Luxury Living – at Sea

Do you ever wonder ‘how the other half lives’ (as Mom used to say)? Here’s a glimpse into how 165 families spent part of their wealth – to buy a mansion on a ship that sails continuously around the world.

Condo mansions on the ship.

In 2002, The World – a ship owned by ResidenSea set sail, offering condo style ownership in this five star world class resort ship. There are 110 two- to six-bedroom condominium apartments with kitchens – now sold out.

Owners are (according to the New York Times mostly self made, first generation wealth holders in their mid-fifties.

As the prices ranged from two million to over 7 million per mansion, and the association dues are hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, these floating luxury condos are not for the mere millionaires.

According to the Travel Channel documentary, ResidenSea: The Floating City, the minimum net worth of owners needs to be at least 5 million, with most actual owners having much more.

These owners can’t justify their spend as an investment either, although some sources try to refer to this as an alternative real estate investment. Even the ResidenSea on board sales manager, Jessica Estrada”The clock started ticking the day the ship was delivered,” said Jessica Estrada, the on-board sales manager. Points out that the purchase is a depreciating asset – a lifestyle, not a way to make money.”

What do these multi-millionaire ship owners get for their money?


Owners are vetted before the sale is made, to ensure no criminal background is evident. Visitors must be registered and wear a badge.

Since the owners are all mega millionaires, they feel more free to be themselves, and not have to guard against some of the jealousy, and even hatred of rich people they may encounter elsewhere.

At any one time there are only about 350 owners on board, with 300 crew members serving them.

Home luxury.

They get designs for their floating homes by world class designers. The homes include items such as individual kitchens encased in metal boxes (stylishly done) for fire protection. They can have a private spa on their private deck – ever take a jaccuzzi outdoors while cruising.

A chef is on call to come to their home to prepare a custom meal.

Common area amenities.

There are stores, Bali beds (where you can sleep under the stars on deck), and jewelry stores (one of which carries $12 million dollars in precious jewelry inventory).

Multiple gourmet restaurants with their own chefs are available, along with $900 a bottle wines and an after dinner cigar lounge where the choices are mostly Cuban and the most popular costs $80 per. All cigars come with counseling on choice, cutting, lighting, and a presentation ceremony.

Heck, even in the restaurants that serve buffet style, a server walks along with you to gather the food you point out to him!

The food is all made to order, gathered from local markets and kept in one of 16 refrigerated rooms, depending on that particular foods temperature and humidity needs.

The movie theatre is home to first run movies, live entertainment (local and crewed), and lectures. There is a library, and internet cafe (as well as continuous internet connectivity wherever the ship goes, available in the private residences).

The ship also sports a library, a church, an art gallery, a full size tennis court, and a golf deck.

The golf deck has a putting green with actual grass (unheard of on a ship due to the involved weight), a driving area, including the ability to drive into the ocean (banned since 1989 due to possible damage to sea life) using specially designed eco balls, a chipping green and a golf director – who sees to it that the ship hits the worlds greatest golf courses (so you can golf the real thing instead of using the on board golf simulator which holds simulations of a hundred of the world’s best courses).

Of course there is a casino and a pool. The pool has jet streams to swim against so you can get great exercise.

If the owner desires more sedentary activities, there is also a bridge room.

Port of call activities.

According to their website Around the World, the average time aboard for a resident is 4 months . If owners get tired of on board ship life, the aft deck folds down to form a dock from which to eat, swim, kayak, sail or boat.

World class adventures.

Residents help pick ports of call each year. The itinerary planners not only take owner responses into consideration, they review world events so they can be built into the schedule, including such things as the Grand Prix in Moneco. The British Open in Scotland and the Film Festival in Cann.

The ship spends more time in port than on the sea. It continuously circumnavigates the world, providing special expeditions and one of a kind enrichment programs on board to prepare owners and visitors for each port visited.


The crew of 300 is trained to handle not only luxurious living, but also the safety of all on board. They have their own deck, which is off limits to residents (and apparently also to the Travel Channel’s cameras). It is Deck 4, known by the crew as Boogie street.

The crew has their own dining room and gym and each has a private individual cabin on board.

If your bucket list includes traveling the world in a 5 star luxury ship, apply for crew membership!

If you are super rich and want to buy in, re-sale is your best bet for this particular ship, however, rumor has it that there are others on the drawing board.

If you were a self-made multi-millionaire, would you spend millions of your money to live 4 months of the year in your own condo on a luxury ship?  Do you think it is wrong for these owners to spend their own money this way?


  • Aboard the World website
  • The New York Times
  • Travel Channel documentary, ResidenSea: The Floating City

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