The only residential cruise ship on the planet - The World - sailed back into Malaga port this Monday, 27 September, as part of its first itinerary since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The exclusive ship will dock for three days on the Costa del Sol as part of its cruise, designed by the millionaire owners of the residences themselves, before continuing its journey to Bermuda, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, the Leeward Islands, the Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands, then moving on to Latin and Central America.
The almost 200 select passengers will stay an average of three or four months on board.
The ship, designed by the Norwegians Petter Yran and Bjørn Storbraaten and with an estimated cost of 300 million euros made its maiden voyage in 2002.
It features 165 luxury residences in formats ranging from studios to three-bedroom homes. To travel on this ship passengers have to be part of the community of owners of the cruise ship. Ownership of an apartment can cost between one and more than six million euros, excluding travel, maintenance costs – and there is a waiting list. They can rent for between one thousand and four thousand euros per day. The tenants, have to have the recommendation of one of the other owners and obtain the approval of the rest, as well as demonstrate that they have an equity that exceeds ten million dollars.
The 196-metre long ship has the 165 luxury residences distributed on twelve decks, boats owners from twenty different countries and are in charge of agreeing each year on unique itineraries, such as the one already planned for 2022 that will cross five continents and it will call at 93 ports, with the aim of travelling around the world every two or three years.
The ship visited the capital of the Costa del Sol for first time on 12 December, 2007, returning in March 2013 and in April 2015, according to data from the Port of Malaga. In 2015 the ship’s scheduled departure was altered at the last-minute to allow the passengers to stay an extra day in the city, at their request.
The ship, which has 250 crew members, organises a wide range of activities onboard, including a series of conferences with Nobel Prize winners, cultural events and speakers on various topics and specialties, such as diving, wine tasting or world cultures, to prepare residents before visiting each port.
Passengers are, on average, between 50 and 60 years old, with the majority being European or North Americans.
The executive director of The World, Pamela Conover, admits, “It has been a difficult 16 months for our residents who have lost their home at sea. But they have provided great support to the operation and especially to our crew, who are like members of the extended family."