After a few days of life on the high seas aboard a luxury cruise ship, spending time exploring exciting port towns and sampling the all-inclusive restaurants and amenities on board, you might wonder what it would be like to stay on the boat forever.
Of course you can book a room on a sailing around the worldbut even then you’re not really live on a cruise ship.
One residential cruise line, however, is struggling to make permanent seafaring a viable option. At the end of 2024, the Croatia-based cruise line Scenarios is expected to launch a new residential ship, dubbed MV Narrativewhere people can buy an apartment on board and sail indefinitely.
The floating community will feature 547 residences, including fully furnished studios with Murphy beds (at 237 square feet), one- to four-bedroom apartments and two-story penthouses (which range between 1,378 and 1,970 square feet each) . The outright purchase price for one of the homes starts at just under $1 million and will go up to $8 million. Like any other home, residences can be rented or sold in any way the owner chooses. A few select mansions are also listed for 24-year leases (starting at $600,000, or about $25,000 per year). After the initial purchase or rental price, each unit will also be charged an annual fee, ranging from $65,000 to $200,000, to cover meals, amenities and maintenance. But once on board, residents would only need to open their wallets to purchase food, experiences and trinkets while on shore – almost everything on board will be covered by the fee. (excluding things like premium alcohol, certain medical and veterinary services, childcare, and onboard boutique items).
Although this is not an entirely new idea—The world residences at sea has been sailing since 2002, and Somnioa residential yacht, is set to set sail in the spring of 2024 – it is currently the cheapest option for those wishing to live at sea. (The world and SomnioThe smallest accommodations of have an estimated starting price of $3 million and $11 millionrespectively.)
Storylines was founded in 2016 and is led by Alister Punton and Shannon Lee, two men who previously worked in land-based real estate and construction projects. According to the website, MV Narrative is intended to be more of a lifestyle choice and less of an extended vacation. As such, Storylines notes that it will interview potential residents to determine if they are a good fit for the community.
The plans of the MV Narrative include 20 restaurants spread over 18 decks, a 10,000 book library, three swimming pools, a garden, a bowling alley, a fitness area with a running track and a microbrewery. The ship will also house some services not commonly found on other cruise ships due to the nature of its offering, such as a post office, hospital, school (for grades up to 12th ), a bank and office spaces, to make it feel more like a real city, right at sea. There will also be outdoor exercise areas for pets in case residents want to bring their foursome friends paws with them.
The ship is set to begin its maiden 1,000-night voyage in late 2024. During this nearly three-year initial sail, the ship will visit six continents and stop at various ports for one to five days at a time.
A Sample 88 Day Itinerary shows the cruise moving slowly along most of the Italian coast over the course of a month, including three days in Rome, four days in Palermo (the capital of Sicily) and days in San Leone, Sciacca and Marsala, between other ports. From there, the ship would spend a few days each in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania, before doing a 24-day deep dive in Greece and then heading to Turkey. Along the way, there would be “Residents Choice” days, where people on board could vote on where they’d like to go using a special residents’ phone app.
The slow travel program, the company says on its website, is part of its sustainable travel initiative because being in port for days at a time and traveling shorter distances between stops consumes less fossil fuels. Other elements include waste-to-energy technology, growing vegetables in the hydroponic garden, and a commitment to only use biodegradable or reusable items instead of single-use plastics.