For those who seek to take a cruise without queuing for the buffet, scrambling for a deck chair or being targeted for the platinum drinks package, we have a solution. Sitting quietly alongside at Canada Place earlier this week was the unique cruise ship The World, the largest privately owned residential yacht sailing the seas. The residents, from about 45 countries, live on board in 165 residences as the ship circuits the globe, staying in most ports several days. A few residents live on board full-time while most visit periodically throughout the year.
Built by Fosen Mek Verksteder A/S, Rissa, Norway, completed in 2002
Owned by ResidenSea, Miramar, Florida, United States
Operated by ROW Management, Ltd., headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States.
GRT 43,524 tons
Service speed 18.5 knots
Guests 150 – 200 (average)
The ship has 12 decks (12), 1 helicopter pad, 2 swimming pools, 1 tennis court, 6 restaurants, mini-golf course
Construction cost $266 million
The concept of such a ship was the brainchild of Mr. Knut Kloster, the former Chair of Royal Viking Line and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). The hull was built in Sweden and towed to neighbouring Norway before being purchased by its residents in October 2003. Since then, The World has continuously circumnavigated the globe, spending extensive time in some of the most interesting ports, allowing residents to wake up in a new destination every few days in lifestyle available only to the mega rich and famous. Not only do residents own their individual residences, but collectively, they own the ship, ensuring that the experiences, onboard and off, are far beyond normally accepted standards of luxury travel.
The World’s Three-Bedroom Residences (pictures above) offer a modern kitchen, three full bathrooms and generous living, bedroom and veranda space – the ultimate in seagoing comfort and luxury. The vessel also offers countless services & amenities- expeditions and land programs, unique art gallery, chapel, library, concierge, Medical Center, theater, night club and of course video-on-demand. For onboard entertainment there are also classes offered in topics such as navigation, dance, language, cooking, music, computers, arts and crafts, photography. There is even a boutique, a small grocery store & delicatessen.
On January 28, 2017, The World broke the world's record for the most southerly navigation. The vessel reached Bay of Whales (Ross Sea, Antarctica) - coordinates 78°43.997'S and 163°41•421´W. The record was for sailing the furthest south ever on a cruise ship. The vessel will spend her summer in Canada and Alaska before heading down to Mexico and Central America in the company of our migrating humming birds. In November, she will call into Cuba and then spend time in the southeastern United States before welcoming in 2018 with festivities in Miami.
A few Residencies are available for re-sale if you happen to have won the lottery recently.
- A basic Studio will set you back US$600,000 (initially sold at $90,000).
- Two Bed (Ocean Residence) apartment $2.95 million.
- MS The World Suites are available for a mere $13.5 million (initially sold at $6 million).
- Short-term rentals - you can rent some of The World's cruise apartments (depending on category) from $550 for a studio apartment (per person per night, min for 5 days) to suite rentals - from $20,000 a month.
- Some of the residences are also available for rent - at $2,100 a day. Discounts are available for repeat guests.
- The World ship's apartments sizes vary from 1350 ft2 (125 m2) to 3000 ft2 (280 m2)
However, you would be wise to take note that as a residence owner, ship service fees start at $60,000 per year rising to $300,000 a year for the largest suites. The annual fees cover crew, fuel, maintenance, port charges and meals. Oh and by the way, $8 million is the entry fee. This investment buys you a lease expiring in the distant future of the year 2052. Vessel owners, ResidenSea, do not reveal who the residents are, but they do guarantee that The World does not accept residents with criminal records. Thank goodness for that.
Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.