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San Diego man bought apartment on cruise ship as it's cheaper than home and he can travel world

Poppy Bilderbeck

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San Diego man bought apartment on cruise ship as it's cheaper than home and he can travel world

Featured Image Credit: NBC/ Getty Stock Photo

A man has revealed what led him to take the leap and buy an apartment on a cruise ship.

With the coronavirus pandemic having left us bereft of sightseeing and travel and the cost of living crisis not helping resurrect that either - as well as leading a dramatic rise in the cost of renting - it's no wonder San Diego resident Austin Wells decided to up sticks and venture further afar.

However, not many of us would take the leap and be as adventurous as the 28-year-old, buying an apartment onboard a cruise ship, committing to working remotely and setting sail around the world for around three-and-a-half years.

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Wells' studio apartment is onboard the MV Narrative - a residential luxury cruise built by Storylines - and cost him $300,000 (£246,465) for a 12-year lease.

The 28-year-old told CNBC what excited him most when he first made the decision to move is he doesn't 'have to upend [his] daily routine in order to go see the world'.

Indeed, with 20 dining and bar concepts, a micro brewery, a 10,000-book library, movie theater, three pools, laundry service, gym, an art studio, and an on-board doctor, the MV Narrative seems to have everything you'd ever need.

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But how will Wells - who works for Meta - manage to work onboard the ship?

Would you up sticks and live onboard a cruise ship? Credit: YouTube/ Storylines at Sea
Would you up sticks and live onboard a cruise ship? Credit: YouTube/ Storylines at Sea

Luckily for the 28-year-old, his role in the technology company's augmented and virtual reality division is fully remote, allowing him to hop aboard and sail around the globe.

Wells tells CNBC: "My working hours will be shifted towards evenings, nights and very early mornings. But that does open up the ability for me to … maybe see a city midday to afternoon and then start my workday around 6pm or 7pm.

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"This is probably the first time ever that there is even the ability to have a standard job and even consider working and living from a floating apartment complex."

Wells has a three-year lease on his flat on the ship. Credit: CNBC
Wells has a three-year lease on his flat on the ship. Credit: CNBC

Wells will see a whole host of different countries as he travels around for three years - the ship expected to set sail in 2025.

A sample itinerary details locations such as Rome, Naples, Venice, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece and Turkey.

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And if Wells gets a bit sea sick and misses family and friends, there's even the option of renting out his flat if he wants to take a trip back home or he can invite friends or family aboard for a month too.

If he gets sea sick, he can always rent it out. Credit: CNBC
If he gets sea sick, he can always rent it out. Credit: CNBC

Fear not, because if you quite like the sound of ditching your overpriced city flat and setting sail too, it still looks like there are some apartments left onboard the ship.

Most leases are for 24 years or around 60 - the life of the vessel - although Wells was able to get his for 12 years as he got in there early. Wells also got in there with a solid price, other flats start at around $1 million (£700,000), reaching as high as a whopping $8 million (£6.3 million).

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There's also a three months per year 'fractional ownership' option and better yet, you can go all inclusive for an extra fee - $2,100 (£1,600) per person. No cooking or cleaning for several months? Yes please.

However, if that sounds a bit expensive still, one man has proven cruises can actually help on cutting back costs too, with Ryan Gutridge living onboard a ship for 300 days a year after working out it's cheaper than renting with bills.

Topics: News, US News, World News, Money, Travel

Poppy Bilderbeck
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