New cruise line offers ‘unlimited’ holidays at sea – and it’s less than buying a home

New cruise line offers ‘unlimited’ holidays at sea – and it’s less than buying a home

A life at sea beckons on a new cruise line setting sail later this month, with a one-off payment for unlimited voyages around the globe.

US-based Villa Vie Residences, which describes itself as “a leading innovator in modern-day residential cruising” has revealed its ‘Endless Horizons’ programme, which gives a guarantee of a cabin aboard Villa Vie Odyssey.

There is no limit to the amount of time that passengers can stay on the ship and it’s an all-inclusive package with some excursions thrown in when the ship docks at destinations across the globe.

Passengers don’t have to live on board the entire time – the only stipulation is that 30 days’ notice must be given before rejoining.

Cabins are available for one or two passengers (Villa Vie Residences)

The package costs $299,999 (£236,980) for single occupancy and $499,999 (£394,965) for two in an ‘Outside Cabin’.

And although the concept is promoted as “transforming the concept of retirement”, the company confirmed to The Independent that there is no minimum age to purchase the package.

By comparison, the average price of a studio flat in London is around £315,000, according to Property London – without the added benefit of seeing the world.

Friends and family can join the residents on the cruise at a cost of $129 (£102) a day.

The ship, which is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment in Belfast, was built in 1993 and has sailed for a number of different cruise lines, including Cunard (as Crown Dynasty) and most recently Fred Olsen Cruise Lines as Braemar. In 2019, while carrying her full capacity of 929 passengers, she became the longest ship ever to cruise through the Corinth Canal in Greece.

The plan is for Villa Vie Odyssey to constantly sail around the world, with its inaugural cruise – lasting three-and-a-half years, visiting all seven continents with stops in more than 425 ports in 147 countries – due to depart on 30 May. It was originally due to set sail on 15 May.

The itinerary will include plenty of destinations in which to soak up the sun (Villa Vie Residences)

“Our goal is to offer a seamless solution for those looking to retire on a fixed budget to never worry about ongoing expenses again,” said Mikael Petterson, chief executive officer of Villa Vie Residences.

“This is more than just a travel opportunity; it’s a new way of life. For less than the price of an average home, you can secure a lifetime of experiences.”

According to the terms and conditions of the programme, this purchase will be a minimum of 15 years, the company states, which will be at least four circumnavigations of the world, but guarantees accommodation for “the entire operational life of the ship”.

The maiden voyage of Villa Vie Odyssey comes months after would-be passengers were left stranded when a three-year cruise was cancelled just weeks before it was scheduled to depart.

The once-in-a-lifetime experience was called-off by operator Life at Sea just two weeks before it was set to sail due to a lack of ship availability, leaving some passengers homeless.

Prior to the planned cruise, Kimberly Arizzi sold her entire apartment, all her clothes and furniture to pay for the trip, which she had hoped would kick off her retirement.