New 3-plus year cruise prepares to set sail in May 2024


Weeks after a heavily promoted three-year cruise promising to let remote workers travel the world for $30,000 a year vanished in a puff of smoke, another multi-year cruise has risen from its ashes. And this time, organizers say, the boat has been secured.

Villa Vie Residences has purchased a former Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship and plans to transform the ship in time to offer a 3.5 year cruise beginning May 2024. Prices for passage start at just under $33,000 per year.

Organizers of the 1,301-day cruise say passengers will stop at 425 ports across 147 countries, spending between two and seven days in each port.

And unlike the Life at Sea cruise that never set sail, this cruise will offer a more flexible pricing plan.

Passengers have the option of renting or buying a cabin. Those who rent can do so for as little as 35 days, buying as many segments as they would like. Inside cabins start at $89 per person per day, while outside cabins begin at $119 per person per day.

Those who opt to buy a cabin will be guaranteed it for 15 years, the estimated life of the ship. Prices range from $99,000 for internal cabin to $249,000 for a balcony. There’s also a monthly fee, which ranges from $21,000 to $48,000 per year. Owners are free to rent the cabins out to others.

All food and drinks are part of the price (although alcohol is only included at dinner); so is WiFi and medical visits. Housekeeping is provided weekly and laundry service is bi-weekly, each with no additional cost.

The ship, which was renamed the Villa Vie Odyssey, has been refurbished twice before and will be again before it sets sail, say organizers. It features eight decks, three restaurants, eight bars and four lounges. For recreation, passengers can enjoy a pool with eight Jacuzzis, a spa, fitness center and library. It has a capacity of 924 passengers in 485 cabins.

Villa Vie is headed by Mikael Petterson, who was former managing director at Life at Sea Cruises before leaving more than a year ago after expressing concerns about that company. And after the collapse of that cruise, passengers certainly have the right to be wary of another long-term live-at-sea offering.

To put people at ease, Villa Vie says all passenger deposits (10% of their cost) will be kept in escrow until Feb. 15. All money being spent on the ship and upcoming renovations is from private equity, organizers say, and no passenger money will be spent before the February date.

Former Life at Sea passengers will only be offered a 5% reduction from the list price.

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