After 16 weeks of refuge in Falmouth's waters The World residential cruise ship has bid bon voyage to the port.

Usually home to some of the richest people on the planet, the 45,000 ton residential ship arrived in Falmouth on Monday, May 25 and has remained here ever since.

She has been laid up at the docks, having slow steamed from Australia, minus her ultra rich residents.

The World is privately owned and home to approximately 150 families from 19 countries and has an average resident and guest occupancy of 150 to 200 people.

Despite their wealth the residents of the vessel abandoned ship down in Australia as the coronavirus pandemic escalated.

Falmouth Packet:

The World leaving Falmouth on Monday afternoon. Photo: David Barnicoat

Now she is off on her travels again, leaving Falmouth this afternoon and heading for Tenerife.

Her time in Falmouth has not been without controversy.

Last month Ocean Rebellion, a new off-shoot of Extinction Rebellion, targeted a protest against the ship over its alleged environmental impact.

Members projected slogans onto the side of the ship, which included 'The World is destroying our world' and 'Sort your ship out'.

They were accompanied by a 'polar bear', who boarded the ship's bow to join the call for cruise shipping to stop.

Read next: The World ship targeted by protestors while docked in Falmouth

A spokesperson for The World countered the group's statements by pointing to its sustainable lifestyle programme, adding that it continued to "seek new technologies to reduce fuel consumption, emissions, and its carbon footprint to remain a ‘green’ vessel."

And at the end of May police were called to the ship after a member of staff was found to have died onboard.

Read next: Death on The World residential cruise ship in Falmouth

Falmouth is one of a few UK ports to have hosted the ship at least three times.

She made three previous visits to Falmouth, in 2002, 2013 and 2018, spending two days alongside on each call.

The World was welcomed into port back in May with Falmouth pilot Captain Nick Martin aboard, berthing on the Queen’s jetty.

The decision to come to Falmouth was explained back in mid March by a spokesperson for The World, Residences at Sea, who said at the time: “Due to the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) global public health emergency, deemed a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, and to protect the health and safety of its residents, guests and crew, The World, Residences at Sea was taken out of service effective March 17.

"All residents, guests and non-essential crew disembarked by March 20. The vessel has not had a positive Covid-19 case on board and none of its residents, guests or crew have tested positive since leaving the vessel. A return to service date has not yet been released.

Falmouth Packet:

The World passes St Anthony's Lighthouse. Photo: David Barnicoat

“The decision to lay-up the private, residential yacht was not easy, however was deemed essential. Protecting the health and safety of our residents, guests and crew is our number one priority.

"We look forward to resuming operations and welcoming our residents back once we can safely do so by following industry best practices, maintaining our high standards and working in cooperation with global public health authorities, local port officials and government agencies around the world.”

When the decision to suspend cruising was made The World was part way through her 2020 round the world voyage, with particular emphasis on the far East.

The 2020 journey included more than 100 ports of call across Southeast Asia, Australia, the Indian Ocean, Europe, United Kingdom, and North and South America.

The 150 families who own the homes on board would have sailed approximately 45,000 nautical miles this year, but this was cut short in the Antipodes.