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Skimming the surface : disclocated cruise liners and aquatic spaces
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by David CashmanDavid Cashman
Modern, highly facilitated and luxurious cruise ships provide a highly particular type ofenvironment and a very particular placement within oceanic and harbour spaces. Inthese regards they may be understood as floating entities effectively removed fromtheir locales or, rather, as removed as they can be, barring issues of technologicalfailure, accident and/or intrusion of extreme weather or geo-physical phenomena.Conceptualised as ‘floating pleasure palaces’, they are less like islands (with theircomplex gradations of connection to and social engagement with aquatic and subsurfacetopographic space) and (increasingly) more like hovercraft that skim acrossaquatic surfaces. Indeed, in many recent examples, the access to and connectionwith the marine space that provides the medium for and rationale of ‘the cruise’ ismarginalised. This essay begins to theorise the rationale implicit in suchdisconnections.