Private residence ships on the rise appealing to record numbers of remote workers
Condos on residential yachts and ships increasing in popularity as people look for new ways to live and work
People have more flexibility to work and study remotely than ever before, causing a sudden demand for apartments on residential yachts and ships. As travel resumes, many are making new lifestyle choices rather than returning to the daily grind. While pre-pandemic digital nomads embraced travel as a lifestyle, they found the jet lag and living out of a suitcase to be wearisome. Condo ships claim to have the answer: unpack once and travel the world from the comfort of home. There are several residential ships on the horizon. Here’s an overview of what’s on the market.
‘Narrative’ by Storylines is a new-build, liquid natural gas (LNG) powered ship launching in 2024. The ship is 741’ long with 533 residences. The smallest condominiums available at press time start at 237 sq ft and go for $360k for a 12-year lease, with annual fees of $60k. The largest units currently available are 1,529 sq ft condos and can be purchased for $7.7M with annual fees of $205k. Fees include housekeeping, laundry, meals, beverages, medical visits and spa services. With green technologies, a hydroponic garden and a zero-waste market, it will be one of the most environmentally sustainable ships at sea. The itinerary is focused on leisurely circumnavigating the globe every three-and-a-half years with 3-5 days in most ports. The ship has office space for remote workers and an education program for families with kids. For people who want to pay a reasonable amount on a new ship with a diverse community, more time in ports, and don’t mind waiting, this ship is an excellent option.
‘The World’ by ResidenSea was launched in 2002. At 643 feet with 165 residences, there is plenty of room for the select few ultra-high net worth individuals on board. The smallest 290 sq ft flats start at $2M and the largest residences are in excess of $10M. The annual fees range from $150k-$1M which does not include food and beverages. Many of the larger residences have full kitchens. With a full-sized tennis court at sea and a putting green, there is plenty to love about this ship, but the main appeal is that it’s already in the water. Potential residents must also have a land-based residence and a minimum $10M net worth. For those who meet the criteria, are okay with a 20-year-old oil burning ship and are itching to launch their lifestyle at sea immediately, this is an excellent, well-established option.
‘Njord’ by Ocean Residences is the top of the line. It’s a brand new, LNG powered ship with all the latest green technologies. Delivery is expected in 2024. At 925 feet with just 118 residences, it’s no wonder the units start at $8M for the smallest 1,249 sq ft two-bedroom apartments. All of the residences have full kitchens, a rare amenity in this market. Expect a lot of over-the-top perks, with not one but two helicopters, a 5-star PADI dive center, Quadrofoil, observatory, crew to resident ratio of 2:1, limo tenders, scientific research laboratories, and butler suites that you can rent for your private butler, nanny or nurse. For ultra-high net worth individuals who don’t mind a homogeneous demographic and are looking for a newer and more environmentally sustainable ship than ‘The World,’ this one is worth the wait.
‘Blue World’ by Blue World Voyages is refurbishing a ship that’s approximately 700’ long and 20 years old. The ship has 40 residences and 225 cabins and hopes to launch in 2021. The one-bedroom 800 sq ft units are $2.35M and the two-bedroom 1,200 sq ft units are $3.35M. The annual fees range between $200k-$300k. As with all older ships, it will burn either marine diesel or heavy bunker fuel. There are no cooking facilities for residents. With a focus on fitness, the ship dedicates a full deck for sports and boasts a seawater lap pool. The itinerary is somewhat restricted to Europe and Latin America due to its primary use as a tourist cruise ship, with no plans for global circumnavigation. For fitness enthusiasts who don’t mind sharing their ship with a high turnover of younger people coming and going every week, and who are hoping to start this lifestyle sooner rather than later, this company has an established founder (‘The World’) and could be an excellent fit.
‘Utopia’ by Utopia Residences has been in development for at least 12 years (ordered in 2009) and the launch date has been delayed multiple times. It was designed to be 971 ft long with 190 residences and 206 hotel suites. The smallest 1,439 sq ft residences started at $3.9M and the largest 6,143 sq ft residence was $36M. It had a paddle tennis court, rock climbing wall and outdoor movie screen, as well as ‘wine and fur storage’. An itinerary was planned which involved crisscrossing the globe to world events such as Wimbledon, Carnival, America’s Cup, Running of the Bulls and Cannes Film Festival. For people who prefer the traditional architectural style of the ship and its interiors and don’t mind visiting crowded places, this ship might be an option someday.