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Hidden in a remote bay of the Solomon Islands, the beached wreck of the German-built Liberian Cruise ship World Discoverer slowly rusts. Built in 1974, it served multiple owners faithfully for over 25 years.

In April of 2000, the ship struck an uncharted reef formation just off the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

World Discoverer Cruise Ship
The World Discoverer Cruise Ship during her prime

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Brief History

The vessel was known as the BEWA Discoverer when it was first sold to the Danish company BEWA Cruises in 1974. Two years later it was sold again, this time in July of 1976, to Adventure Cruises, Inc. and registered in Singapore.

While at Adventure Cruises, it was renamed the World Discoverer. During this time the ship served a long-term charter with Society Expeditions. In 1990, she was registered in Liberia; six years later she was refurbished to like new condition.

World Discoverer Emergency

World Discoverer Cruise Ship

But in April of 2000 things would go drastically wrong. During inclement weather the ship struck a reef just off the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The captain radioed for assistance, and before long all passengers were shuttled off the World Discoverer by local ferries.

Captain Oliver Kruess managed to nurse the ship into nearby Roderick Bay where she began to list until settling into her final resting place, where she still sits today.

World Discoverer Cruise Ship

World Discoverer Cruise ShipAny attempts at repair or salvage were abandoned after the locals had looted anything of value from the vessel; the cost of making her seaworthy again would have been prohibitive.

As a result, she was left to sit and rust away, now a tourist and photography destination.

Will she meet the same fate as the S.S. America? Based on the time-lapse photos we now have, it would appear so – although at a much slower pace of decay than the America.

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World Discoverer Deterioration

2000:

World Discoverer Cruise Ship 2000

2010:

World Discoverer Cruise Ship 2010

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See the World Discoverer via Satellite image!

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10 COMMENTS

  1. The “old” World Discoverer WAS a very beautiful “little” ship. I was travelling in december 1998 with this little Lady to Antarctica. At this time Captain Lampe (Oliver Krüss was First Officer and in 1999 he overtook as Captain this ship) was on board for his very last trip.
    As I heard from this desaster in a bay of Solomon Islands I was shocked and very upset about the abandonance of this lovely ship. As I made my second trip with Cpt. Oliver Krüss on the “new” World Discoverer, up the Bering Straight to Arctica I talked with him about the first World Discoverer. To me he seemed very upset and told me the whole story. He is a very brave man who tried his best to save his ship and certainly all passengers. Unfortunately my third trip (from Guam to Kushiro) with him and the World Discoverer was the last one, as Society Expeditions, who owned the ship could not hold it anymore. I remember with great pleasure to these trips and especially to Captain Krüss with his great sence of humor and his knowledge of nature and creatures as well. I spend many, many hours on the bridge were I could learn a lot about nature, wales and all other animals we have been seeing.
    Unfortunately I do not know on which ship Captain Krüss is shipping now. If anybody can get me informations, please do not hesitate to contact me: jackie_hodel@yahoo.de – Subject: “Oliver Krüss”. Thanks in advance.
    Jackie

  2. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this web
    site needs a great deal more attention. Thanks for the info!

  3. Has anyone been aboard this ship, she seems in a solid position. Wold be great to get some photos.

    • Hi Von, if you manage to get some photos please do share with us. I believe this ship’s remote location has helped preserve her somewhat – at least from vandals. Like most abandoned things, the harder they are to get to the better the find. 😉

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