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A New Residential Cruise Ship Will Let Travelers Live at Sea While It Sails Around the World Every 3 1/2 years — Take a Look at Its Condos Starting at $100,000 Residential condo cruises are a hot new trend, with several long-term operations setting sail soon.

By Brittany Chang

Key Takeaways

  • Villa Vie Residences says its residential cruise ship will travel the world every 3 ½ years from May 2024.
  • Travelers can buy a cabin starting at $100,000 or travel on segments of the itinerary.
  • Villa Vie's CEO says the company will close on a ship by the end of this year.
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Villa Vie Residences via Business Insider
Villa Vie Residences says its ship will begin its 3 ½-year circumnavigation of the world in May 2024.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

A new residential cruise ship startup has plans to begin sailing around the world in May 2024. But unlike the only one currently in operation (a luxury concept with multimillion-dollar condos), cabins on Villa Vie Residences' future ship start at $100,000.

Over the past year, condominium-at-sea concepts have flooded the market. Relatively new companies such as Victoria Cruises Line and Life at Sea Cruises say they'll give travelers the chance to spend years at sea sailing and living on refurbished ships. Both of those, however, have faced shake-ups such as postponements or a change in vessels.

Storylines is taking a different approach by building its own residential ship, though the company has had to delay its sail date as well.

As of now, The World is the only company like this in operation.

The World's ship sailing along a coastline away from a port city.

Some of the condos on The World's residential ship go on sale annually, starting at about $2 million. The World via Business Insider

And it's been operating for the past 20 years. But good luck purchasing a room: Ten to 12 of its luxury condos go on sale annually, each costing $2 million to $15 million.

But if all goes to Villa Vie's plan, the floating-condo industry could get its next competitor on May 15, 2024, when the startup's ship begins its global journey from Southampton, England.

A rendering of a stateroom on a cruise ship with a bed, desk, couch, and balcony.

Condos on Villa Vie's future ship start at $100,000. Villa Vie Residences

Villa Vie says that from there its vessel will embark on a 3 ½-year circumnavigation of the globe, stopping at 425 ports in 147 countries on its first go-around.

The itinerary includes travelers spending 87 days in Northern Europe, 105 days in North America, 68 days in Africa, and 76 days in South Asia.

A rendering of a balcony with two chairs on Villa Vie's ship

Villa Vie says its itinerary includes stops at 425 ports in 147 countries. Villa Vie Residences via BI

There'll also be multiday stops at some ports, including a 12-day dry dock scheduled in Singapore, the company's brochure says.

And there's no need to purchase a cabin just to join this trip — travelers can instead book 'pay-as-you-go' segments from 35 to 120 days.

A rendering of a stateroom on Villa Vie's upcoming cruise ship with a bed, couch, tables

Travelers who don't want to buy a cabin can reserve segments of the trip instead. Villa Vie Residences via BI

These start at $4,360 for the final 35-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona, Spain, to West Palm Beach, Florida.

Cruise giants such as Royal Caribbean also sell segments of their world cruises.

But for those who want to buy a residence, 15% of the ship's 630 cabins are available to purchase.

A rendering of a balcony with two chairs

Cabin owners are required to pay a monthly fee to live on the ship. Villa Vie Residences via BI

Prices range from $100,000 for an interior stateroom to $250,000 for one with a balcony. But this doesn't include monthly fees, which start at $3,500 for a double-occupancy interior stateroom.

It doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment — these residences can be leased or sold.

Irina Strembitsky, the startup's director of sales, says there'll be about 800 to 900 guests on board at any given time.

A rendering of a stateroom on Villa Vie's cruise ship with a bed, couch, tables.

The company says the ship will embark on this global sailing in May 2024. Villa Vie Residences via BI

The company has seen more than 50 buyers since sales launched in mid-September, according to a sales report viewed by Insider.

Both short-term itinerary and cabin buyers must secure their spot with a 10% refundable deposit.

On board, the startup says, travelers will have typical world-cruise comforts such as educational programs, restaurants serving global cuisine, pools, and live entertainment.

A rendering of a balcony on Villa Vie overlooking a sunset.

The ship is set to have amenities found on most cruise vessels, such as a pool and dining options. Villa Vie Residences via BI

But unlike most cruise ships, Villa Vie says the vessel will also have a business center with a library and offices (WiFi will be included) and a "culinary arts center" with programs such as cooking classes.

For furry friends, the ship's plans also include a "pet spa and resort."

A rendering of a balcony overlooking the ocean

Villa Vie has an all-inclusive pricing model. Villa Vie Residences via BI

And for the fitness enthusiast, there's set to be a gym and golf simulator. And in case you injure yourself, the company says there'll be a medical center with doctors and nurses as well.

Say goodbye to mopping your floor and doing the laundry: Travelers on the ship won't have to do the same chores they do on land.

A balcony cabin rendering on a cruise ship.

Like many world cruises, Villa Vie says it'll offer laundry service. Villa Vie Residences via BI

Several cruise lines have cut back on housekeeping services. On this residential ship, they're set to be offered weekly with an additional biweekly laundry service.

But like other residential cruise startups, there's one problem: Villa Vie is 7 months from embarkation and doesn't have a ship yet.

A rendering of a stateroom on a cruise ship with a bed, couch, desk.

The CEO expects to have a ship by the end of this year. Villa Vie Residences via BI

Mikael Petterson, the startup's founder and CEO, told Insider that on October 6, the company submitted an offer to purchase a vessel that's in service "from an active operator of several cruise ships."

Due to processes that come with buying a cruise vessel, Petterson said he expected to close on the ship by the end of this year.

But the CEO said he'd "built more than enough time" into the schedule to account for hiccups.

Rendering of oceanview cabin.

Residences range from interior to balcony cabins. Villa Vie Residences via BI

"We don't need as much of a runway that Life at Sea did," he said. "What we need is to make sure that we close on this ship, do it appropriately with proper funding, and not rely on customer deposits to do the trick."

Petterson, a cruise-startup consultant, has been a consistent figure in the residential-cruise industry. Before starting this company, he and Strembitsky worked with both Life at Sea Cruises and Storylines.

To fund this purchase, Villa Vie plans to use cash from private investors, loans, partners, and members of its Founders Club.

A balcony cabin rendering on Villa Vie's upcoming cruise ship

For remote workers, Villa Vie says its ship will have a business center. Villa Vie Residences via BI

It's a minimum $25,000 investment to join the latter, according to the company's brochure.

After the acquisition, the team is set to spend two to three weeks and several million dollars refreshing the vessel.

A digital rendering of Villa Vie cruise ship at sea.

Villa Vie Residences says its ship will begin its 3 ½-year circumnavigation of the world in May 2024. Villa Vie Residences via BI

This will include updates such as adding the golf simulator and a light update of the staterooms, the company says. Strembitsky said that because Villa Vie was looking to acquire a ship that was in operation and "good condition," this shouldn't be too big of a lift.

So, if all goes to plan, Villa Vie Residences could soon become a viable and significantly more affordable competitor to The World.

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