A CRUISEship carrying a party of millionaires is to pay Wick a visit next week.
Named The World, the largest privately-ownedyacht on the Earth is currently on atour which will take in 53 countries. It’snot her debut visit to Scotland, having docked at Edinburgh, previously, but certainly afirst for the Far North port.
Herwell-to-do passengers will come ashoreand, although it is not clear how long exactly their visit will be, it’s knownthat while staying at Ackergill Tower they will visit the Old Pulteneydistillery at Wick and the Castle of Mey.
Theinclusion of the town in The World’svoyage was arranged by Mike Clare, a resident on board the luxury yacht and the ownerof the tower which is run by his company Amazing Retreats. Mr Clare who founded the bed retailer Dreamsand is worth a reputed £200m, spends three months each year, on the yacht withhis wife Carol.
Mr Claresaid: “In between big ports, we have something called a Captain’s Choice,usually a very small port or island, that we stop at, for one or two days. We considered going to the Shetland Islandswhich I knew was close to Wick, so I said ‘Why don’t you come to Wick’. The yacht has never been there and theAmericans on board, love Scotland so we’re going to host an imperial dinner andHighlands Games.”
If you haveany aspirations of having a trip of a lifetime on The World, forget it! Togain a place on board, new residents have to be sponsored by at least twoexisting co-owner,s as well as meeting requirements based on net worth, beforebeing granted permission to purchase living space on board. Apartments can be customised to the owners’preference and include kitchens and spacious.
Mr Clare: “Insteadof having a villa in the south of France or the Caribbean, it is like havingone that moves around the world and stops at different places.”
After Wickthe yacht sails to Oslo and then on to St Petersburg in Russia.
Noel Donaldsoncomments: “How the other half live, is probably not what Wickers would want tohear of amid the present economic gloom but, nevertheless, it’s an opportunityworth seizing, particularly as there is a local link with Ackergill Tower. Let's face it, prestigious yachts don’t happen along often and there mustbe some way of extending an official welcome and examining the potential,particular as money is no object to the well-heeled passengers. What about a pipe band welcome on the quay,for starters?