A new company, Life At Sea Cruises has opened bookings for the world’s longest cruise where guests can live and work at sea.
Onboard the MV Gemini, guests will travel around the world for three years in an all-inclusive trip starting from US$29,000 (AUD$44,490) or around AUD$121 per night.
On the company’s website, Life At Sea Cruises has created an international tax haven for those wanting to live at sea for the next three years.
“We have developed a first of its kind Business Center at Sea with 2 Meeting Rooms, 14 Offices, a Business Library, Relaxing Lounge and a Café. Loaded with Screens, Conference Equipment, WIFI, Printers and staff ready to assist. Making money at Sea has never been easier, and with the Tax Benefits of an International Residence, you may keep more of what you earn,” the company’s website says.
The line has opened bookings for the voyage which will leave this November from Istanbul on the MV Gemini. Based on initial interest and experience, Managing Director Mikael Petterson is expecting Australians to make up 5-10% of the ship’s guests.
Based on the ship’s capacity, this means Mr Petterson is expecting between 50 and 100 Australians to snap up the opportunity to spend three years exploring the world via cruise ship.
Of this brand-new product, perhaps the most enticing hook is the extremely reasonable prices, with prices beginning from about $44,490 per year or just $121 per day for an inside 130 square feet cabin.
Also unique to the voyage is the focus on remote workers, with the ship being home to a huge business centre, set up with meeting rooms, StarLink internet, 14 offices, a lounge, a business library, and more for cruisers to connect to their workplaces around the world.
The ship has 400 cabins, with rooms for up to 1074 passengers, who will enjoy a state-of-the-art spa and wellness centre, all-inclusive premium dining and beverages, 24-hour medical service with free visits, gym and fitness facilities, laundry service, onboard entertainment, and all the other big ship amenities you would expect.
The cruise itself will hit all seven continents and a massive 375 destinations, circumnavigating South America before heading to Central America and the Caribbean, exploring North America and Hawaii, journeying through North Asia, coming to the South Pacific and Australia, going through Asia and the South China Sea, crossing the Indian Ocean to Africa and then finishing with a complete exploration of Europe.
With Life at Sea not being a well-known name to Australian cruises, Cruise Passenger asked Mr Petterson all the big questions about the first-of-its-kind cruise.
What led to the creation of this three-year world cruise?
“World cruising is a growing segment, and with most operators selling out years in advance we know there is strong demand for world cruises in general. Our product is focused a little different from the big operators in that we have our business center with free WIFI allowing our residents to work from anywhere in the world. We also have other perks like an onboard pharmacy and free medical visits which puts a big stress at ease for the long-term traveler. Combine this with our family and friends program which is a first in the industry where you can invite your friends and family to come and stay with you for free.”
Do you have to sail for the whole three years?
“Currently we only have the three-year cruise for sale but we have a matchmaking program where residents can buy a cabin together for different seasons and periods.”
Are you expecting many passengers to be working while on the ship?
“We have a very positive response on offices and workspace, so we expect the business centre to be one of the busier areas of the ship. That said, we also expect our fair share of semi to completely retired guests as well.”
What level of luxury should be expected on the ship?
“We offer every luxury you can imagine with on-demand services with location services like Room Service or drinks to the observation deck. We also offer significant perks from free WIFI and medical visits to a Pod system for embarkation which is really a first in the industry. It is difficult to exactly compare us to an existing standard because there really aren’t any products like ours, but we do target the upper premium market and have adjusted our onboard product to satisfy their needs.”
Family and friends can visit for free, how does this work?
“Our guests are free to welcome their friends and family any time through our customer service desk. Friends and Family are welcome to stay in our guests’ cabin or stay in a friends & family cabin on a first come first serve basis. Our ship does have limited capacity, so there are limitations. We don’t charge anything for this service, but there may be port taxes and regulatory limitations in certain areas.”
There are 288 overnight stays, will you also be doing multi-night stays?
“Yes, as a rule of thumb, the more there is to see in a port the longer we stay. For example, we stay for 3 days in places like Rio de Janeiro and Lima but stay 6 days in a port like Beijing. Many Islands with less to do we stay 1-2 days.”
What would you say to encourage someone to book this cruise?
“This is more of a way of life than a vacation. We offer the only realistic cruise product where you can live, cruise, work, and explore from your home at sea.”