Travelers who fantasize about owning a superyacht may be able to turn their dreams into reality – at a much lower price.
Residential yachts, as they are called, are essentially apartment buildings at sea. Buyers buy apartments on massive yachts, rather than owning and operating their own smaller vessels.
Once most of the apartments are sold, the yacht operates much like a luxury cruise line and travels the world with staff on board and access to restaurants, spas, wine cellars and gyms.
A residential yacht is Somnio, a 728-foot-long superyacht currently built by Norwegian shipbuilder Vard. It will be the largest yacht in the world when completed in 2024, according to the Vard site.
Somnio has 39 apartments and prices start at 9.5 million euros ($ 11 million), said Erik Bredhe, co-founder and captain of Somnio. Prices depend on the size and location of the apartment, with higher units costing more, he said.
While $ 11 million is more than enough to buy a private yacht, it doesn’t come close to the cost of a superyacht.
Yacht influencer Denis Suka – known as “The Yacht Mogul“to his over 550,000 Instagram followers – told CNBC he was helping design a 295-foot superyacht called Mogul.
When completed, it will cost around $ 150 million with a single buyer, he said.
Somnio is more than twice the length of Mogul.
Complete privacy isn’t necessarily what every yacht buyer wants, according to Bredhe. He said one of the main selling points of residential yachts is the ability to “mingle with like-minded community members”.
“The most important factor is an intimate community with which to share a truly global itinerary,” he told CNBC, adding that “the beauty of owning your own apartment is that you don’t have to worry about it. maintenance and planning that go with your own yacht. “
Yacht staff will take care of maintenance, repairs, fuel and food supplies, as well as shore visits, according to Somnio. Staff will also plan travel routes, although residents can recommend destinations as well, according to the company site.
Entry-level apartments on Somnio (rendered shown) sell for $ 11 million for 1,960 square feet of space.
Somnio | Winch design
These are not free however. Buyers must pay an annual fee, which covers expenses related to maintenance, fuel, food and personal services, Bredhe said. There is, however, a “no-tip policy” on Somnio, he said, which can range from 15% to 20% of yacht charter costs.
Ownership on the boat is by invitation only, said Bredhe. Some buyers approached the company directly while others came with personal recommendations, he added.
Unlike most boats, residential yachts can increase in value over time, Bredhe said.
it’s true for another residential yacht named The World, launched in 2002.
“All types of residences have increased significantly in value since the ship’s launch, driven by demand from potential buyers around the world,” a representative for the company told CNBC.
Yacht World has 165 private apartments, some of which are currently for sale.
Owners, however, cannot earn money by renting out their apartments, although family members and guests can use the apartment if the owner is not on board, Bredhe said.
At 644 feet For a long time, The World has had more than four times as many apartments as Somnio.
It has studios as well as one to three bedroom apartments ranging from $ 2 million to $ 15 million, a small number of which is currently for sale, a company representative told CNBC.
“When we saw The World sail in Rio de Janeiro and learned about its unique concept, we knew we had to be a part of it,” said a current resident who requested to remain anonymous to protect his privacy.
The resident lived on the yacht for four years, during which time he explored Madagascar, Indonesia and the Mediterranean, he told CNBC.
The residential superyacht, The World.
“We love the carefree nature of being able to go home to The World whenever we want and only having to take hand luggage, as we have summer and winter wardrobes on board,” said he declared.
He said he had never considered buying a private yacht because “our friends who have private yachts seem to have only personnel or mechanical issues, which seems to spoil their enjoyment somewhat.”
Since its launch, The World has traveled to places such as Greenland, the British Isles and the “white continent” – Antarctica.
Another superyacht – the 948 feet long njord – is expected to be completed by 2025. It also plans to sell onboard apartments to buyers who want to experience the thrill of sea travel without the liability of yacht ownership.