Residential cruise startup Villa Vie has finally acquired a ship and plans to launch its multi-year continuous voyage in May 2024.
It has purchased the MS Braemar from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is a 924-passenger vessel built in 1993. The ship previously sailed under the Crown Cruise Line and NCL flags.
After the high-profile financial struggles of rival startup Life at Sea Cruises, it is positive news for the burgeoning residential cruise industry. It had to postpone indefinitely after failing to procure a ship.
Villa Vie is expected to take ownership of the Braemar in February 2024 and undergo a multimillion-dollar refurbishment as the renamed Villa Vie Odyssey.
The company says Villa Vie Odyssey will “offer an intimate, new cruise lifestyle, able to reach parts of the world that larger ships cannot access.” The ship was last refurbished in 2019.
What to expect onboard
It will have eight decks and a wrap-around promenade. It offers three restaurants, eight bars, four lounges, a pool, a fitness center, a spa, and a library. The company touts its shallow hull, which can navigate some inland waterways and rivers.
The ship will house a large business center to meet the needs of cruising digital nomads, supported by Starlink and Viasat 3 internet connectivity. The ship will also feature an educational culinary center.
“Villa Vie Odyssey will be customized for three-and-a-half-year global circumnavigations, ensuring all the comforts and amenities of home,” says Villa Vie CEO Mikael Petterson.
The company has rolled out a more flexible pricing model beyond the option of owning or renting a villa at sea. It has a “pay-as-you-go” concept that allows guests to commit to shorter voyage segments starting from 35 days. You can rent an inside room for $89 per night and a balcony for $199.
The continuous world cruise is slated to last over 1,300 days with an itinerary spanning 425 ports. Port stays will typically last from two to seven days.
READ MORE: Life at Sea Fails to Aquire Cruise Ship