“The World” cruise ship at the Venetian Port of Chania

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. A few residents live on board full time while most visit periodically throughout the year. It is operated by ROW Management, Ltd., headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States.

It has 165 residences (106 apartments, 19 studio apartments, and 40 studios), all owned by the ship’s residents. Average occupancy is 150 – 200 residents and guests.

The World (IMO ship identification number: 9219331) flies the flag of The Bahamas and has a gross tonnage of 43,524 tons. It is 644 feet (196 m) long, 98 feet (30 m) wide, and has a 22-foot (6.7 m) draft, 12 decks, and a maximum speed of 18.5 knots (34.3 km/h). The crew numbers approximately 280.

The ship was the idea of Knut U. Kloster, whose family had a long history in the marine industry. Her hull was built in Landskrona, Sweden, by Öresundsvarvet, and it was then towed to Fosen Mekaniske Verksted in Rissa, Norway, for completion.The vessel was launched in March 2002 and purchased by its residents in October 2003.

The management company is responsible for operations and administration of the ship, including hiring the employees. The residents, through their elected board of directors and a network of committees, provide guidance to the management about the ship’s itinerary, finances, and lifestyle.

The ship has a large lobby, gourmet deli and grocery store, a boutique and showroom, fitness center, billiard room, golf simulator and putting greens, a full-sized tennis court, jogging track, a spa, swimming pool, and cocktail lounges.

There are six restaurants for dining that also supplement the kitchens or kitchenettes in most of the residences and dining ashore. For on-board entertainment there is a movie theater, library and music performances. In addition to shore excursions, classes have been offered on board in topics such as dance, navigation, language, cooking, arts and crafts, music, computers, and photography. The World provides internet access in each residence.

photo by Pavlos Mpouzakis

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