The Cruise Ship That Never Came Home

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Aug. 5 2013 10:45 AM

Abandoned World Discoverer Cruise Ship Lies Half-Sunken in the Solomon Islands

130805_ao_worlddiscoverer

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a new travel blog. Like us on FacebookTumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura.

In April 2000, 11 days before its scheduled annual maintenance, the German World Discoverer cruise ship hit an uncharted reef, forcing the captain to steer it into a beach to prevent it from sinking. The 99 passengers on board were unharmed, but the ship proved unsalvageable. It remains tilted on its side at Roderick Bay, its wooden deck rotting and its hull browned with rust.

Several salvage companies have attempted to retrieve the ship, but arrived too late—locals ransacked the World Discoverer for equipment during the Solomon Islands’ civil war. Tidal activity has caused further damage to the structure and surface rusting. It is likely that this ship will remain in place for a long time to come, slowly crumbling into the ocean.

Advertisement

To see the World Discoverer from above, look at the Google Maps satellite view.

Superseded ships:

  Slate Plus
Working
Nov. 27 2014 12:31 PM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 11 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked a helicopter paramedic about his workday.