A reader of cruise expert Professor Ross Klein's website raised an interesting question why a AIS chart of the Thomson Dream cruise ship (via marinetraffic.com) showed the ship sailing in a weird pattern.
The experts I have discussed this with don't think that the pattern resembles one to be taken if the ship were conducting a man-overboard search. Another thought was that the cruise ship may have been responding to another vessel in distress perhaps, although this seems unlikely too. An practice exercise is also a possibility, although nothing in particular comes to mind.
No ship would take this course as a part of its normal itinerary considering the fuel that would be wasted.
Assuming the AIS positioning is accurate, what was going on? I don't know. Can anyone on the Thomson Dream explain the ship's maneuvering?
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