Could you live full time on a cruise ship? What if you could check into an ocean-going ship, with your own personal cabin on a continuous world circumnavigation and never leave? What if you never had to go home? If, the cruise ship was actually your home?
For the 1,200 or so residents of MV Narrative the world-cruising lifestyle is soon to become their reality. The cruising lifestyle appeals to those with a love of travel obviously, but MV Narrative promises a floating community with a passion for exploring the world at leisure.
EDITORS NOTE: (18/9/19) Storylines at Sea have announced they are not purchasing and refurbishing a former cruise ship, and are instead commissioning an ambitious new build. There is no timeline announced but one imagines this puts residents plans, who have paid deposits and planned to move onboard in mid 2020, a few years behind. TBL hs requested information from Storylines without success.
“We’re not guests onboard the ship, we own it” say the soon-to-be residents who have bought into the dream of cruising the world endlessly.
“We’re not tourists, we’re citizens of the world, travelling full time with our own home onboard the ship.”
Storylines have created the concept for living onboard a cruise ship full time.
Cruising as a full-time lifestyle
For the 1,200 or so residents onboard the proposed MV Narrative, this lifestyle is not a dream, it’s soon to be their reality. Buying into the cruising lifestyle, these residents will move onboard next year and settle into their newly purchased condominiums for life. Though technically, ‘life’ in this case is 21 years which equates to the longevity of the MV Narrative before she is retired to the maritime scrap metal heap.
But, what happens after 21 years? Details are a little sketchy and Storylines says they will assist residents transfer to the next ship, but costs involved havent been disclosed. We put a number of questions to Storylines asking for more information but have not had a response.
The allure of cruising full time is pretty attractive, trading the suburbs for the sea, cityscapes for seascapes, smoggy, polluted air for the salt-laden stuff that cleanses your lungs as you suck it in.
What’s the backstory to Storylines?
Storylines was founded by Shannon Lee and Alister Punton, both Gold Coast real estate entrepreneurs who came up with the idea of living aboard a cruise ship over dinner while holidaying together three years ago. Before long they were scouring the globe, looking for the right ship to turn their dream into a reality. Lacking cruise industry insight and knowledge, in 2018 Storylines formed an agreement with Norwegian Cruise Lines CEO Kevin Sheehan and signed a deal on the Costa Grand Classica.
The 220m long Costa Grand Classica is currently sailing the Caribbean and, in her new guise will be renamed MV Narrative. She will enter a shipyard for a complete re-design and refurbished into 670 luxury cruise condominiums. The refurbished MV Narrative is scheduled to launch in Italy in June 2020 as a liveaboard cruise ship for approx. 1,200 excited new residents.
About the ship MV Narrative
MV Narrative is 220m long, 31m wide and has 13 decks with 670 residences spread over 7 decks. Residences are for sale across multiple categories ranging in price from USD350k to USD3.3m.
Inclusive monthly owner assessment fees are additional and start from USD70 per person per day. This fee covers many things including meals, drinks and entertainment, home meal delivery, laundry, wifi, ship maintenance as well as other maritime expenses that keep the ship operating (such as insurance and dock fees)
Once the refit is complete MV Narrative will be home to:
- Ten dining venues
- Eight bars
- Micro brewery
- Market Garden
- Spa, Wellness and Beauty Centre
- Theatre and Casino
- Two swimming pools
- Library and Art Studio
- Banking facility
- Chef’s Table Market Galley – a shared residents cooking and entertaining facility
How does cruise cabin ownership work?
Residents buy into a unit onboard the ship, outlaying for the initial purchase price plus an ‘all-inclusive’ monthly assessments.
1. MV Narrative is guaranteed for 21 years from her maiden voyage in 2020
2. You may sell your Home at Sea at any time you choose
3. You may rent out your Home at Sea when you are ashore
Storylines manages all purchase and rental agreements for owners who want to onsell their units or place them into the ‘rental pool’ when they are not onboard. This ‘Guest at Sea’ program is similar to renting out your apartment when you are off travelling, though with one major difference. Owners don’t have a choice of agents when it comes to selling or renting their properties as Storylines manages all arrangements.
Fiona Harper of Travel Boating Lifestyle travelled to the Philippines as a guest of Tourism Philippines with a group of seven future MV Narrative residents, road-testing some of the curated experiences that residents will experience when the ship docks in the Philippines on her circumnavigation.