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How about a future life living on a ship?

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When you are super rich and ultra-high net worth, what’s the next step? Houses in every continent? A private jet? Or an apartment on a cruise ship that allows you to claim non-residency in every country of the world … and therefore zero tax status globally?

The latter seems to be the most popular, which is why there are many ships being built which constantly cruise all of our seas and avoids residency anywhere.

The first of these that I heard about was The World. A massive cruise ship launched in 2002, that offers 165 residences (106 apartments, 19 studio apartments, and 40 studios), all owned by the ship's residents and with an average occupancy at any time of 150–200 residents and guests.

They say the ship is a lifestyle more than a way of facilitating tax avoidance. To qualify, purchasers must show they have a personal wealth of at least $10 million, have references from at least two people living on the ship, pass background checks and have up to $900,000 a year available to cover food and maintenance each year. The price for a cabin ranges from $1.8 million to $15 million. Facilities on the 644-foot-long ship over 12 decks include a tennis court, golf simulator, billiards, spa, a library and theatre.

Source: Money International

The success of this conceptual ship has resulted in many others being launched. Here’s a sample, sourced from Cruise Industry News:

MV Narrative

Delivery Target: 2024
Capacity: 547 residences

After first planning to purchase a second-hand cruise ship, Storylines decided to construct a purpose-built residential ship in the end. The new vessel – called the MV Narrative – was ordered in 2021 and is being built at the Brodosplit shipyard in Croatia. The ship features fully furnished residences ranging from 237 sq. ft. to 2411 sq. ft., priced between $300,000 and over $8 million for a premium two-level penthouse suite. The MV Narrative is set to enter service in 2024. According to Storylines, the owners and invited guests will have the opportunity to live a “sustainable life of luxury and freedom at sea.” Features include waterfront marina, microbrewery, art studio, hydroponic gardens and more. Positioned as “the greenest ship in the market,” the MV Narrative will use LNG fuel along with innovative reusable energy technologies and energy storage and recovery systems.

Dark Island

Delivery Target: 2025
Capacity: 101 residential suites

The Dark Island is ready for production at the River Clyde in Scotland, aiming to start operations in 2025. The vessel will be run by the family-owned Clydebuilt and feature 101 residential suites. The ship’s suites span over eight decks and are now on sale, with prices varying between 8 million and 110 million British pounds. Each accommodation has its own cooking facilities, but the ship also boasts three restaurants with chefs drawing inspiration from Scotland’s classic dishes and regions. The Dark Island also has a spa, a salon where manicures and pedicures can be done, a hydrotherapy pool, a fitness and wellbeing center, and more.


Delivery Target: 2025
Capacity: 117 residences

The M/Y Njord – which was ordered in 2021 – is set to enter service in 2025. The 289-meter residential yacht will feature 117 residences once it’s constructed at its shipyard, Meyer Werft. According to the ship’s operator Ocean Residences, the Njord is designed to meet “the strictest environmental regulations,” both at delivery and in the future. The vessel will be powered by dual-fuel engines, with tank capacity for marine gas oil and LNG, batteries for hybridization, heat recovery systems and advanced power management systems. But perhaps the newest and, imho, most ambitious and mind-boggling new project is the turtle. Actually, it’s not a turtle. It just looks like one.

From MSN

This ocean-bound Death Star ( with an animal-friendly exterior) will sprawl 550 meters long ad 610 meters wide, which for reference, is double the size of the Roman Colosseum. If those seem like big numbers, wait until you hear how many dollars it’ll take to construct it: USD$8 billion (AU$12 billion), according to the Italian-based company.

It’s a pretty good life if you’re a multi-millionaire, of which there are almost 100 million worldwide. For the rest of us?

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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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