Albeit pretentious, that’s the name of a massive cruise ship that anchored overnight in the York River. MS The World presages the coming (and controversial) Princess liner with 3,000 passengers disembarking at Yorktown. But this one has only 150-200 passengers who own 165 condo apartments worth millions.

The WorldAs the name implies, the cruising course extends around the world and there’s a waiting list to board. At 644 feet and 12 decks tall, it’s by far the largest ship to reach the York River since the aircraft carriers of WWII. The USNS Zeus at Cheatham Annex is 513 feet and half as tall.

I spoke to the bridge of the ship twice. In the morning, I asked where it came from. “New York,” came the cryptic reply. When I asked where it was headed, the fellow hesitated and then said, “We will update our AIS tomorrow. I cannot give you that information now.” I think part of the security had to do with the proximity of two US Navy ships.

The WorldThe wind picked up in the afternoon, and we sailed in the lee of the starboard side. It completely blocked our wind, so we coasted along until the wind resumed. At one point, five stacks started billowing black smoke. I radioed to ask if they were weighing anchor. “No, we are still at anchor,” came the curt reply.

The ship was anchored nearly a mile from Yorktown, hard by Buoy 24. It was so close that it made it challenging to see 24, which is a major mark on the river. From there, a tender boat shuttled passengers back and forth to Yorktown to tour there as well as Williamsburg and Jamestown.

The WorldThe plan for the Princess line is to anchor closer to Riverwalk Landing, but I suspect the Navy had a say in The World’s anchorage. Within several thousand yards lay a Navy sub and a guided missile destroyer at NWS Yorktown.

Open-source web images convey the opulence of The World. Each condo has multiple views of the sea and the shore. People sign up for year-long cruises to such an extent that several other companies offer similar plans.

The WorldThe World is said to have a waiting list. Viking offers a comparable experience for $100,000 or so, which includes basically the trip but not the condo. People say it’s cheaper than living in assisted living. All well and good until you get sick. Not sure I would want to be discharged from the ship to a hospital in Tunesia. I knew a dancer who tore her Achilles tendon in Italy and had to be flown to Boston because there wasn’t a surgeon available to treat her.

From The World website:

The WorldExplore every ocean and continent in luxurious comfort. As an owner aboard The World, you’re part of a unique international community of adventurers living aboard the largest private residential yacht on Earth. Each of the 165 Residences aboard The World is a luxurious, custom-designed private Home. Will you own a stylish Studio, comfortable one-bedroom Residence, or a sprawling two- or three-bedroom Ocean Residence? With only 165 Residences aboard The World, each has its own unique story. Residences range from elegant Studios to spacious Three-Bedroom Homes – each of which may be customized to suit your specific preferences and tastes.

The WorldRegardless of the layout you choose, your Home aboard The World will be unlike any other on the planet. It is your comfortable haven providing everchanging views, and your launching point for unforgettable daily adventures as you explore every corner of the globe.

Travel to your Home aboard The World is defined by unparalleled simplicity and ease.  Leave your suitcase behind as you return to your private Residence, complete with your personal art, your clothes, and even your wine collection. Once on board, you can expect the highest standards of anticipatory service, from housekeeping and personalized concierge services to tailored wellness programs and bespoke dining experiences. Welcome to the most extraordinary Home you will ever own.

Each year, Residents of The World have the opportunity to join our extraordinary Expeditions. These weeks-long voyages range across some of the most remote and fascinating waters and lands on Earth, led by preeminent experts in ecology, culture, and adventurous exploration. 

The WorldMidwest Sailing, The World

Our morning cruise sported two retired couples who used to sail in Michigan. Tom Verbeke held the helm all the way, having sold his Catalina 30 when they moved to Tennessee. His wife Colleen said, “We can still sail on the rivers in March and April, but the winds are squirrely because of the mountains.”

We commiserated over the perils at sea. Tom said, “I used to volunteer for an outfit that assisted and rescued boaters. One time, we came up a boat that had been towing three kids on a tube. Another motorboat sped across the stern without seeing them and hit the kids. One died.”

The WorldIn the afternoon, a William & Mary student took her parents sailing on the York. Coincidentally, they live near Louisville and are trying to sail the Ohio River in a small boat.

Randy Crutchfield said, “My wife is apprehensive about sailing today. The last time we went out was in Cape Town, South Africa. It was on a big boat that had the sail painted on it. There was nothing to hang onto in the cockpit and we got banged around. The big seas off the Cape of Good Hope made her seasick.” No kidding. Seas there have been known to rise 30-50 feet as two oceans converge in one of the worst spots on earth.

The WorldThe family brought along their two small dogs, who seemed to enjoy the ride once they settled down. Randy said, “My parents lived on a lake and had a German shepherd that was trained in rescue work. He would watch people out there waterskiing and jump in the water if one of them fell. He’d swim out hundreds of yards to the rescue. You know how conversations travel on the water when it’s calm? We could hear people in the boat saying, ‘Where did this dog come from?’”

More disasters. While talking about engines for boats, I mentioned that all new sailboats now have diesel because it’s safer than gasoline. “Yes,” he said. “Our area is infamous as the site of the Carrollton bus crash, in which many people were killed when the bus rolled over and caught fire. Since then, buses are built with diesel engines.

Women enjoy sailing today more than ever, and particularly a romantic cruise. Couples get to enjoy a romantic getaway as they sit up on the bow for privacy, and Let’s Go Sail provides professional photos for free. First-time or skilled mariners are welcome to sail a modern-32-foot sailboat in a unique setting of wildlife and Fall foliage or Spring bloom. It makes for an extraordinary anniversary idea.


Let’s Go Sail The World

Check rates and pick a day for a sailboat charter. Scroll down reviews on Trip Advisor. Go back to the home page of Williamsburg Charter Sails.  

The best Williamsburg boat tour offers safe “social distance sailing” daily for up to 6 people. It’s an extraordinary experience for couples. Leave your worries behind. Enjoy the thrill of moving with the wind without a care in the world. Put life back on an even keel with a romantic experience for a birthday or anniversary. 3-hour sailboat cruise as a semi-private yachting charter lets you exhale and relax as you enjoy comfort, stability and speed.

The World The World The World The World

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