Endless travel. Sounds like a pipe dream, but it’s possible – if you’re one of the lucky few to snag a room aboard residential yachts like The World, which launched in 2002. It’s the big daddy of residential cruise liners, best known as an ultra-exclusive haven for the influential and well-heeled.
Other newer projects, like the recently announced Somnio, generally follow in The World’s wake – that is, potential residents should come prepared to pay. Once you’re selected.
Which makes Storylines’ proposition all the more intriguing: approachable luxury vis-a-vis a place aboard the MV Narrative, Storylines’ first residential cruise ship. Its prospective clientele when it launches in 2024 isn’t limited to reclusive oil barons or scions of old wealth – they’re looking at everyone, whether that be early retirees, families and executives working remotely.
Naturally, the going rate for on-board residences are just as accessible. They can be purchased on a 12 or 24-year lease, or forever (you’ll get a cabin on the next ship once the Narrative’s estimated run of 60 years is up). Getting a cabin outright costs between S$1.24 million to S$ 10.91 million for anywhere between 237 to 1970 sqft. The cabins even be leased to others when you’re not on board.
Says co-CEO and founder Alister Punton, “Our goal is to reach a wide variety of people who consider themselves to be global citizens of the world. We have a diverse community with people of all ages from children to retirees from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.”
He continues, “We have many resident owners working and studying on board. This sector of our demographic has increased since the pandemic due to more people having the flexibility to work or study from anywhere in the world. It has resulted in more entrepreneurs and more families being able to access this unique lifestyle.”
Despite the accessibility, amenities aboard the residential vessel come aplenty. There are a total of 20 dining and bar concepts, which get some of their supplies from an on-ship microbrewery and garden facility. In terms of entertainment, there’s a movie theatre; golf simulator; hobby lounge; spa and wellness centre and three pools. There’s also an art studio, a marina with watercraft access along with less sexy conveniences like a bank, doctors and salons.
In all, plenty of room for entertainment and entertaining, should you decide to bring guests on board for a leg as the ship circumnavigates the globe during its three-and-a-half year maiden voyage. Narrative will be stopping over at ports for three to five days, providing plenty of time for residents to get a lay of the land – time that most conventional travellers can hardly spare.
Punton adds, “We believe the greatest benefit of owning a vacation home on a ship is in discovering exotic destinations all over the globe, in contrast to choosing a vacation home on land which results in visiting the same place over and over and over again.”
Narrative will be the first in a series of accessible residential ships that Storylines hopes to put on the waters. They’re also set to be one of the greenest – apart from growing their own fruit and veg while sourcing grub from local producers where possible, they’re running mainly on liquefied natural gas, which produces significantly less emissions than conventional fuel types.
Only time will tell whether an approachable look at eternal seaborne travel is financially viable in the long term. Either way, it’s exciting news for anyone looking to spend the next couple of decades floating along, pina colada in hand.
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Photos provided by Storylines.