LifeWant to travel full time? This 28 year old paid for an...

Want to travel full time? This 28 year old paid for an apartment on a cruise ship to do exactly that

Austin Wells loves travelling but doesn’t like long flights and jet lag, his solution? Rent an apartment on a cruise ship. Wells who works remotely for Meta’s augmented and virtual reality division, Reality Labs said he will continue to work US West coast hours as the ship visits European cities.

He plans to work and live on the ship for three years as it sails around the world. The ship has just about everything he needs including medical services, a farmer’s market, private kitchens and an exercise centre, along with 24-hour room service, a co-working space and spa.

On The Cruise Ship, We Go

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The mega cruise ship he is on is called the MV Narrative and has more than 500 private rooms and apartments which will be home to around 1,000 residents who will live on board more or less permanently.

In a CNBC video call, Wells said, “The thing that most excites me is I don’t have to upend my daily routine, in order to go see the world. I’m going from this model where you want to go somewhere, you pack a bag, you get on a flight, you rent a room, to now my condo, my gym, my doctors and dentists, all of my grocery stores travel the world with me.

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“My working hours will be shifted towards, evenings, nights and very early morning. But that does open up the ability for me to… maybe see a city midday to afternoon and then start my workday around six or 7 p.m.

“This is probably the first tie ever that there is even the ability to have a standard job and even consider working and living from a floating apartment complex,” said Wells.

MV Narrative

The ship is an upscale residential ship build by Storylines, whose co-founder and CEO is Alister Punton, a former construction and property executive.

According to a CNBC report the ship is currently under construction in Split, Croatia and will set sail in 2025.

The ship will feature 11 types of residences on board with the largest being the Global at 1,970 square feet and is split level. It will have four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large balcony, a dining room that seats six and a walk-in closet.

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Some of the apartments are located on a deck with a Champagne and whisky bar, cigar lounge and small pool at one end, while others have observation lounges and event spaces. Other facilities that are spread across 18 decks include 20 restaurants and bars, a 10,000 square foot gym and spa which will be open 24 hours, three swimming pools, a school library, bank and office spaces.

The ship will also have a theater for performances and movies though unlike typical cruises ships extravagant entertainment is not the mainstay.

Cruise Ship Apartment Cost

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Wells’ unit costs $300,000 for a 12-year lease. His is a studio called Discovery and is 237 square feet. It includes a foldaway bed, pantry area, desk and separate shower room.

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“All inclusive living fees” come on top of the purchase price, starting at around $2,100, per person per month and covers things like food and drinks from the ship’s restaurants and bars, laundry, fitness classes and medical checkups.

“We’re still competitively priced to the market,” said Punton.

Residents will also be able to rent out their units if they are not on board the cruise ship – regardless of whether they are full or part owners. A studio apartment like the one Wells bought could generate around $4,500 a month, according to a calculator on the Storylines website.

“I always say to people, you can come and drink pina coladas by the pool all day if you like and not lift a finger… But that gets old pretty quickly. So, you want to keep doing [the job] you do, right, so this is a way for people to be able to do that. That’s a fundamental difference [between] us and a cruise.”

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