EASTPORT, Maine — Billed as “the world’s largest privately owned yacht,” The World will tie up at Eastport’s downtown breakwater pier Tuesday morning, allowing those who live aboard the 12-deck, 644-foot vessel to enjoy a day of exploring the historic Washington County seaport.
The unique ship is a floating city, owned by 130 families from 19 different countries who occupy with their guests 165 private condominium residences. Launched in 2002, The World continuously circumnavigates the globe, and it has now visited 800 ports in 140 countries. The ship’s 2012 itinerary is taking those aboard to 31 different countries. Beyond Eastport, the ship is scheduled to stop in Bar Harbor, Rockland and Portland before heading on to Boston. Its last port of call before heading to Eastport was in Canada at St. Andrews, N.B.
The World is the only private residential community at sea. The needs of owners and guests are met by a standing crew of 260 from 40 countries worldwide, including a golf professional. Amenities include four major restaurants, each offering a specific culinary fare.
The city of Eastport has been busy planning a VIP reception for residents and guests who come ashore. The Eastport Port Authority is offering three tours, including an “Eastport by Trolley” tour that will showcase the city’s history and its past and present attempts to harness the Bay of Fundy’s substantial tides to generate electricity.
Downtown Eastport also will be staffed with blue-vested ambassadors along Water Street to meet and greet the ship’s residents, guests and crew. Many local businesses and galleries will be staging special events and open houses while the ship is tied up at the breakwater.
The World’s visit is the seventh and final stop for passenger ships this season in Eastport. City officials and local merchants hope that number will grow over time and do for Eastport’s struggling economy what more than 100 cruise ship visits per year have been doing for Bar Harbor’s robust economy.
The World is scheduled to depart Eastport at 6 p.m. Tuesday and will spend time in Bar Harbor on Wednesday, Oct. 10, where it’s expected to arrive at 8 a.m. and depart the next morning at 6 a.m. It is scheduled to arrive in Rockland at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, leaving for Portland at 6 p.m. Sunday as it makes its way down the North Atlantic coast. Docking and departure information for Portland was not available Monday, due to the Columbus Day holiday.