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A new ship promises affordable full-time living at sea for peasants like us

PortandTerminal.com, October 24, 2019

MIAMI, FL – A company called Storylines is building what they call the “world’s greenest cruise ship” which will be home to the world’s first affordable residential community at sea. “Affordable condos at sea” is probably part of their elevator pitch and if it is, we love it.

The company announced that it is now taking pre-sale deposits for its first new-build ship, a sleek and luxurious vessel that uses clean LNG fuel.  Scheduled to debut in 2023, Storylines will welcome residents who are ready to start a “new chapter of their lives”, building an home-at-sea for a global journey of discovery and cultural immersion.

Living the dream

Up until now, The World (pictured above) has been the only entirely residential cruise liner in the world. It’s only for the super-rich though. Prices for a studio onboard start at $3 million

Many cruise-lovers fantasize about living on ships for extended periods of time—or even permanently.

To realize this dream, some travellers book extended world cruises (generally 90-120 days in length); others opt for sequential back-to-back cruises on one or more cruise lines.

Since its launch in 2002, an opulent condo-style yacht called The World has offered another possibility: the purchase of multimillion-dollar “residences at sea.”  

Purchasing a home onboard the cruise liner “The World” though is out of reach for most people. Dubbed a “condo cruise liner,” every one of the 165 luxury apartments onboard — worth between $3 million for a studio and $15 million for a three-bedroom pad — are owned by residents who must have a net worth of $10 million. At least! Ouch.

Up until now, The World has been the only entirely residential cruise liner in the world.

Storylines is disrupting the residential cruise liner concept

Artist’s rendering of the new Storylines residential cruise ship

Enter Storylines into the picture. The company’s plan is to offer the dream of living at sea at an affordable price point. It is offering residences for sale at a promotional launch starting price-point of $297,000.

The cruise ship features 627 fully furnished residences across multiple categories, with units from 237 sq. ft. to 635 sq. ft. and price points ranging from $352,235 to more than $8 million for a premium two-level penthouse suite for up to six residents.

“Our aim is to disrupt and revolutionize travel and lifestyle options for citizens-of-the-world who appreciate adventure,”

Shannon Lee, Co-founder, Storylines

Storylines Co-founder, Alister Punton

Every condo owner knows that it’s the monthly condo fees you need to beware of when buying. Alister Punton, Co-Founder of the company had this to say about monthly costs beyond the purchase price of buying a condo on the vessel.

“Monthly fees break down primarily by room size and are payable quarterly. All-inclusive monthly fees begin as low as $1,928 per month per person (twin-share). These fees include dining and entertainment as well as the costs of running the ship, including port fees, crew, gratuities and maintenance. When residents are not aboard, their residential unit can be rented out, providing a lucrative return to offset their own lifestyle.”

When residents are not aboard, their residential unit can be rented out, providing a lucrative return to offset their own lifestyle.

#AirBnB are you listening?

Despite offering a much more attractive price-point for potential buyers, the Storylines cruise ship doesn’t skimp on features. Artist renderings of some of the vessel’s features and cabins follow below.

The company says that when launched the vessel feature over 20 onboard restaurants, a movie theatre, a garden farm, library and even a micro-brewery.

The ship’s itinerary is fixed for the first 3½ years with plans to complete a full circumnavigation of the globe in that time. The company says that it plans to spend 3-5 days in most ports.

Will Storyline’s proposition work?

PortandTerminal.com thinks that Storyline’s proposition is going to work and so do others in the maritime industry.

Why?

For one, if you can actually purchase a home and live at sea at the prices Storyline is offering you can live a better life for less than it would cost to live in cities like New York, London and Tokyo to name a few. Obviously you would need to be flexible in terms of your work arrangements, but many of us these days.

Secondly, as everyone knows in our industry, cruising is huge and seemingly unstoppable in its growth. In 2018, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reported that 28.5 million people in the world paid for a cruise. If just 1% of that total number of people were to want to live at sea according to Storyline’s proposition then that would give the company 285,000 potential buyers. They only need 627 people with “average” wealth though to make their idea work. That seems like a no-brainer to us.

We continue to hear from cruise travelers that there’s a strong interest in retiring at sea—to be able to take a passion and truly immerse themselves in it

Colleen McDaniel, Editor-in-Chief of Cruise Critic

And finally, the company has also stated that a team of doctors, pharmacists, nurses, physical therapists and a range of other remedial and ancillary medical professionals will be aboard to care for its residents. That promise will definitely resonate with retired (or retiring) baby boomers who are looking for a life change but are conscious of their changing medical requirements.

Targetting “woke” younger buyers, Storylines is trying to do all of the right things regarding its CO2 footprint. PortandTeminal.com has lately not been a fan of the cruise industry, but Storylines looks ready to break out of that dirty tourism business model by fueling its vessel with LNG.

Powering its vessel using LNG is smart on many different levels. So long as Storylines is sensitive to the growing back-lash globally amongst cruise ship destinations to cruise ship “invasions” and the havoc that they inflict on locals, we have little doubt that they will succeed.

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