Residential cruise liners are the most luxurious way of life and travel. There are those who have money, and those who are just filthy rich. The former may have a grand house in the best ‘burb, but the latter will always manage to see you and raise you one. For them suburbia is so last season. Living a life of luxury, forever sailing the ocean blue aboard a residential cruise liner is their latest ‘must-have’ sensation.

There are only a few in the world, some currently sailing, some still in the planning stages, but they do exist. Sailing perpetually from port to port, residential cruise liners offer a totally different lifestyle, if somewhat ridiculously opulent. But then, if you could afford to, you’d probably be tempted to join this elite way of living, too.

5 Most Luxurious Residential Cruise Liners

Here we present five residential cruise ships that offer a whole new perspective on floating real estate.

MS the World

the world of of luxury cruise liners ships

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Since 2002, the largest residential cruise liner The World has been sailing the high seas, with an average of 150 passengers each trip – although the ship can carry many more. In all, there are 165 residences on board the 195 meter floating home, with accommodations ranging from studio apartments to three bedroom suites. All are privately owned, although the owners may not live aboard all year round, and collectively the passengers own The World. Not a bad piece of real estate, if you can afford it!

Every two to three years the ship circumnavigates the globe following a specific itinerary set out by the residents, who have chosen to live this extraordinary existence day in, day out. The itinerary includes one-off experiences and rare expeditions in the ports and countries they choose to stop at through the year. And life on board isn’t half bad, either. There are a number of restaurants, catering to different tastes, movie theaters and other entertainment venues, a supermarket, deli, shopping mall with top of the range boutiques, a casino, gym, and several other athletic venues. There are even Balinese style day beds on deck of the World cruise ship in which to relax if it all gets too much.

The Magellan

magellan cruise ship liner pictures

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The Magellan, once completed, will be a full third larger than The World, making it one of the biggest luxury liners on the water. CEO Randall Jackson envisioned the need for a luxurious residential ship while on a cruise through the Straits of Magellan with his family, and his imagination has run wild. Not only will the Magellan have the usual amenities available on ocean-going liners, there will also be an observatory, two putting greens, a retractable marina, a heliport and microbrewery. And when finished, the ship will measure 244 meters long, 32 meters wide, and feature 15 decks.

Though residences will start at $1.8 million and go up to $8 million for full ownership, once built, the Magellan offers people the unique opportunity to take time-share residences for a few weeks to a month for as little at $140k. We’ll have to wait a while longer though as building will only start when 60 percent of the units have sold.


utopia cruise ship liner

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Due for completion in 2014, Utopia has 190 luxury homes available, each with their own ocean view and ever-changing horizon. Prices range from as little as $4 million to $25 million for a permanent residence, though Utopia will also have around 206-room luxury hotel on board for those who just want a taster of life on the ocean waves. It’s also one of the few ships to allow residents’ pets on board – although there are limitations to size – and offers a private residents’ club. Amenities include casino, day spa, restaurants, multiple lounges, a sports lounge, putting greens, golf simulators, an outdoor cinema and a rock climbing wall.

What is most appealing about Utopia is the proposed itinerary. Formulated to take in some of the biggest events in the world; from Venice Biennale to Wimbledon, Cannes Film Festival to Rio Carnival, time spent traveling on Utopia would surely be fun, fun, fun… if a little exhausting.

Freedom Ship

freedom ship cruise liner

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The Freedom Ship is a unique concept in at-sea living; rather than being a single ship, it was intended to be an entire floating city, created atop a series of barges. And instead of being a permanent cruise with pit stops around the world, the Freedom Ship was to provide people with a place to live, work, play and shop, while sailing perpetually, carrying workers and residents as they go about their daily lives. The ultimate community at sea.

The concept was to include an on board library, schools, a first-class hospital and a large fleet of hydrofoils and commuter aircraft to ferry passengers to and from shore. However, construction has yet to begin, although, seemingly, the technology to build it exists. It might just be a dream too big. If completed, The Freedom Ship will be almost 1400 meters long, 230 meters wide and just over 100 meters high – four times longer than the Queen Mary. That is one of the biggest cruise liners.

The Four Seasons

four seasons cruise ship liner photo

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The Four Seasons residential cruise ship offers 112 permanent residences on 13 decks, starting at just $825,000 for a tiny studio up to the princely sum of $39 million for the more exquisite suites. Every resident will be credited $12,000 a year for food, drink and spa services, but that’s not all. The 220 meter-long ship also offers butler and guest suites for residents to purchase for the exclusive use of their guests and hired help, on top of the usual amenities you would expect on a luxury liner. Salons, saunas, spas; coffee bars, restaurants, wine bars and fitness centers are all available. A round-the-clock concierge service will allow passengers to have their on-shore activities arranged for them, and the ship’s marina will allow dive trips and shuttles to shore as and when guests need them.

Initial plans for The Four Seasons liner were to follow a two-year fixed itinerary, which was to take in stops at Antarctica, the Amazon and the 2012 Olympics in London, but considering 2012 is fast approaching and no ship building in sight, no doubt new plans will be afoot, which is always exciting.

This article was kindly written by John exclusively for . If you have any questions regarding the most luxurious residential cruise liners in the world, please leave them in the comments section below. We are always happy to receive your feedback.

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