February 20, 2002
The oft-delayed World of Residensea, the ultraluxe cruise condo-at-sea, is making progress; the ship, whose inaugural was just pushed back to April due to furnishing problems, was actually delivered today from its Norwegian shipyard. There were subtle festivities -- the 44,524-ton ship was blessed by three priests with a mixture of champagne and water in its main lobby. Residensea’s official christening is slated to occur on April 19 in New York though the first passenger voyage originates from Oslo on March; the ship then sails to Hamburg and London before heading across the Atlantic to Ft. Lauderdale (then, finally, to New York). The ship is considered quite revolutionary due to the fact that it will continually navigate the globe, staying in some ports for multiple nights (as a floating hotel of sorts) and passengers buy apartments (already furnished) rather than book cabins, which then offers the opportunity to sail year-round. Don’t look for too many bargains, however. The flats cost from $2 - $6.8 million plus an annual tariff ranging from $100,000 - $340,000 to pay for stuff like staff and gas. Still, there are about 30 left for sale. For those whose bank accounts aren’t set up to bankroll such a splurge, consider this: Residensea, which also offers 88 suites for short-term passengers, is promoting a sampler. “Five Days for $500” -- per person, per day, not a bad deal at all -- includes accommodations, including alcoholic beverages, gratuities and port charges. Caveats? You have to pick from 19 different “five day” voyages scheduled, passengers can’t extend their stays and you’re assigned “best available” some 60 days prior to your cruise.