The World stopped in Portland Harbor early this morning and few seemed in awe of the occasion. The City had no special plans to greet the 644 ft. long ship that is notorious because it is a floating condominium that constantly carries its passengers to destinations of their choice. The World will be in Portland until Wednesday.
The itinerary is determined by the condominium owners themsevles. There is an itinerary committee that meets and comes up with three destination choices. They are picked three years ahead because the captain and crew need plenty of time to do the planning. The passengers then pick one of the three destinations for the third year ahead. Next year the destinations are China and Asia generally. The ship was built in 2002.
Several passengers spoke about the ships recent trip through the Northwest Passage. It took 24 days to accomplish and they were very close to the North Pole. “We had to hunt for ice. We saw polar bears,” said Peter Bennett, a farmer from Australia, who with his wife were renting a condominium for a few weeks aboard The World. The World was the 174th ship to make the Northwest Passage and the first passage of a non-commercial ship. Global warming made it possible for The World to make this passage. Passenger George Klopfer and his wife own a condominium aboard The World. “It’s a great way to live. It’s a great way to see the world without leaving home.” Originally from Salt Lake City, Klopfer is retired after having sold his electronics business Polk Audio, Baltimore, MD. (See above photograph.)
The World will be in Portland Harbor until Wednesday. Then it will head to Boston, Bermuda and then New York City before heading overseas.