Empress of the North

May 17, 2007

I’m still trying to figure out what the message or metaphor is here. Empress of the EmpressNorth, a luxury cruise ship, passed by my house last year, looking like this:

According to its web site,

“The Empress of the North is the only overnight sternwheeler cruising in Alaska and one of two elegant overnight sternwheelers on the Columbia River. Built in America, she has been designed to achieve a balance of modern refinement and faithful historical charm. The most modern passenger conveniences and spaciousness have been incorporated, blending the elegant and glamorous appearances of the stately night boats of the 1800’s with the behind-the-scenes, state-of-the-art technology….”

This year, it returned, looking like this:

Empress

Note the fact that it’s in extreme shallows, with its gangplank/bowsprit aimed straight into the neighbors’ living room.

Maybe the odd maneuvering should have been a clue, but about a week later, the vessel made news when it listed and started to sink near Juneau, Alaska.

Message? Take that cruise now, before the ship sinks. Or maybe, cruising can be hazardous and should be avoided. Or maybe, all the practice in the world won’t prevent a mishap. Or maybe, if there’s a charted rock on your course, you might consider giving it a wide berth.

Metaphor? Hmm. Shit happens.

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