In a surprise move over the last couple of day, The SS Galaxy, the iconic 3-region long static cruise ship, quietly weighed anchor and gently made revolutions to slip away from her long-term home adjacent to the United Sailing Sims, south of Blake Sea and then steam across the open seas to arrive off the west coast of Bellisseria, where she has apparently lowered her anchors once more, within (very long, admittedly!) eyesight of the houseboat neighbourhood I treat as my second SL home.
Dubbed The Queen of the Saggitartian Sea, the SS Galaxy was laid down in 2007, and has remained throughout the intervening years a stunning example of what can be achieves with the humble 10x10x10 prim when suitably sized and cut. Billed as “the largest build in Second Life”, the ship is split across three regions – Galaxy FORE, Galaxy MID and Galaxy AFT, and for the first part of her life served as a floating home for those seeking a more unusual place to live, (with furnished rentals running from cabins offered at L$35 with no prim allowance, to single and double suites (L$550/week with 200 LI and L$1,000/week with 300 LI) all the way up to the likes of the VIP suites and Captain’s suites (L$1,500/with with 500 LI and L$5,500/week with 1500 LI), with numerous public facilities and event spaces (swimming pools, club, restaurant, ballroom, chapel for weddings, skydiving, mini golf, etc.), as well as an on-board shopping mall.
In 2015 it appeared as if the Galaxy’s “cruising” days had come to an end. As I reported in SS Galaxy: a last cruise into the sunset (April 2015), it was announced that for various reasons (none connected with issues of tier), the ship would be closing and removed from the gird.
However, the announcement raised a lot of concern over the potential loss of such an iconic vessel and historic build, that the owners and Linden Lab got together to discuss the Lab to take over running the Galaxy as something of a museum piece, with the removal of all commercial operations (rentals and stores). I was able to break the news in SS Galaxy refits for a new role after the ship’s long-term owner, DBDigital Epsilon, sent me a note (also released on the official SS Galaxy website) that the agreement had been reached.
By August 2015, with the ship relocated slighted from her original position, the work in refurbishing the ship had reached a point where public access was once again permitted, and I was given something of a heads-up on the news and a tour by Frost Mole, who had been leading the work on the refitting (see SS Galaxy lowers her gangways to visitors once more).
At that time, much of the work had been completed, although Frost noted she was hoping to do more. In particular, a balloon tour had been added to the stern helipads and a hang glider to one of the forward helipads, while some of the private areas of the ship had converted into public spaces – such as an art gallery -, and some of the lower decks received things like a new bowling alley, with the mooring stations saw the addition of 7-Seas fishing and swan boat rezzers. Sadly, the skydiving system vanished at the same time – something I personally miss, as over the years, I’d used it to introduce a few people to the sport via the Galaxy; but that’s the way things go; but the top-of-the-hour firework displays are still active.
When the Lab took on the Galaxy, Keira Linden noted that the ship would be made available for public events, and while some were held there (such as a couple of impromptu Lab / Mole / resident get-togethers), nothing was ever really formally put in place to make it obvious residents might use the ship for events. Whether this will not change with her move to Bellisseria remains to be seen – but given the amount of social activity within the Bellisseria community, the liner could become a popular venue, and encourage a wider audience.
The news of the move has been spreading outwards for the 24-ish hours since the Galaxy arrived off of Bellisseria. Initially inaccessible immediately after the move, she is now once again open to public access. Thus fair the responses within various forum threads (see here and here as examples) has been positive, and there has been a fair amount of traffic onto and off of the ship.
11 thoughts on “SS Galaxy drops anchor at Bellisseria”
Looking at other posts in other places, it is amusing to see people talk about this boat. The truth is, after watching it now for over a month whilst sitting at the beach on Honah Lee Wave, is that the Galaxy was hardly used at all except by a handful of people who would log in there to change outfits. If LL can get more use out of it by mooring it over in Bellisseria, then good for them.
I am surprised that LL moved the boat without consulting any of the local sim owners where it was before. I didn’t see any Linden activity there, but there were visitor trackers on the sims so the Lindens were counting the people who came and went. I can assure you after chatting to the estate owners, that there are plans to re-connect Sailor’s Cove South (Rain forest sims) back with the Honah Lee Estate and Blake Sea. Lets hope that they can do that as soon as possible, and keep those popular cruising and flight routes open.
Yeah.. there was a lot of hubbub after the Galaxy re-opened, but as per article, it was never really promoted as an ongoing venue for events, so became more of a static display than anything. I used to use it as a way point for long-haul flights when testing region crossings – going from Juneau by way of Columbia River, around the Balboa regions then on down across Blake Sea, down the west side of Honah Lee, around the Galaxy (sometimes with a helipad landing), then back via the east side of Honah Lee, the east to pass over Fancy Deep, then north back over Blake Channel (and sometimes east to Second Norway) and back home.
The move does seem to be another example of poor Linden communication. They’ve been a bit slipshod since the Christmas Holiday. It’s one thing to discover bugs during a rolling restart, and concentrate on fixing them, but that restart was something I would have expected to be pre-announced, and it wasn’t.
As an example of the sort of event that these no-warning changes, there the weekly SL Grid Drive, run through the Drivers of SL group. Last week, it wasn’t just driving, last week there were a couple of boat legs across and around the Blake Sea. Point is, it’s planned in advance, with quite specific routing and waypoints. Last week didn’t go anywhere near the SS Galaxy, but this sort of unannounced change can be a big problem. A past Grid Drive did use the ship, and that hang glider, but old drives can be affected by a lot of routine changes. I know several airfields have vanished in Jeogeot since last summer.
Whoa! Epic draw distance! I wanna have your graphics card. Gimme gimme gimme!!!
Hi Inra, you made the statement above that “she is now once again open to public access”. The SS Galaxy was ALWAYS open to public access during her time in the USS.
Yes, as per the articles linked from this one and mentioned above. However, she was initially closed to access following the move, so I’ll make this point clearer.
Thanks Inara, I will look forward to the clarification
Great fond memories of Galaxy in her first heyday. Seanchai Library used to present weekend stories there in addition to our regular line up, with great attendance. Amazing, beautiful creation by Bill Stirling and DB. Very much looking forward to possible, hopefully, increased presence, awareness, and activity aboard her. Thank you for the article Inara!!
I’d like to add a hat tip to Bill Stirling who built the Galaxy, and who owned it for a number of years as part of his Sagittaria (sp?) estates. He was a fantastic builder (as the Galaxy proves, of course), and he also created a great monorail system for Sagittaria.
And there was a terrific volunteer crew who ran the Galaxy – I particularly remember Satu Moreau, the sushi restaurant chef, who used to appear in octopus 🐙 form, waving dangerous looking knives in several tentacles.
Bill did a fabulous job, and gets a hat tip in my previous (and linked-to) pieces on the Galaxy.
I was surprised to learn of the SS Galaxy finding her new home at Bellisseria.
Funny how we meet up in places like this. I cheekily snapped a photo of Tish visiting this grand old ship just as Tish took a snap of you. It will be interesting to see what happens on the SS Galaxy.
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