For some people, cruising is more than a wonderful way to vacation; it’s a wonderful way to live. Living aboard a cruise ship is a chance to explore more of the world while enjoying a high level of service.
There are a couple of ways to live on a cruise ship, and one option is to purchase an apartment on a residential ship. Currently, The World is the only residential cruise ship afloat, but more are being planned and built. At least three companies – Blue World Voyages, Storylines, and Somnio – plan to launch residential cruise ships in the next year or two. Depending on the ship, starting prices for apartments range from about $700,000 to $15 million. Terms of ownership vary, too; some are for the life of the ship, for the life of the owner, or for a certain span of years.
Another other option is to sail on back-to-back cruises that keep you at sea most of the time. With some careful planning, it’s possible to spend just a few nights a year on land. You can stick with a favorite ship or change things up by sailing on a variety of ships with different itineraries.
Before embarking on a lifestyle of continuous cruising, here are some things to consider.
Try it out by taking a long cruise. Book a grand voyage or world cruise to see if long-term sailing agrees with you. Select an itinerary that includes at least one stretch of several days at sea.
Talk with a financial planner to make sure living by cruising is within your means, and to get advice about managing your financial commitments, such as paying taxes and bills.
Talk with a doctor about your health and the best way to manage it at sea. Cruise ships are equipped with medical personnel and facilities, but they may not be able to meet all your needs. You may also need to purchase special health insurance that covers you while you’re sailing.
Talk with your loved ones so they understand what you’re planning to do. If you intend to sell your current home, you may need their help to sort through belongings, establish a new address on land, re-home pets, and more.
Talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor, who can provide more information and advice about living at sea; the ships and itineraries you may enjoy most; and how to qualify for frequent cruiser discounts.
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