The first residential cruise ship


Have you ever dreamed of owning a luxury home in a fabulous holiday destination? Or sailing around the world from the comfort of your own private yacht? Both options sound idyllic but the reality may not live up to your expectations.

Being anchored to the same spot in a holiday home (along with the upkeep, maintenance and unexpected repair costs) could soon become tiresome. On the other hand, the sailing lifestyle can be pretty challenging when you consider all the physical work involved, and it’s not really an option for the elderly or infirm.

Fortunately, there’s a solution. First launched in 2002, The World Residences at Sea offers its residents the very best of both worlds. It combines the benefits of an upscale, individual home that’s full of your favourite creature comforts as well as the priceless freedom to enjoy infinite travel around the globe. It will take you to some of the planet’s most exciting and exotic destinations, meaning you’ll never have a dull day on board.

So what’s it like living on The World?

You can choose from studios, one, two or three-bedroom residences, all with their own private terrace from which you can enjoy breath-taking ocean vistas, perfectly paired with scenery from the wonderful destinations on The World’s endless voyage.

The carefully constructed 2019 itinerary promises residents an extraordinary expedition. They began the year on the spectacular shores of South Africa and are set to call at 91 ports around the world, sailing some 41,500 nautical miles before exploring the cities, temples and gardens of South East Asia at the end of the year and celebrating the New Year in fantastic Hong Kong. 

In 2020, the voyage starts in Hong Kong, and heads to Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and then onto the Mediterranean in June.

Residents of The World experience a truly bespoke lifestyle, waking up to a different view from their private terrace every day. Occupancy tends to sit at around 150-200 residents at any one time, ensuring an intimate onboard atmosphere. 

What’s more, as a resident you’ll become part of an exclusive international community. You’ll take part in a journey that crosses every ocean and continent in the world – a great way to start ticking off that bucket list! Best of all, as a resident of The World you’ll enjoy the freedom to head back to your private haven whenever you want. Here, you can cook, open a bottle of Champagne or simply relax in the privacy of your own terrace, just as you would in any traditional home back on dry land.

What’s the food like on The World?

Don’t feel like cooking? No problem! Choose to dine out at one of The World’s six exclusive restaurants or arrange for one of the ship’s skilled onboard chefs to prepare your meal in your own kitchen.  The World’s chefs create global cuisine using locally-sourced, fresh produce from international markets they visit while the ship is in port. Why not join them – it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn about a destination’s culture while improving your own culinary knowledge!

Residents can discover new mixology creations or enjoy their favourite classic cocktails in one of the many on-board bars and lounges. These include the Pool Bar, Regatta Bar and Cigar Club. When it comes to wine, The World boasts a three-star status, having won The World of Fine Wine’s accolade of Best Ship on three consecutive occasions.  

The World’s Beverage Manager and Head Sommelier invite local winemakers on board to meet residents. They lead discussions on topics such as wine production and pairing. The individual tastes and preferences of The World’s residents are taken into account when the Head Sommelier is selecting new wines to be served during dinner. Meanwhile back on shore, the Culinary Team organises regular visits to some of the most unique and exclusive vineyards in the world. 
A table on a cruise ship laid out nicely with the sunset behind

What is there to do on board The World?

With plenty to discover on board The World, days at sea can be spent doing whatever you love most. Stay active with sports, fitness and recreational activities – from golf (including outdoor putting greens and a state-of-the-art golf simulator!) to diving. 

On-board clubs and resident professionals will help you prepare to explore outstanding golf courses and lesser-known diving sites all over the world. In some ports, residents have the opportunity to sail and kayak straight off the ship’s Marina deck!

Play a game of tennis on the ship’s regulation-size court, join a yoga or exercise class or take a refreshing swim in one of the ship’s pools. For something a little less strenuous, check out the latest blockbusters in Colosseo, The World’s full-size on-board cinema, or take part in a game of billiards, darts or table tennis with your fellow residents.

Spend a blissful day of total relaxation at The World’s on-board spa, which offers residents the perfect place to relax. The ship’s Wellness team is ready and waiting to discuss your health and wellbeing goals and qualified to arrange the perfect nutrition and fitness plan to help you achieve them.

If you fancy a night under the stars in an exotic destination, why not take a snooze on one of the sought-after Bali beds? Alternatively, spend a little quiet time reflecting in Harmony, The World’s non-denominational faith area.

Take a history lesson

Enhance your on-board experience with The World’s Enrichment Programme which promises to take you on a journey of cultural, culinary and educational discovery. Learn more about the history, events and traditions of each destination before you even arrive. Talks from expert speakers, wine tastings and live performances promise to teach you everything you need to know about local life, truly enhancing your travel experience. 
The World seeks to bring cultural highlights on board – in the past, these have included ballet, folk dancing and even the New Zealand haka!  And if you’re a lover of the arts, The World offers workshops led by craft experts, including members of the Royal Academy of the Arts. 

