Many cruise-lovers dream of living onboard ships for extended periods or even permanently. These cruising enthusiasts love the idea of a life on the water. They can travel to new places experience unique shore excursions and make new friends. At night, they can enjoy the luxury of cocoon-like staterooms and breathtaking views of the ocean.
Some travellers choose to book extended world tours (generally between 90 and 120 days long) while others prefer back-to-back, sequential cruises on one or several cruise lines. An opulent yacht in condo style, The World, has been available for purchase since 2002.
A new residential cruise ship community, Storylines will launch in Asia in 2023. It aims to make living on a ship affordable and open up the possibility for a wider range of people. The line aims to attract wealthy retirees as well as families and the increasing number of location-independent workers. Recently, the line announced that they were accepting pre-sale deposits to purchase their first ship.
Colleen McDaniel comments that the announcement is definitely an interesting one. We continue to hear from cruise passengers that they are interested in retiring at sea. They want to be able to take up a passion and really immerse themselves in the experience, once they have the financial and time resources. She adds that for those who enjoy cruising, it’s a great opportunity to be able to cruise for a longer period of time.
stylebes.com spoke to Alister Pnton, one the line’s founders (alongside Shannon Lee), in order to find out more about the brand as well as the plans for the new vessel.
Tell us more about the ship.
Alister Punton: The Storylines ship will launch from Asia in the latter part of 2023. It will be constructed in China, with the final work (such interiors and other components) completed by European trade partners. To deliver the most modern, cleanest, and greenest ship in the world today, we have partnered up with some of the biggest names in the industry.
The new vessel was designed to promote an active, global residential lifestyle. The 627 available residential units are all double-bedrooms, but suites can accommodate up to four people in double-bedroom configurations.
To what demographic do Storylines appeal to?
AP Our prospective residents are more representative for a small town than any segment of the market. Many of these people are not typical cruisers. These people come from many backgrounds, including business owners, professionals, homeschooled families, and those who can work remotely. We are primarily focused on finding the right people to fill the ship that resonate with our eight core values.
What are the best ways to choose itineraries?
AP The ship’s route is set for the first three and a half years. There are plans to complete the entire circumnavigation in that time. We will spend at least three days in most ports. Even the most short-term ports will have an overnight.
The itinerary includes “Flexible Days” that can be modified to meet the needs of residents. This could mean that you can stay longer at one location or vote on a different destination for the following week. The ship will also be at anchor at prime locations (such the waters around the islands in Croatia), allowing residents to take advantage of the marina and go fishing, kayaking, or scuba diving. Residents can also enjoy bushwalking on the island or baking marshmallows at the beach. There are many options.
Are the public spaces/amenities any different from those on cruise ships?
AP Because our residents don’t change every 2 weeks, we designed public spaces more like a luxury resort than a tourist cruise ship. You can think: juice bars, pop-up restaurants, yoga studios and cooking facilities. There is also a library, tech support bar, market, microbrewery, deli, market and marina.
There will be over 40 resident lounges aboard the ship. These private areas allow locals to relax, read, cook, or entertain their friends and family without ever having to go out into the open. These spaces can include a hot tub and bar service, as well as cabanas.
What dining options are available for owners?
AP The ship’s food offerings will be unique, with fresh produce from onboard and resident lounges equipped with full-kitchen cooking facilities. We have redesigned the entire restaurant space, removing the large dining hall-style setup and creating smaller boutique-style outlets. Residents will be able to walk through one of the food areas, just like on land, to find smaller restaurants (50-seat) or a hole in the wall Chinese-style dumpling place, or to a restaurant that serves food from the ship’s own kitchen.
A market garden will be available, along with regular staples and regionally specific cheeses and deli products. Residents can choose the items they like, have them cooked or prepared by someone else, and then enjoy their creations on the rear deck or on one the five outdoor or indoor viewing platforms. There are also seating areas that overlook the marina and lower pools.
There will be options that suit every taste, desire and budget. Like many other aspects of Storylines’, residents can make suggestions about the type of cuisine and restaurant styles that will be served onboard.
Rendering of the spa and wellness area on the ship
What medical resources are available on board?
