From the files of the completely mind blowing, dreamy, top of the wishlist experiences comes The World – Residences at Sea. Imagine, you wake from the hypnotising motion of the sea beneath your privately owned suite on the largest (644 feet) privately owned yacht in the world, and take a morning swim, sip an espresso at the neighbourhood cafe, or take a yoga class inhaling deeply the clean, salty air.
Yes folks, The World is an incredibly luxurious way to explore…well, the world! Instead of buying a holiday villa in Bali, or apartment in Sentosa, why not invest in one of only 165 Residences aboard a very luxurious moving vessel taking you to new ports and adventures every few days, the whole year round. You can travel the world, as they say, without leaving home!
To give you just a taste of what this kind of life would be like, in 2013 the ‘Journey’ begins in the warmth of the Caribbean and northern South America. During February you cross the Atlantic delivered to the Canary Islands and exotic pulse of Morocco. The World then takes you to the lesser visited ports of Europe; Norway, Denmark, Germany, the west coast of Ireland, then on to France, around the entire coastline of Portugal and Spain, then Italy, Greece, Malta, Cyprus Turkey, even Alexandria in Egypt. Then you pop into Tunisia catching a few of the other Spanish ports you missed the first time around, and well, you get the picture. You would top 2013 off by spending the New Year among lush and beautiful Madeira.
Each year’s itinerary is different and always includes some rare and very exotic destinations you would probably never consider popping on your travel itinerary for no other reason than you may not even be aware they exist! It’s a little like noticing all those things you miss when driving, if you only take the time to walk.
Most amazing of all though, after you’ve experienced the magnificent destination of the day or week, you get to return to your Studio, 1 or 2 bedroom Studio Apartment, or your 2 or 3 bedroom Apartment, whichever you call home. All face the sea or whatever magnificent port you happen to pull up in, and all, apart from the Studio, have separate kitchen and living space, and a choice of verandahs.
This is way beyond luxury standards, and surely this is where James Bond has retired to. The World also invites guest experts in different fields to keep you intellectually entertained. The Enrichment Program invites diving experts, wine aficionados, even cultural experts to prepare you for each port you are about to visit. There is a fresh market and deli, indoor and alfresco dining, and your fellow passengers are actually your neighbours. They live here too.
Yes things have changed from my early cruising days. Not a bingo game or karaoke night to be seen. Every experience is customised to your individual preferences. You can strap on some hiking books in New Zealand, dine with acclaimed Spanish Chef Ferran Adria at his three Michelen star el Bulli restaurant, or play 18 holes at Scotland’s Kingsbarns. Speaking of golf, private lessons are naturally available from the ship’s golf pro at the onboard putting green, chipping area, driving range or simulator.
Begin your day with yoga at the state of the art fitness centre, or play on the full size tennis court, then cool off in one of the two swimming pools. This is the way to travel people! Breakfast forums with invited guest lecturers offer stimulating conversation and discussion in a casual setting in areas such as politics, the economy, finance and business for those so inclined, or be enlightened with a presentation from professional speakers with a passion for history and culture. Watch films at the Colosseo theatre or dive into the huge selection of books which is rotated depending on the ship’s itinerary, in The Study. Even the Academy Awards are celebrated on board with their own red carpet champagne reception.
Reading the past and future itineraries of The World makes you realise just how much of this planet is out there, and at least for this writer, how much of it you really want to see. Sure there’s more of us who travel today than ever before but with so much choice, do we really stop and consider the east coast of Madagascar, a mountainside in Greenland, hiking in Grenada’s Grand Etang rainforest, diving in St Barts, watching the running of the bulls from a private Pamplona apartment (the only way I’d watch!) or witness a traditional Papua New Guinea tribe dance ritual?
Exploring The World, and by that I mean the ship, has resulted in two things for me. Firstly I’d better do a whole lot more writing as I’m planning this as my retirement home, and secondly, I thought I was well travelled but after viewing these itineraries I realise, I’ve barely left home.
Find out more about The World here.
Feature image courtesy of Malene Thyssen