For an inside view of life on-board The World, check out the Living Journey, a compilation of diary entries and images from the ship’s residents and staff contributors.

How expensive is it to live on The World cruise ship?

Just to make things clear – The World is not a cruise ship in the traditional sense, it’s the biggest privately-owned residential liner on the planet! Owning a home on board The World enables residents to combine all of their favourite home comforts with a luxurious travel lifestyle, including top-notch dining, bespoke tours and inspiring enrichment activities.

As a resident of The World, you’ll become a co-owner of the ship itself, allowing you the opportunity to help shape the ship’s annual itinerary, in-depth expeditions and the Enrichment Programme.

However, in order to grab a slice of the pie, there are stringent guidelines in place for potential residents.  Prospective owners must have a minimum of $10million (approximately £8.5million) in assets and gain the support of at least two current residents of The World before they’ll be allowed to move in. There’s also a series of background checks to pass, not to mention up to $900k (about £750k) per year in maintenance fees for some of the larger residences.

So sadly, not a realistic option for many of us, but there are other less expensive options available for people who want to live their lives at sea.

How much is the World Residences at Sea?

In May 2019, this unique three-bedroom home aboard The World was marketed for just under £9 million (May 2019). Fully furnished, the property boasts a beautifully-appointed lounge/dining area as well as a superb wraparound terrace – the perfect spot to entertain your new-found friends.
In addition to the upfront costs, you’ll need to pay annual maintenance costs of up to about £750k per year.

How much would it cost to retire on a cruise ship?

A large cruise ship sailing off into the sunset on a large blue ocean
Most people approaching retirement have daydreamed about the luxury lifestyle they’d like to become accustomed to in their later years.  Haute cuisine, exciting new experiences and global travel often feature heavily on the list, but most of us struggle to believe we could ever afford such an extravagant lifestyle. 

As an alternative, some choose to take up a permanent residence in an elegant hotel where they enjoy high standards of accommodation and service (but ultimately remain in one place). Others opt for the rather more adventurous option to travel the world. This, however, can very quickly become tedious with flying in and out of airports and onward travel to (often sub-standard) accommodation.

If you long to experience the best of both worlds, why not cruise into a life of retirement luxury living on board a cruise ship?  Consecutive cruises, or taking up permanent residence on one single ship, are both viable options. They offer wonderful cosmopolitan lifestyles with a plethora of fine restaurants, top-notch entertainment, leisure activities and opulent spas all available right on your doorstep.

People embarking on a ‘retirement cruise’ with Bolsover Cruise Club for example can enjoy annual experiences such as visiting five of the world’s continents. You could spend almost a month in the Caribbean, shop to your heart’s content at Europe’s Christmas markets or ring in the New Year in style on the Canary Islands – all from the luxury of some of the world’s most spectacular ships!  

The daily price of living aboard a cruise ship is likely to be around £100 (around £34,349 per year), so if you have a generous pension pot this lifestyle really does represent affordable luxury – more affordable than checking into The World at least!

Could long-term cruising cost less than a retirement home?

In a nutshell, yes, cruising can cost less than a traditional retirement home living. Research conducted by back in 2018 revealed that a 120-day cruise across five continents starts from just £8,279 per person (based on two sharing) – that’s a cost of only £73 each per day. 

This includes basic food and drink, all utilities and top-quality live entertainment – and of course you’ll get to see all the exciting stops along the way.
On the other hand a residential care home in the UK costs around £88 per day – an extra cost of almost £1,500 for the same 120-day period.

How much is a year-long cruise?

According to a study by Planet Cruise, living on a cruise ship can work out “cheaper than living on land.” This 2016 study revealed how Londoners choosing to spend 52 weeks cruising on a series of 12 month-long cruises (during 2017) would spend around £24,000, saving a massive £5,712 on their average London living costs of £29,712. Certainly something to think about!

And let’s face it – waking up to new and exciting global destinations everyday sounds much more appealing than another dreary winter’s day in London!

Cruise travel insurance

Whatever type of cruise you’re planning, consider arranging specialist cover for your journey in the form of cruise travel insurance. It provides cover in a similar way to standard travel insurance but in addition to this, it’s also designed to cover events you wouldn’t normally expect from a traditional holiday. For example, a cruise travel policy can offer missed port coverage, such as when your cruise cannot dock at a port due to inclement weather, or protection in situations where you or your named travellers are quarantined (due to health concerns). 

Cruise travel insurance can be tailored to your personal requirements, taking into account pre-existing medical conditions, destinations and the activities you’re going to be taking part in. It can cover claims for cancellations or curtailment, personal items (including money and baggage), delayed departures and medical cover. Plus, there are optional extras like travel disruption cover and excess waivers.

Having comprehensive cruise travel insurance means you can get on with enjoying your high seas adventure without the worry of covering the expense if anything goes wrong.

Call our friendly team today to get a quote for your next adventure.