The German-built and Liberian-registered cruise ship MS World Discoverer enjoyed a 25-year-long, mainly trouble-free lifespan as a mid-sized (roughly 225 passengers and crew) passenger liner plying the South Pacific with occasional sorties into the frosty Arctic and Antarctic oceans. On April 30th of 2000, the World Discoverer was sailing through the Sandfly Passage in the Solomon Islands when she struck an uncharted rock or reef. Looking like an outtake from Life After People, the World Discoverer‘s exploring days are over for good and unlike most other coastal shipwrecks it will probably remain where it is, slowly rusting and moldering away in its sheltered cove, for some time to come. The jewel in the crown of Britain’s venerable Cunard Line, the ocean liner QE2 sailed the seven seas as both a transatlantic ocean liner and as a premium cruise ship from 1969 until her retirement on November 27th, 2008. Due to the world financial crisis and its lingering effects on business in Dubai, virtually no work has been carried out on the ship and rumors have persisted the virtually abandoned QE2 would either be sent to Asia, either to be scrapped in China or converted into a floating luxury hotel, shopping mall and museum… and so it goes. Launched in 1956, the TSS Duke of Lancaster was built at the Belfast shipyards of Harland & Wolff where the RMS Titanic was constructed almost a half-century earlier.

Beginning in August of 2012, a commission was offered to Latvian graffiti artist Kiwie who spray-painted a large-scale artwork on the ship’s side. These abandoned and forgotten ships, boats and docks stand as proof of a bygone era where water transportation was used in every industry.
What really happens out at sea when every single living person on a ship simply disappears into thin air?
Captain Oliver Kruess heroically nursed the listing liner into shallow Roderick Bay in the Florida Islands, where all aboard were safely evacuated. Subsequently, the liner was purchased by Istithmar, the private equity arm of Dubai World, whose stated intention was to convert the vessel into a 500-room floating hotel to be moored at the Palm Jumeirah offshore resort in Dubai. The 4,450 ton, 1,800 passenger steamer operated as a passenger ferry on the Heysham-Belfast route and as a cruise ship calling at a variety of European ports from Spain to Norway for the better part of two decades.

These 8 abandoned cruise ships and liners are all that’s left of what was left to Poseidon. The World Discoverer, however, remains where it was beached in 2000, stripped of anything valuable by local islanders. In November of 1978, the venerable Duke was retired from service on the seas… a new, landlocked career was about to begin.

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