Times Insider explains who we are and what we do and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.
Last February, I was scrolling through Instagram when a peculiar ad appeared on my feed. The ad boasted of a three-year cruise called Life at Sea — said to be the longest cruise ever, with 382 port calls around the world — set to depart from Istanbul on Nov. 1.
As a reporter who covers cruises for The New York Times Travel desk, I was skeptical; I had followed news of similar cruises that failed to launch. I also knew putting together a voyage of this ambition would prove a herculean task, requiring secure funding and a ship furnished for residential sailing.
About three months later, while searching through Facebook for updates on the cruise, I learned from a prospective passenger’s post that the sales and marketing team had resigned after a series of disputes with the parent company, Miray Cruises. Life at Sea’s managing director, Mikael Petterson, also resigned at that time.
It seemed the voyage was doomed before it began.
And so began my investigation into the idyllic-seeming cruise, plagued by management issues and poor planning. My article, a behind-the-scenes look at the company turmoil, was published online last month.