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Permanent Cruising: More Condos Aboard Cruise Ships

By MarEx 2016-11-14 21:30:16

200 high-net-worth individuals maintain residences on the exclusive cruise ship The World, which functions as an ultra-high-end seafaring condominium. The residents select their destinations in consultation with the captain and travel as much as 40,000 nm per year. 

But coming soon, the discerning permanent cruiser may have more options. 

Genting Hong Kong's Crystal Cruises is building three new "Exclusive-class" ships at Lloyd Werft, which will feature nearly 50 full time residential suites each. 

Utopia Residences, headed by a real estate magnate from New Mexico and with The World's former VP of marine operations, is planning a 200-suite "floating community." And as the firm's name suggests, they envision an exclusive group of the well-heeled and highly cultured aboard one ship.

“We cater to the world’s most discriminating buyers,” said founder and chief ponce David Robb, speaking to Malibu Chronicle. 

The firm intends that the vessel would take residents to Cannes, Art Basel Miami, the Monaco Grand Prix and other jet-setting events. 

However, unlike The World, Utopia would have a "hotel side" – a completely segregated 200-suite area for "temporary visitors." 

"That keeps the ship alive," said Captain Ola Harsheim in a 2011 interview. "We have nightclubs, casinos, people traveling and meeting new people, but also privacy. Our residents want privacy."

Suites run from $4-35 million, with options between 1,500 and 5,700 square feet. Many floor plans include a separate service entry, and staff ratio is 1:1. Suites are fully customizable for early buyers. 

Utopia would also offer a philanthropy program, including fundraiser galas, non-profit partners and a philanthropy "Wall of Fame."

For those who would prefer to stay in the United States, River Cities Condos is planning a 200-passenger, barge-shaped residential vessel called the Marquette. If built, it would cruise the Mississippi, the Intracoastal Waterway and other contiguous rivers in the Midwest and the South. 

Genting has a longstanding building program with Lloyd Werft and has announced delivery dates for the Exclusive-class ships. River Cities and Utopia have not given an updated timeline for delivery; Utopia signed an agreement with Samsung Geoje in 2009 – Samsung's first and only cruise ship order – but AMEM's latest list of the world's cruise ship backlog shows that it may be delayed or canceled. AMEM gives a construction price of $1.1 billion for the 100,000 gt vessel.