Years ago, I saw a documentary show about The World, a condo cruise ship. People with at least $10M net worth could buy a home aboard, and then see the literal world go by their windows.
When it first launched, it was both a condo and a regular cruise ship, offering nightly rentals for non-owners. The wealthy residents got understandably tired of cruise ship visitors, then bought the whole ship outright, kicking out the management company and running it themselves. These days, the ship is pretty private: CruiseMapper has old information, the CruiseCritic forum about The World doesn’t get a lot of chatter, and you can spy on its current location.
I was curious – what are residences going for these days?
The World’s web site, AboardTheWorld.com, is a little vague about pricing details, but buried deep in the site are a bunch of PDF brochures for various residences that have been for sale over the last couple of years. Each brochure has photos, floor plans, and pricing.
|Bedrooms||Sq feet||Price||Annual Fees||Brochure|
|2||1,391||$2,500,000 (50% share)||$231,076 (50%)||1010|
|2||1,391||$2,200,000 (50% share)||$231,076 (50%)||1007|
|2 + den||1,956||$7,890,000||$632,976||1014|
Those annual fees might seem steep, but remember that they include the ship’s fuel, maintenance, staff, supplies, permits, and a food & beverage credit allowance. (The World’s restaurants aren’t like an all-you-can-eat buffet on a regular cruise ship: you actually have to pay, just like regular restaurants.)
Okay, yeah, the fees are steep.
If you take the annual fees, and divide them by 52, you’ll see that you could actually go on cruises for just the price of the annual fee. Granted, the public cruise ships would be loaded with screaming Spring Breakers, and constantly going to the same destinations over and over, but…at least you’d be able to pick the destinations you want, when you want ’em, and only pay for the ship when you’re using it. (If that interests you, read the NYTimes’ story about retiring aboard a cruise ship.)
And if you think the purchase price is expensive, it gets worse: you’re not really buying it permanently. Ships have a finite lifetime, and eventually it’ll be scrapped – thus the initial condo purchases were 50-year leases.
What’s that? A little too rich for your blood? Yeah, me too – but good news! There’s a secret rental program – if you know somebody with a residence who can get you in, here are their nightly rental rates as of 2018:
- Studio 290-330 sq ft: $1,850/night
- Studio 328-337 sq ft: $1,800/night
- Studio 622-846 sq ft: $2,400/night
- 1-bedroom 580-674 sq ft: $2,200/night
- 2-bedroom 870-1,011 sq ft: $2,800/night
- 2-bedroom 1,106 sq ft: $3,100/night
- 2-bedroom 1,137-1,391 sq ft: $3,300/night
- 3-bedroom 2,472-3,242 sq ft: $6,100/night
<sigh> Guess I gotta keep working.