By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
Imagine owning your own private residence – at sea. Traveling the world, exploring exotic ports, learning about new cultures and maybe even working from your cabin from time to time.
In 2023, you can do it all, thanks to Storylines Inc., which is now taking pre-sale deposits for residences on its first ship, the M/V Narrative. Scheduled to debut in 2023, the 17-deck ship’s 627 furnished cabins will be home to 1,000 residents, who will spend three to five days in each port, enjoying immersive shore excursions. The Narrative will feature 20 restaurants, 45 resident lounges, three pools, a library, movie theater, microbrewery and even a marina. There will also be a farm to provide ship-to-plate produce. Prices currently start at $297,000 and go up to more than $8 million.
“The lifestyle is the biggest factor for us,” says Alister Punton, Storylines co-founder. “Health and wellness is a huge component as well because when people are living this amazing lifestyle, they want to look after themselves as well.”
Cabins on the Narrative will range from 237 to 2,411 square feet. When not onboard, owners can place their units into the Storylines rental management program to offset some of the expenses of ownership. Monthly assessments start at $2,152 per person, but Punton says that life at sea is all-inclusive, with no additional charges for food, Wi-Fi, satellite television, gratuities, laundry, onboard medical care and all onboard activities and events. Future residents are not typical cruisers; they represent all demographics, from retired people to professionals and business owners who can work remotely to families with kids who are homeschooled, Punton says.
“This is not a tourist cruise ship,” Punton says. “If you want to go on a holiday, go on a cruise ship. If you live a lifestyle and to experience something completely different, come to Storylines.”
Punton expects the ship to be sold out by the end of the year. He anticipates eventually having three ships in the Storylines fleet.
Of course, Storylines isn’t the first company to create homes at sea, although Punton touts his ship as “the world’s first affordable residential community at sea.” The residential ship The World is currently sailing, although with only 165 privately owned homes onboard, it’s closer to a private mega yacht than a cruise ship. All the homes are owned, but a small selection ranging from studios to three-bedrooms become available for resale each year at prices starting from $2 million (plus annual ownership costs). The World continually sails and delivers a bespoke experience to owners. The ship has six restaurants, two pools, a full-sized tennis court, a Pilates studio and enrichment programs that include Nobel speakers. The World recently announced its 2020 itinerary, which includes more than 100 ports of call across Southeast Asia, Australia, the Indian Ocean, Europe, the United Kingdom and North and South America.