The MV Narrative residential cruise seeks to be an affordable option

(CNN) – For many cruise lovers, living on a ship permanently is a dream they have long pursued, albeit a highly unrealistic one.

Extended global cruises have become more popular, with the announcement of new voyages despite the pandemic, and several luxury residences at sea have entered the market in recent years.

However, these experiences often come at an incredibly high price, which ultimately means that many cruise fans simply cannot afford to get on board.

But a new “residential community at sea” called Storylines hopes to turn this around by offering a “more affordable” opportunity to live on a cruise ship for an extended period of time, or even permanently.

Launched in 2024, Storylines will offer fully furnished one- to four-bedroom homes, along with two-story studios and penthouses, aboard its next ship, with prices ranging from $ 400,000 to $ 8 million.

Homes are available as direct purchases, although a limited number of 12 and 24 year rentals are also offered.

Community at sea

residential cruise

A rendering of the upcoming MV Narrative ship from Storylines, a “residential community at sea.”
Credit: Storylines

According to its founder and CEO, Alister Punton, an undisclosed number of the 547 units have already been sold, and the residences are expected to sell out by the end of 2022.

Those who purchase a home aboard the next MV Narrative cruise ship, which is being built in Croatia, will receive in exchange an all-inclusive life at sea and an array of impressive services.

The cruise ship will feature 20 restaurants and bars, a microbrewery and three swimming pools, as well as a 10,000-book library, a movie theater, a state-of-the-art wellness center, a bowling alley and a solar-powered hydroponic farm.

The Narrative is scheduled to begin a 1,000-day maiden voyage across six continents in late 2024, with the ship spending an average of three to five days in each port.

“What a typical cruise line could do in a month or three weeks, we will take three to four months to do,” Punton tells CNN Travel.

“This is how we extend the experience. And they [los residentes] they have the opportunity to comment on the next destination of the ship. “

In addition to the scheduled stops, there will also be a series of “resident choice” days throughout the month when residents will be able to choose their port of call.

Those with a lease will receive occupancy rights for a specified term up to the full life of the ship – 12, 24 or 60 years, Punton says.

All inclusive cruise

The residences were devised by the Swedish interior design company Tillberg Design.
Credit: Storylines

“With the purchase, the resident owners obtain a perpetuity clause, which means that they can move to a new residence on a future ship without the need for an additional purchase, which makes it a long-term investment,” he adds, before to explain that homes can be rented or sold “just like any other real estate investment.”

In addition to the purchase price, residents will have to pay an “accommodation fee”, which ranges between US $ 65,000 and US $ 200,000 per year per unit and covers expenses such as food and maintenance.

While it certainly won’t be affordable for everyone, fees are considerably lower than at other floating complexes like The World, where homes can cost around $ 14 million and annual maintenance fees run as high as $ 1.4 million. .

“Once the installments are paid, you can put aside your personal wallet or credit cards and save for the rest of the year, if you want to,” adds Punton.

Although cruise ships have long been associated with the older generation, this has changed in recent years as more and more young people are drawn to the world of cruising.

According to Punton, the age ranges of those who have already deposited are incredibly wide, and entry-level residences have sold as well as those at the higher end of the scale – the current median price is $ 897,000.

“We have retirees, children and everyone else, including young digital nomads,” says Punton.

“And many families are coming on board. In this area, they are those in their 30s and 40s and young children. We have the whole range.”

Sustainable initiatives

Owners can rent their residences when they are not in use.
Credit: Storylines

To serve those with children, Storylines offers a comprehensive educational program, as well as many educational spaces. There will also be a team of medical staff, including doctors, nurses, and physical therapists on board, along with a pharmacy and post office.

Although potential Storylines residents are interviewed to make sure they “fit in well in the community” and “understand all the founding principles,” Punton stresses that there is no typical resident as such.

“Storylines is a true community, and a community needs everyone,” he says. “It takes different types of people from all walks of life to form that community.”

Owners can invite guests on board, and have the option of renting their residences when not in use.

The environmental impact of cruise ships has been a controversial topic in recent years, and Punton stresses that the ship is being designed with this in mind.

The Storylines will feature several sustainability initiatives once afloat, such as a solar-powered hydroponic unit that will grow some of the produce used on board, as well as waste-to-energy technologies.

“We will be without a doubt the greenest cruise ship in the world,” says Punton. “It’s not just about the fuels we use [el barco funcionará con gas natural licuado (GNL), uno de los combustibles marinos no eléctricos más limpios].

“You also have to consider all the other things. It’s about how we stock up on food, how we store it in bulk, how we grow it on board the ship, how we convert waste into energy, how we limit the use of plastics and all that. of things”.

Custom designed cruise

Storylines residential cruise

Storylines’ next MV Narrative cruise ship is currently being built in Croatia.
Credit: Storylines

When the project started in 2016, the initial plan was to refurbish an older ship to a residential ship. However, after a couple of missteps with existing ships that were not entirely suitable, it was decided that building a new ship would ensure the best possible outcome.

Although Storylines has been around for several years, the team has noticed a shift in demand as a result of the global pandemic, with a growing number of families, along with executives, showing interest.

Since then some modifications have been made to the design plans, with the addition of new residences specifically tailored to this market.

“In the last three months, we have released a new set of updates to the original deck plans, including five new types of residences complete with office spaces, larger and deeper balconies and more entertaining space,” adds Punton.

Storylines has already built a strong community of followers, and some of its early buyers are now known as the Founders Circle.

According to Punton, the team is constantly in contact with the apartment owners, in particular the Founders Circle, regarding the design plans, as well as the facilities on board, to make sure they are happy with the end result. .

“It is a very important component for us,” he explains. “Because the ship is really theirs at the end of the day. They are the ones who are going to live in it, and it has to be built for them.”

The launch of Storylines is slated for the same year as the upcoming Somnio residential yacht, which is described as “the most exclusive address in the world.”

A 222-meter-long shipboard condo will cost buyers a minimum of $ 11 million, with sizes ranging from 148.6 to 603.8 square meters.

At 196 meters in length, The World is currently the world’s largest private residential ship, with a mix of studios and one- to three-bedroom apartments available on board.

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