“World Discoverer” Cruise Ship Left Behind

A cruise ship that has been abandoned is somewhere in the Solomon Islands. The 3,724 gross tonne World Discoverer has been allowed to rust while also developing a thriving tourism industry!

They are all retiring with unique stories to share and are waiting to be carried away by the water. The German cruise ship MS World Discoverer is one such wreck.

"World Discoverer" Cruise Ship Left Behind

The MS World Discoverer was a well-known cruise ship that was created by the German shipbuilding firm Schichau Unterweser. It is now a massive wreck drifting serenely above Roderick Bay in the Nggela Islands.

Schichau Unterweser, Germany, created and constructed the cruise liner MS World Discoverer in 1974. The ship’s construction, known as BEWA Discoverer, was finished in Bremerhaven, Germany.

"World Discoverer" Cruise Ship Left Behind

Short History

When it was first sold to the Danish business BEWA Cruises in 1974, the ship was known as the BEWA Discoverer. It was once more sold two years later, this time to Adventure Cruises, Inc., in July 1976, and registered in Singapore.

The World Discoverer was its new name when it was with Adventure Cruises. The ship was on a long-term charter with Society Expeditions during this time. She was registered in Liberia in 1990, and six years later she underwent renovations to restore her to like-new condition.

The MS World Discoverer’s construction

Construction on the MS World Discoverer began in Bremerhaven, Germany, in December 1973 and was completed the following year. The cruise ship’s seven decks were designed with a gym, observation lounge, lecture hall, medical center with a doctor, sun deck with a pool, and library.

"World Discoverer" Cruise Ship Left Behind
25 years of oceangoing travel

The MS World Discoverer had a double hull design and could travel 13,000 km at a top speed of 16.5 knots (19 MPH), making her the perfect ship for trips to the Antarctic. The 137 people on board the ship saw the area’s ice floes each year and boarded inflatable dinghies to enable them to land and survey the local fauna.

25 years of oceangoing travel

25 years of oceangoing travel

The ship was sold to BEWA Cruises of Denmark in 1974, becoming the DEWA Discoverer. She was used by the business for two years before being sold to Adventure Cruises Inc. and given the new name, World Discoverer. She had recently been registered in Singapore and had been a long-term charter ship for Society Expeditions at this point.

Solomon Islands sees the sinking of MS World Discoverer

The MS World Discoverer encountered an undiscovered coral reef on April 30, 2000, at about 4:00 PM while sailing through the Sandfly Passage in the Solomon Islands. The ship was damaged in the collision, which prompted the captain to radio a distress notice to Honiara, the country’s capital.

Unexpected Tourist Destination

World Discoverer Cruise Ship in 2000

The MS World Discoverer has endured years of local vandalism. She has also lost many of her windows as a result of water and rust damage brought on by the area’s tidal activities.

The ship has sustained additional damage from tidal activity over time, increasing its list to 46 degrees. The ship’s surface is now covered in rust, and many of its windows are damaged. However, the abandoned ship is now a popular tourist destination in the Solomon Islands, with trips to the wreck even being offered by contemporary cruise ships.

World Discoverer Cruise Ship in 2010

Google Maps still displays the ship.

Following the wreck, Society Expedition renovated an ice class ship called the new World Discoverer, which was built in 2002 and started taking passengers on tours once more. After their new vessel was seized by creditors in Nome, Alaska, Society Expedition suspended operations in June 2004. Society Expedition filed into bankruptcy under chapter 7 liquidation two weeks later, in July 2004.

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