The evolution of the residential condo shipBottom Highlights Monday, January 9th, 2012
When I first moved to San Diego in 1995, I would meet people who actually lived on their boats. I thought it was such a fun and unique way to live.
Growing up in an inland city, I never knew anyone who had a boat for a home. These days, it may not be a stretch to say most of us know some “boat people.” I can’t help but admire them.
After I got into real estate, I learned about a whole new way of boat living; it gave me the same fascination that I had when I met my first boat person. There are ocean liners that are specifically made for residential living. It is just like buying a condo. The only difference is that the condo is in a large floating building. To explore and appreciate the concept, let’s look at the evolution of the passenger ocean liner.
The passenger ocean liner is, without question, the greatest of all man-made constructions. At the peak of their development in the 1930s and onward, ocean liners were as large as any skyscraper or any of the world’s greatest railway stations. But unlike other magnificent creations that are locked to the earth, passenger ocean liners are mobile monuments – testaments to humankind’s ever-improving engineering prowess. They truly are like floating cities.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, ocean liners and their scheduled routes were a means of travel between countries. For the first time, they enabled people to travel long distances between continents on a regular basis. By the 1960s and ‘70s the role of the ocean liner had declined due to the rise of air travel. As a result, in the late 20th century the ocean liner adapted for cruising and became the cruise liner. Now, rather than being a means of travel, cruise liners are a destination in themselves and have become floating resorts. In the early 21st century we have seen the emergence of the first residential condominium ships, marking the next stage in the continued evolution of the passenger ocean liner.
In 2002, The World was launched by ResidenSea as the world’s first purpose-built residential condominium ship. For the first time a cruise ship sailed the world’s oceans with an onboard residential community. The World is one of the first examples of this new development of a true residential condominium ship, offering people the opportunity to either travel onboard as a traditional cruise guest or become a permanent ship-resident. The World has sparked a new generation of passenger ship known as the residential condominium ship, with onboard ocean residences.
You can consider buying one of these condos for as little as $200,000, for a simple unit. Or, you can spend millions buying a larger more elaborate residence with much larger square footage and decadent upgrades.
The residential condominium ship is a new phase in the development of the passenger ocean liner. As shipbuilding technologies continue to advance, perhaps one day, a true floating city ship will be created on a scale never seen before. Already concepts for such floating cities have been suggested. Such huge floating city ships would be too large to dock in the world’s ports and so would continuously circumnavigate the globe with tenders ferrying its residents to and from shore. Thus, it would not be a cruise ship but a true mobile floating city with luxurious ocean residences, shopping centres and business premises. However, as yet technology has not permitted such concepts to become reality and it is possible that such floating city ships are a distant dream.
One thing is certain, the passenger ocean liner that had its origins in the magnificent liners of the 19th and 20th centuries will continue to evolve, and doubtless there will be many more exciting developments in the future.
As exciting as residential ocean liner living is, I think for now, I will remain as a land resident so I can service my clients more efficiently. But it is something you may want to consider!
Trent St. Louis is a licensed Real Estate Agent
and a member of the National, California and
San Diego Association of Realtors. You can reach Trent at email@example.com or at his office in Hillcrest, The Metropolitan Group. DRE#01273643.
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