The World is a residential cruise ship that continuously sails around the globe. The people who have purchased rooms on board the ship, which range from studios to three-room apartments, collectively own the ship. Among other things, this means that the roughly 200 residents have a say in the vessel’s yearly itinerary, and they also get to dictate what services are offered on board the ship. Basically, The World is a privately owned yacht – the world’s largest, in fact – but the ownership claim is spread among dozens of people who call the ship home, either part-time or full-time. There is something inherently interesting about living a life of permanent mobility at sea, so we have compiled the following overview of The World that explains the basics of the ship’s concept and how it is lived out by its residents.
The World is basically a realistic version of the wild “city at sea” dreams we have written about before, like Freedom Ship, which if built would be by far the largest vessel ever constructed, and Blueseed, the proposed floating extension of Silicon Valley that would allow foreign start-up founders to circumvent U.S. immigration requirements. The World implements a dramatically scaled down vision, one that only requires a cruise ship of modest size and resources.
However, one must understand the word “modest” in relative terms. The ship isn’t particularly large by the mega-standards of the cruise industry, but The World is nevertheless a substantial vessel. It is 644 feet long and 98 feet across, and it is served by about 260 people. These are high figures when you consider that only about 200 residents or guests (spread across 165 residencies) are on the ship at any given time. And regardless of the ship’s size, it is loaded with the trappings of luxury. The World is a grand vessel with a large pool, a library, a gym, two restaurants, and a market and deli, and in addition to the army of crew members that keep all these facilities running, there are employees who can cater to the individual whims of the residents, like a golf pro to help with your putting game.
The appeal of living on board The World is fairly obvious. You get to travel in luxury all over the globe, seeing more in a month or two than most people see in a lifetime. Every few days a new horizon beckons and a distant corner of the world can be explored. The view from your room is different almost every day, and it is always beautiful. And while you are engaged in this frantic travel agenda – which involves not only whatever activities you pursue individually, but also ambitious group “expeditions” planned by travel experts – you can go home and sleep in your own bed every night. Your apartment on the ship is essentially like any other apartment you might own; you can design it to your specifications, and you can stock it with whatever amenities and forms of entertainment you see fit. What’s more, you have easy access to all the features listed above (restaurants, bars, and so on) on any given night.
Of course, traveling the world in this style, and with so many employees at your service, is going to be ludicrously expensive. Although we weren’t able to track down official figures, it is safe to assume that this is one of those “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” situations. Many of the apartments cost millions of dollars, or at least common sense and gossip found online suggests as much. In any case, if endlessly sailing the world on The World is a life you can afford, congratulations on your success, and you can find more information about The World on its official site.