see them on my left as I bike from work to home across the bridges from Norrmalm to Södermalm. One day, however, I noticed something a bit unusual: a cruise ship that was not parked along Södermalm, but anchored on its own in the middle of the harbor, with no dock to connect it to the mainland. Reading the markings, I could see that it was called “The World”, but there was no indication of what cruise company it belonged to. Such an indistinct name? No access to shore? What was going on?

Well, after some sleuthing on Wikipedia, I found out that The World is not a simple cruise ship, but rather a floating luxury condominium boat. All of the rooms are residences, and the permanent occupants own the ship as members of a cooperative. You can actually rent one of the residences for a temporary stay — that is, if you have $1,300 to $4,500 per night burning a hole in your pocket. After Stockholm, The World is headed to the northern reaches of the Gulf of Bothnia, then to St. Petersburg. After leaving the Baltic Sea, it will return to the Mediterranean for the autumn months, then in 2008 it will head south and around the southern tip of Africa.

Oh, and to answer the question of how the residents got to shore, well if you click on the photo, you’ll see in the enlarged photo a small yellow water-taxi that runs back-and-forth between the ship and shore. On the day the ship was to head out, I saw that the water taxi had been hoisted up again onto the side of the ship, next to the emergency rafts.

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