This is an exclusive tour of the world's most luxurious, lavish and lush cruise-liner heading to our shores.
A stunningly opulent cruise ship, the World of ResidenSea was launched in Oslo in March, 2002. It provides an unparalleled luxury travel experience and an exclusive lifestyle for residents and guests who share similar passions and pastimes. Basically it is a private retreat for those who settle for nothing but the very best.
Nothing has been overlooked on the vessel. The feeling is one of being enveloped in luxury, as though you are sailing on your private yacht or relaxing at your villa. The ship, commonly called simply the ResidenSea, cost US$264 million to build and is just completing its first year at sea. During that year it will have visited 150 ports in 45 countries. It is intended that itineraries will vary each year.
The ship weighs 43,000 tonnes and is just under 200m long. It has 12 decks and carries 976 people, made up of residents, guests and crew. Its ratio of 41.5 square metres per passenger makes it the roomiest of any cruise ship afloat today and the staff-to-passenger ratio is 1:1.
Residents' details are kept strictly confidential, but there is a very general outline of those who live on or visit the ship. They are mostly well-educated entrepreneurs, most of whom have made their own fortunes. Generally they are semi-retired, but most can and do work from their on-board offices. Seventy percent are aged under 65, the average age being 59. Around 40 percent are North American, 40 percent from Continental Europe and the UK and the rest from Africa, Asia and Australia.
Owners, or residents, tend to be businesspeople rather than celebrities, and guests, as opposed to residents, tend to be aged 40 plus.
Ownership of an apartment is actually a 50-year leasehold, the time period being the ship's life expectancy. This lease costs between $4 million and $13 million, with four to five percent each year on top of that for maintenance, staff and entertainment. To be an approved buyer, you need to have at least one permanent land-based residence and no criminal record … and a lot of money!
There are a total of 110 two, three and six bedroom apartments, each with gourmet kitchen, dining room, living room, personal telephone and fax, movies on demand, washing machine, dryer, en-suite marble bathrooms, balcony with spa and the finest accessories, including Wedgwood china, Christofle flatware and Frette linens.
Four design schemes by international decorators vary from formal European, British traditional, Italian contemporary and Scandinavian.
Currently, 25 percent of the apartments are for sale.