Travelers who dream of owning a superyacht can make their dreams come true – at a much lower price.
Residential yachts, as they are called, are essentially multi-family houses at sea. Buyers are buying apartments on giant yachts rather than owning and operating their own smaller vessels.
Once most of the apartments are sold, the yacht will operate much like a luxury cruise line, traveling around the globe with crew members and access to restaurants, spas, wine cellars and gyms.
The price tag?
Somnio is a residential yacht, a 728 foot long superyacht currently being built by Norwegian shipbuilder Vard. According to Vard’s website, when completed in 2024, she will be the largest yacht in the world.
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 to his 550,000+ Instagram followers as “The Yacht Mogul” – told CNBC that he was helping design a 295-foot superyacht called the Mogul.
Once completed, it will cost around $ 150 million with just one buyer, he said.
Somnio is more than twice as long as Mogul.
Apartment vs. private yacht
According to Bredhe, absolute privacy is not exactly what every yacht buyer wants. He said a major selling point of residential yachts is the ability to “mingle with like-minded community members”.
“The single biggest factor is having an intimate community to share a truly global itinerary with,” he told CNBC, adding that “the beauty of owning your own home is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance and have to do planning that is associated with owning a yacht. “
According to Somnio, the yacht’s staff will take care of maintenance, repairs, fuel and food supplies and shore excursions. Staff also plan the itineraries, although residents can recommend destinations as well, according to the company’s website.
Entry-level homes in Somnio (rendering shown) sell for $ 11 million in 1,960 square feet.
Somnio | Winch design
However, these are not free. Buyers must pay an annual fee that covers maintenance, fuel, groceries and personal services expenses, Bredhe said. For Somnio, however, there is a “no tip policy”, which can amount to between 15 and 20% of the yacht charter costs.
Ownership of the boat is only possible by invitation, said Bredhe. Some buyers have approached the company directly while others have come based on personal recommendations, he added.
A significant asset?
Unlike most boats, residential yacht homes can appreciate in value over time, Bredhe said.
This applies to another residential yacht called The World, which was launched in 2002.
“All apartment types have appreciated significantly in value since the ship was launched, driven by demand from potential buyers worldwide,” a company representative told CNBC.
The world yacht has 165 private apartments, some of which are currently for sale.
However, owners cannot make money renting their apartments, although family members and guests can use the apartment when the owner is not on board, Bredhe said.
At 644 feet For a long time, The World has more than four times as many apartments as Somnio.
It has studios and one- to three-bedroom apartments ranging from $ 2 million to $ 15 million, a small number of which are currently for sale, a company official told CNBC.
“When we saw The World sail to Rio de Janeiro and learned about its unique concept, we knew we had to be a part of it,” said a current resident who wants to remain anonymous to protect his privacy.
The resident has lived on the yacht for four years and has explored Madagascar, Indonesia and the Mediterranean during that time, he told CNBC.
The residential superyacht The World.
“We like the light-heartedness of coming to our home anytime on The World and only having to take hand luggage with us – as we have both summer and winter wardrobes on board,” he said.
He said he never thought about buying a private yacht because “our friends who have private yachts seem to have only staffing or mechanical issues that spoil their pleasure.”
Since its inception, The World has traveled to places like Greenland, the British Isles and the “White Continent” – Antarctica.
Another superyacht – the 948-foot Njord – is slated to be completed by 2025. She too plans to sell apartments on board to buyers who want the thrill of a sea voyage without the responsibility of the yacht owner.