The World's Largest Private Residential Cruise Ship Just Docked At Penang

Oh, to be this rich.

Cover image via YB Wong Hon Wai/New Straits Times & The World

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MS The World is the world's largest private residential cruise ship and it just docked in Penang yesterday, 12 May

Built in 2002, the ship has been circumnavigating the globe for over 20 years.

It carries about 150 families every two to three years.

But these aren't just any guests. These are extremely wealthy families.

Image via The World

The cruise ship has 165 luxury apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedroom suites, where guests can live full-time.

Or at least, if you can afford it.

Each suite is a luxurious, custom-designed private home, with prices ranging from USD2 million (RM9.5 million) to USD15 million (RM71 million), according to Business Insider.

It's not as simple as having money either. CNN reported that you need a net worth of at least USD10 million (RM47 million) to own a suite, and to get on board, you'll need an invitation.

Image via The World
Image via The World

The residences are reportedly owned by 142 different families from 19 countries, with approximately 50% from North America, 35% from Europe, and 15% from Asia-Australia-South America-South Africa combined.

It's been said that even celebrities such as Madonna and Arnold Schwarzenegger own suites on The World.

Owning a space onboard does come with its perks though. Instead of needing to plan your own itinerary and accommodation, the cruise ship takes care of everything for you.

Image via The World/CNN

Residential cruise ships, such as The World, allow travellers to explore the globe in the comfort of a floating home.

"Once on board, you can expect the highest standards of anticipatory service, from housekeeping and personalised concierge services to tailored wellness programmes and bespoke dining experiences," details its description.

Since then, many other residential cruise ships have adopted a similar concept.

The World in the Ross Sea.

Image via The World/CNN

According to The World's website, every year, the ship travels to 100 ports, and destinations are planned out three years in advance by the management team and a committee of residents. The ship typically stays for an average of three days at each port, allowing guests to explore each country.

Some of the places it has previously visited include Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique, the Solomon Islands, Hawaii, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Canada, Alaska, Mexico, and Central America, among many others.

Image via The World

The World will remain in Penang until Tuesday, 14 May, before heading to Langkawi

Its previous port of call was at Koh Phi Phi, Thailand.

"This momentous occasion marks a significant milestone for Penang as it solidifies its position as a premier destination for luxury maritime travel," Penang Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Wong Hon Wai was quoted as saying by The New Straits Times.

"Situated strategically in Southeast Asia, Penang stands out as a prime destination for cruise liners traversing the region.

"Serving as a key port city in this area, the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal in George Town showcases Penang's dedication to providing world-class facilities and services tailored to cruise tourists," he added.

Meanwhile, can you guess how much it costs to ride this luxury train in Southeast Asia?

Can't afford that life? Here are more travel activities that are a different kind of fun:

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