Travel, sadly, isn’t back yet. Staycations are still the name of the game. In the meantime though, we can dream – and dream big. How’s a residential cruise ship (not an oxymoron) that fits approximately 150 well-travelled – and heeled – families from 20 countries, that travels across the globe, with a complement of trained crew and experts attending to your beck and call? How about if the stops are based on the best sea routes, determined by community vote and range from adventurous, to historical, and never, ever boring?
The vision for The World is simple. A continuous adventure, where travellers never have to disembark if they don’t want to. The idea was conceived of in 1997 and came to fruition in 2002 when The World set sail from Oslo with its first set of residents.
Residences – not rooms – are part of the package at the world. They range from homely studios to a palatial six-bedroom grand suite and come equipped with all the necessary premium appliances and creature comforts. These residences are designed for long term liveability, functioning both as a cosy retreat from the world at large and a resplendent getaway.
Unlike regular cruise ships, it isn’t exactly enough to expect residents and guests to remain entertained year-round by some casinos, spa centres and swimming pools. The World is decked out with a plethora of recreational facilities, including a golf simulator and putting greens, a jogging track, a movie theatre, and a full-sized tennis court.
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Another benefit of the ship’s never-ending journey around the world is its ability to, quite literally, offer the best that the planet has to offer. These include cultural performances by experts brought on board depending at the port of call, as well as lectures, musical performances and more.
They’ve also got six full-sized restaurants and cocktail lounges manned by world-class chefs and bartenders. Every stop, after all, is an opportunity to restock The World’s larders with plenty of fine regional produce from local markets. It’s also an excellent chance to add on to their extensive wine program, with over 1,100 selections and 14,000 bottles in their onboard cellar.
The culinary team also arranges for exclusive gastronomic experiences onshore – especially wonderful if you’re anxious for a meal setting untouched by the ebbs and flows of the ocean. Gastronomes and oenophiles alike can look forward to fine food or wine experiences that they’d be hard-pressed to gain access to elsewhere.
These trips include expeditions to the furthest flung corners of the planet – areas rich in all manner of flora and fauna, cultural history and breath-taking vistas. Think places like the Falklands, Antarctica and Svalbard. In fact, The World holds the world record for the southernmost ship voyage as of 28 January 2017.
Travel for its own sake is just recreation. What The World hopes to offer guests and residents is a chance to explore the rich biodiversity and heritage of places that often go unexplored. Their unique format of residences on a cruise ship allow guests to pick and choose what itineraries matter to them the most. An added benefit is the unique community that comes naturally with such a rarefied and exclusive experience. The ability, in essence, to live and travel with a group of likeminded individuals sets The World apart from luxury cruise ships or holiday homes in isolation.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, all residents, guests and non-essential crew disembarked on March 20. The ship itself is currently in lay-berth in Falmouth, Cornwall and has yet to announce a Return to Service date, or new plans for 2021.
Though all the original residences have been bought up, around 10 per cent of them are up for resale – perfect for when the world is ready to get travelling again. The only question: does it technically count as working from home?
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