Would you be willing to sell everything you have – your home, cars, furniture – and live on a cruise ship?
It’s a small but growing trend as a lifestyle that lets you see the world. But its not the typical cruise ship. You don’t have a stateroom, you own an on-board condo. It’s residential cruising.
This concept of living aboard a ship was launched in March of 2002. The ship is called The World. It is operated by ROW Management of Fort Lauderdale, FL and registered in the Bahamas.
The World is a private residential ship that is operated like a condominium complex. Everyone on board is a resident, having bought one of the 165 residences on the ship. Residences on The World vary from 106 large apartments to 19 studio apartments to 40 studios.
From March 2020 to July 2021 it was docked and emptied of residents and crew because of Covid. But its back on the high seas now! At any average time there are between 150 and 200 residents on board. The ship includes a large lobby area, a deli, grocery store, boutique, fitness center, billiard room, golf simulator and putting greens, a tennis court, jogging track, spa, swimming pool and cocktail lounges.
There are six restaurants if residents don’t want to do their own cooking. There’s a movie theater, library, and live musical performances by local musicians when the ship is in a port area. Internet access is available in each residence.
If you were a resident on The World you would have traveled through the Northwest Passage and at ports of call all over the world. From the Canary Islands to New Zealand, Greece to Scandinavia, California and Florida. It gives a whole new luxurious meaning to the idea of Traveling the World.
Now there’s a new residential ship being built. It’s called the MV Narrative, and is being built by Storylines. Condos on the ship are already being purchased and they expect to be sold out by the end of this year. Plans are for residents to take occupancy in 2024.
The MV Narrative will be bigger and more luxurious than The World, with expectations of 1,000 residents on the ship at any given time. There will be 17 decks. Fully furnished condos can be purchased outright starting at $875,000 or leased, with lease prices starting at $400,000. Large luxurious condos on upper decks with private balconies start at $5 million.
As with any home, friends and family can come to visit at anytime by coming on board at any port and staying as long as the resident wants them as guests.
The ship is being designed to be the greenest ship in existence using liquid natural gas propulsion, a system that converts waste into energy, an organic garden with an on-board farmers’ market of freshly grown produce, and composting and recycling.
The condos have only small kitchens, because there will be 20 dining and bar options on board with rotating menus. With meals included in the monthly fee, most residents probably won’t do much cooking. The monthly fee covers all on-board services … even laundry.
Pets are welcomed. The ship will have a pet exercise area and an on-board Vet. Kids are welcomed too with an education program being developed for up to 70 youth. They’re working on solving all those day-to-day living issues like receiving mail, banking services, and telecommunications programs for residents who currently come from 17 countries.
The on-board health care systems include a pharmacy, doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, nutritionist, and emergency care. For severe healthcare needs there is a helicopter and landing pad to air lift someone to an on land hospital if needed.
With theatres, shops, a gym, yoga studio, dance floor, an art studio, library, beauty salon, spa, business center, three pools, and even an on-board microbrewery, it truly is a floating community. But one without normal expenses like property taxes, cars, home maintenance and upkeep, heating or AC bills, and not even grocery bills (food is included in the monthly residents fees).
You may think this is a floating retirement community but the people buying or leasing condos on the MV Narrative include digital generation nomads (in their 20s and 30s), young families, professional couples who can work from anywhere, and of course – retirees.
I have to say, I find the idea more than a little intriguing! In my mind I can imagine doing this. My biggest worry, I think, would be how long could I live that way before getting bored and want to return to a life on the land? And would I really enjoy a life away from my family … especially my grandchildren?
The MV Narrative expects to take about 1,000 days to totally circumnavigate the globe because they’ll stay in many ports for as long as 5-6 days. That’s almost three years on board if you want to stay long enough to see the world. Of course you can get off, stay on land for a while, and then come back.
Could you let go of a land-based lifestyle to travel the world as part of an on-board community of 1,000 people? If curious, check out the MV Narrative at www.storylines.com.
“Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.”Oscar Wilde
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