A new development in the cruise ship industry is that of full-time residency. Currently there is only one residential cruise ship in operation, The World of ResidenSea. There are several more under development, including some with a Letter Of Intent for shipbuilding: Utopia Residences under Samsumg Heavy Industries, and Magellan under the STX-Europe yard of Saint Nazaire, France.
The cruise market together with flotel market represents the “natural” market where accommodation in vessels is offered to potential clients. While a flotel vessel is located for long periods of time in a fixed position (at harbor or in the middle of the ocean), a cruise vessel is normally sailing from one port to another daily. Therefore, cruise market seems not to be the perfect marine structure for the establishment of autonomous ocean communities.
Mikolaj Habryn’s presentation entitled “Residential ShipSteading” is now available online:
SEOUL, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Samsung Heavy Industries (010140.KS) said on Monday that it has won a $1.1 billion order from Utopia Residences, a U.S.-based cruise and hotel operator, to build a luxury cruise vessel.
The South Korean shipbuilder said in a statement it expects to sign the final contract during the first half of next year, with the ship due to be delivered by 2013.
I’m glad to see other people trying this area, we are actively investigating it as well, and the more players the better when it comes to getting acceptance for a new industry. It will be tough to make it work, though, a number of post-ResidenSea ventures have tried a condo cruise ship, and none have pulled it off. It is worth keeping in mind that investors, founders, and banks lost approx $100M to $200M on ResidenSea, out of a $270M or so investment!
We came, we toured, we partied, we left.
Before tonight’s Independent Institute reception on ResidenSea, we were informed that we needed to submit our names 48 hours in advance for background checks, and bring an ID. Perfectly reasonable for a ship full of deci and centimillionaires (if you can afford $300k+/year for a property you use 3mo/year on average, you probably have quite a bit o’ juice!). James & I figured we’d be shuttled straight to the reception, and only get to tour the ship if we made a friend onboard.
Thanks to a connection of Wayne’s, he & I got to talk to a long-time ResidenSea resident this afternoon, and I now know enormously more about the challenges of operating a condo cruise ship. Fascinating!
The challenges are daunting. ResidenSea, where the condo fees are like $200K/unit/year for the smaller units, is barely able to handle the logistical issues of traveling constantly, all over the world.
Two articles. The site is kinda spammy but the articles are good: