It's one thing to feel at home traveling. It's another to be at home traveling. Soon inveterate (and well-heeled) wanderers will be able to roam the world from the comfort of their own apartments. Slated to launch at the end of this year, the 644-foot ship World of ResidenSea will carry a small community of passengers on an endless cruise around the globe, timing port calls to coincide with the best weather and the biggest parties: the Cannes film festival, Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Monaco's Grand Prix.
Needless to say, this sort of thing isn't for pikers. The ResidenSea corporation expects to sell its 110 apartments mostly to a clientele of "affluent individuals and companies" around the world (about 70 percent are already spoken for). By oceangoing standards even the smallest units are lavishly spacious at 1,100 square feet, and include two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and lounge area, and a private balcony with a hot tub. Furnishings come in four styles, from the floral-print coziness of designer Nina Campbell to Norwegian naval team Yran & Storbraaten's understated masculinity. And then, of course, there's the view — the whole Atlantic, all the Pacific, and everything in between.
Along with its private apartments, the World will have 88 guest suites, several restaurants and bars, and two swimming pools, plus a spa, tennis court, driving range and putting green, retractable marina for water sports, and 24-hour medical center. The ship will spend much of its time — 250 days annually — on extended port visits. For the first two years it will stop in Europe and the Mediterranean, the United States, the Caribbean, and South America. After that, it's up to the passengers to decide where they want to go.
HOW CAN BUYERS BE ASSURED THEIR SHIP WILL ACTUALLY BE BUILT?
Although the idea of a peripatetic community-at-sea has been around a long time, until now few proposals have managed to become reality. ResidenSea, though, has serious backing: it was initiated by cruise-ship magnate Knut U. Kloster Jr. (former chairman and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Cruise Line, and Royal Viking Line) and its investors, including Silversea Cruises, are some of the biggest names in the business. If anyone can pull this scheme off, it's these folks.
World of ResidenSea, 305/264-9090, fax 305/264-5090; www.residensea.com.