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The life of a millionaire 

How the other half lives – on board world’s biggest private yacht.

It was big, beautiful and made a real impact on Los Cristianos. “The World” had arrived in the Canary Islands and caused a huge buzz of excitement amongst residents and tourists alike.

“Spectacular” and “breath-taking” were the adjectives most used to describe what appeared to many to be a floating palace. At night, berthed in the harbour, it was like a sparkling jewel.

“The World” is, in fact, the largest privately-owned residential yacht on earth, a unique concept and truly one-of-a-kind. It is NOT a cruise ship but a private residential community, a home to the residents who live on board. They are, of course, millionaires and even standing on the dock at Los Cristianos, it would be impossible for most of us as the ordinary man in the street to imagine the life-style and luxury of what it offers – and the adventures of a lifetime.

“The World” is home to only 130 families, hailing primarily from the US, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Asia and Australia. Residents share a sense of adventure, freedom and exploration. Home is one of 165 bespoke private residences, ranging from studios to three bedroom homes, and it sails nonstop to the most breathtaking destinations imaginable. These luxury apartments are said to have cost between two and eight million euros each and that is without the annual fee which runs into hundreds and thousands of euros.

Extraordinary experiences are the norm for these passengers. Like dining at acclaimed Spanish Chef Ferran Adria’s three Michelin star elBulli before it closed its doors, enjoying the running of the bulls in a private Pamplona apartment, joining The World’s chef at the Portofino market to pick up distinctive local ingredients or savouring champagne and caviar atop an Antarctic glacier after arriving by private helicopter. Other experiences have included:

Watching Melanesia’s Pentacost land divers perform a centuries old custom of jumping from wooden platforms with vine-wrapped ankles.

Sailing Canada’s Northwest Passage, a record-breaking voyage, while a mother Polar bear and her cub gaze at you from a nearby ice floe.

Enjoying the Resident band “Fabulous Fossils” perform on a rocky cliff in Greenland from a small gathering of Zodiacs and kayaks floating in the sea below.

Playing golf in the Antarctic snow after retracing Sir Ernest Shackleton’s historic steps.

This year, the programme has been described as “one of the most exhilarating in the ship’s history.” Residents will enjoy an extensive exploration of New Zealand and Southeast Asia, an unprecedented overland visit to North Korea from Beijing and two exceptional expeditions to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and the Sea of Okhotsk – as well as that first-time stop to Los Cristianos and then on to Gran Canaria.

The private community-at-sea will also undertake a deep exploration of French Poly-nesia, Cook Islands, China, Japan, and South Korea, sailing 44,000 nautical miles and visiting 123 new ports.

Had you been able to get on board “The World” when it was in Los Cristianos (impossible, of course, because of the security), you would have found the most stunning facilities and decor.

It has six restaurants, golf facilities with onboard putting greens and a state-of-the-art golf simulator, the only full-size tennis court at sea, swimming pools, a spa, a fitness centre, expert destination lecturers, library, cinema and more.

A normal routine would be to wake for your morning swim. Or jog. Or attend a yoga class. During the day, you could indulge in a Balinese massage, sip a cup of coffee in the neighborhood cafe or head to the marina for a kayak ride on the open sea. You dine in a world-class restaurant or have an intimate meal at home. You can conduct your business in the library. It’s completely up to you. Perhaps you enjoy some fine hand-rolled tobacco in the Cigar Club. Or fall asleep beneath a starry sky in one of the ultra-comfortable Bali beds.

What the passengers felt about Tenerife and Los Cristianos is not known but many took the opportunity to move ashore in small boats and to spend the day in the tourist area of the island. They would definitely have been impressed by the weather!

To celebrate the visit, the president of the Ports Authority, Pedro Rodríguez Zaragoza delivered a commemorative plaque and local wine to the captain of the ship on its decks. Tenerife hopes to see the return of “The World” in years to come and looks forward to welcoming a unique yacht which created as much excitement on dry land as it does on sea.

The World at your finger-tips

Is The World a cruise ship?

The World is not a cruise ship. It is the largest privately owned residential yacht on earth. It

might look like a cruise ship from the exterior but that’s where the similarity ends. This exclusive community offers the ultimate combination of luxury travel with world-class dining, custom tours and enriching cultural events. It is the embodiment of a distinctive lifestyle experience.

Is The World a timeshare?

No. Every home is fully owned by a resident(s). Together, the residents own the ship.

Who is the average resident living onboard The World?

The average age of residents is 64 with 35% under 50. Residents are very active, entrepreneurial and philanthropic, and they have a thirst for knowledge, adventure and travel.

Where are the residents from?

The resident community is comprised of 130 families who hail from 19 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and South Africa.

Do people live on the ship year-round?

There are some residents who live on the ship year-round, with the majority continuing to be active in their professional lives and spending three to four months onboard. The average occupancy at one time is 150 residents so the atmosphere is quite intimate.

How is The World’s itinerary decided upon?

The World continuously circumnavigates the globe on an itinerary selected by the resident community through a voting process. Itineraries are determined approximately two years in advance by a team comprised of a resident committee, the captains and director of itinerary and destination planning. Every corner of the globe is a possibility.

What are some of the unique and thrilling experiences residents have enjoyed?

Hiking in Grenada’s Grand Etang rainforest. Riding in a sunset camel safari in Australia. Diving in St. Barts. Golfing at Scotland’s Kingsbarns. Watching the running of the bulls from a private Pamplona apartment. Kayaking among icebergs. Befriending penguins in Antarctica.

How much do apartments cost?

There are 165 apartments on The World ranging from studios to expansive three-bedroom units and a palatial penthouse that comfortably accommodates up to 12 people. Prices vary based on size, décor, location and market conditions.

Are there annual ownership costs to pay?

Yes, annual ownership costs are additional and are based on the square footage of the apartments. These fees include a Resident’s share of Ship preservation, operations, crew compensation, and food and beverage onboard.

Is The World sold out?

The original inventory of residences was sold out in June 2006 but there are currently a select number of residences available for resale. In 2011, the Ship sold 19.

Is there a rental programme?

A Guest Stay programme is in place as a service to residents but it is not intended to drive revenue or occupancy. The “by invitation” program exists to provide potential residents with the opportunity to experience the lifestyle prior to making a purchase decision and joining the community.