by Stella Ong


Torn between seeing the world and buying a home? There's a way to combine both.

Cruise line corporations like Carnival Corp ($CCL) and Norwegian Cruises ($NCLH) offer a unique experience. During your trip, you can help yourself to unlimited food, enjoy shows and activities, choose between multiple activities anytime and, of course, most importantly, stop by different parts of the world. It’s a fleeting holiday many people wish was longer. 

Well, it’s actually possible to make that desire a reality: residential cruise liners do exist.

The World’ was the pioneer. Launched back in 2002, this ‘condo cruise liner’ is nearly 200m long and houses 165 apartments that have sold for between US$3 million and US$15 million. Like a floating suburb, the ship contains several amenities that residents pay an additional annual fee to run. Residents also decide where the ship goes – since launching, it’s been to over 1,000 destinations across 120 countries.

If that sounds appealing, you’ll be glad to hear The World is no longer the only one. Set to depart in 2024, ‘Storylines’ is selling 547 residences at prices starting from a more affordable US$400,000. Meanwhile, the Somnio is launching next year as the ‘world’s first yacht liner’, housing 39 apartments at a minimum price of US$11 million. This one will have a wine cellar with a 10,000-bottle capacity, customisable interiors and seven-star hotel service.

And here’s an interesting tidbit about living in international waters: the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) states that the nationality of a ship (and therefore the rules governing it) depends on the flag it’s sailing under. This makes residential cruise ships a potential tax haven for ongoing income earners. It’s no wonder The World, for example, sails under the flag of The Bahamas. 

Not ready for the long-term commitment? Royal Caribbean ($RCL) has recently unveiled the record-breaking Utopia of the Seas cruise liner, which offers a mix of both long-term residences and holiday cabins. When you add the alternatives of taking fractional ownership or experiencing a three-year, round-the-world journey, you have a few ways to test the waters (no pun intended).

Portrait photo of Stella Ong, Markets Analyst at Stake.

Stella Ong

Markets Analyst

Stella is a markets analyst and writer with almost a decade of investing experience. With a Masters in Accounting from the University of Sydney, she specialises in financial statement analysis and financial modelling. Previously, she worked as an equity analyst at Australian finance start-up, Simply Wall St, where she took charge of the market insights newsletter sent out to over a million subscribers. At Stake, Stella has been key to producing the weekly Wrap articles and social media content.


Want more?

You know what to do

Insights, trends and company deep dives delivered straight to your inbox.

Stake logo
Over 7,000 5-star reviews
App Store logoGoogle Play logo

Subscribe to our free newsletters

By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Stakeshop Pty Ltd is registered as an overseas company in New Zealand (NZBN: 9429047452152), and is registered as a Financial Service Provider under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 (No. FSP774414). We hold a full licence issued by the Financial Markets Authority to provide a financial advice service under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013. However, the content on this website has not been prepared to take into account any of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. To the extent you require further information about the relevant New Zealand legislation that may apply, or require specific advice, please contact your legal and/or financial adviser (as appropriate). The information on our website or our mobile application is not intended to be an inducement, offer or solicitation to anyone in any jurisdiction in which Stake is not regulated or able to market its services. At Stake, we’re focused on giving you a better investing experience but we don’t take into account your personal objectives, circumstances or financial needs. Any advice is of a general nature only. As investments carry risk, before making any investment decision, please consider if it’s right for you and seek appropriate taxation and legal advice. Please view our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Financial Advice Disclosure and Disclaimers before deciding to use or invest on Stake. By using the Stake website or service in any way, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions All financial products involve risk and you should ensure you understand the risks involved as certain financial products may not be suitable to everyone. Past performance of any product described on this website is not a reliable indication of future performance. Stake is a registered trademark under class 36 (New Zealand).

Copyright © 2024 Stake. All rights reserved.