live on a cruise ship permanently

What is It Like Living on a Cruise Ship Permanently?

Live Aboard Life on a Cruise Ship: Pros & Cons

The average person spends about two weeks onboard a cruise ship in their lifetime. But what would it be like if you were to live on a cruise ship permanently?

Cruise ships offer a unique way to live on the water. And the idea of retiring from the rat race and living out your days on a cruise has great appeal for some people.

There are many pros and cons to living on a cruise ship permanently. Let’s explore more about what it is like to live on a cruise ship, the pros and cons of this lifestyle, and whether or not it is an option for retirement.

What are the benefits of living on a Cruise Ship Permanently?

Living on a cruise ship permanently has many benefits. It can offer a more stable life, more social interactions, and the opportunity to explore the world. As opposed to investing in one retirement home and paying to travel, you get to combine the cost of both.

And with the greater flexibility in remote working today, someone may not have to be fully retired to make this life choice. Connectivity through internet allows cruisers to stay connected for business. Working while traveling the world becomes a tempting career option.

But, living on a cruise ship permanently is not for everyone. Even though there is great opportunities for seeing new places and ports-of-call, many people may miss the connection that they have with family and friends on shore.

What is the Cost of Living on a Cruise Ship Permanently?

For former Seattle accountant Angelyn Burk, she calculated that for close to $43 USD a day, which covers the cost of all meals and drinks, she and her husband could make cruise ships their permanent home. That’s when Angelyn and her husband, Richard, decided to sell their home, retire early, and live on cruise ships full-time.

The couple set off on their first cruise in May 2021 after selling their home. Since then, they say that on the rare occasion they sleep on land, they stay with friends or relatives between cruises.

The couple has visited Italy, Iceland, and Singapore since embarking on their new life at sea and have been on a 51-day cruise from Seattle to Sydney.

But, long-term accommodations can run much higher, running $150-300 a day per person. In fact, a study done by calculated that it would cost around $175,000 a year for two people to live aboard the Carnival Horizon. Of course, this would fluctuate a bit, based on individual spending habits.

How Many People Actually Live Onboard Cruise Ships Permanently?

Living at sea is growing in popularity. One company, Storylines, is actually looking to capitalize on the trend by creating residential communities at sea.

Storylines is offering fully furnished homes aboard its new cruise ship, beginning at $500,000. The ship’s amenities include a movie theater, three swimming pools, 20 restaurants and a wellness center. 

The company is selling leasehold agreements for 12, 24, or 60 years and will begin its 1,000-day journey to six continents in 2024.

On the Storylines’ MV Narrative, set to launch in 2024, the 547 fully-furnished, one-to-four-bedroom apartments, will be a bit pricier. The apartments on Narrative will cost $1 million to $8 million. But, there will be a limited number of 12- and 24-month leases available, starting at $400k.

Aside from the purchase price, residents of the Narrative will be charged a “living fee,” which ranges from $65,000 to $200,000 per unit annually and covers expenses such as food and maintenance.

Conclusion: Living on a Cruise Ship Permanently or Just Visiting For Vacation?

For some, to live on a cruise ship permanently would be a dream come true? But, for most of us, the occasional one-to-two week cruise option will suffice.

Even though some adventurers like the Burks find economical strategies for achieving this ‘dream’, for many it will be too pricey. But, what the life at sea industry is finding is that their audience is not just retirees. Over the last several years, more and more younger people are being drawn to cruising.

According to Storylines founder and CEO Alister Punton, the age ranges of those who’ve already put down deposits for units on the MV Narrative is incredibly wide, and entry level residences have been selling just as well as those at the higher end of the scale — the current average starting price is $897,000. “We have retirees and children and everyone else in between, including younger digital nomad types,” Punton states.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the ‘cruiser lifestyle’ in the comments below.

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