AP Our residents will be cared for by a team of doctors and pharmacists as well as nurses and physical therapists. We will spend over 85% of our time at sea or cruising close by land. This means that we are close to top-notch hospitals and the helicopter is available for emergency medevac. The latest medical equipment will be available onboard, so we can handle many situations.
Is the ship any different technologically than other cruise ships?
AP This ship will be the greenest and cleanest sailing ship when it is launched. We will primarily run on liquified petroleum gas (LNG), but can also run other fuels as needed. A number of power generation facilities will be available with batteries banks. These can be used to power ship generators or auxiliary power. Our itinerary is slow-paced, so our annual emissions will not exceed that of a traditional tourist vessel.
We expect to grow tons of food onboard with more than 8000 square feet of space. Most of our herbs and leafy vegetables will be grown right from the ship. Two world-firsts are available to us: Ship-to-Plate food production and a dedicated restaurant that only serves food grown onboard.
High-speed internet access onboard means that guests can access their favourite sites and programs remotely from any location.
What is this concept like?
AP Storylines residents are fully in control of their space and can personalise it according to their wishes. It is possible to live in it, rent out the space, or leave it empty. It can also be sold. Residents can also make decisions about the experiences they want to have onboard and ashore, including entertainment, dining, and destinations.
What exactly does an owner “own”
AP Residents have the exclusive right to lease their selected residential unit on the ship, for the specified term. There are terms available from 12 to 60 year. The owners have the option to transfer the vessel to another Storylines ship without having to repurchase. This allows residents to keep their space on the cruise liner forever. If the resident desires, condo-cabins on cruise can be resold or rented to generate rental income to offset living costs.
How about pricing?
AP This phase of pricing starts at just $352,235, with current discounts reducing entry prices to below $297,000. Monthly fees are payable quarterly and are based primarily on the room size. Monthly fees for all-inclusive start at $1,928 per person (twin share) These fees include meals and entertainment, as well as costs associated with running the ship including crew, port fees, maintenance, crew and gratuities. Residents can rent out their residences to make a profit and offset their lifestyle.
Why did you choose “Storylines”?
AP We wanted to show the difference between Storyline and other traditional cruise lines. Storyline gives residents the chance to craft and re-craft their life stories and to share them with others. There is no other residential ship that offers a floating lifestyle at sea that is affordable and that fosters a sense of community.
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You’re welcome to the Wealth Management Divisions of Big Banks
The wealth management divisions were bright spots during a difficult first quarter for Wall Street’s largest banks. While the units outperformed, most of the financial institutions did not.
However, the golden age of financial advice may end soon, as fees are tied to increasing assets. The Federal Reserve plans to increase interest rates and stop buying Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed Treasury bonds. This could signal the end of “nirvana” as Dick Bove puts it.
Bove, a senior analyst at Odeon Capital Group, New York, said that while the wealth management industry has enjoyed the best possible environment over the past few years, “I don’t believe it will continue.” “The game will change, and I expect that over the next few years you’ll see more difficult environments and lower returns for this company.”
Wall Street was hit hard in the first quarter. The S&P 500 fell 4.95% during that period, a decline that is not expected to end. The wealth management units performed better than other divisions across the board.
JPMorgan Chase, the U.S.’s largest bank, saw net revenue drop 5% to $31.6 billion. Net revenue in the wealth management division of JPMorgan Chase rose 6% to $4.3 Billion.
Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon pointed out that the poor performance was due to the conflict in Ukraine. He stated that the quarter’s focus remained on helping clients navigate difficult markets, unpredictable events and working with governments to implement complex economic sanctions.
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Morgan Stanley saw a decrease in net revenue of 5.73% over the previous year, with less than half a point being lost in wealth management. James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley, said that the results were “strong” despite market volatility and economic uncertainty. Wealth management was also down less than half a percentage point.
Wells Fargo, a San Francisco-based bank, saw its net revenue drop by more than 5%. However, wealth and investment management were up 6% year after year.
Bank of America saw 1.8% revenue growth in the first quarter compared to the same period last years. Merrill Lynch’s wealth administration led the charge, with 10.2% revenue growth year-over-year for record revenues of $5.5 billion.
Goldman Sachs’ net revenues from consumer and wealth management were $1.62 Billion, which is 19% more than the first quarter 2021, and a bright spot in light of a 27% drop in overall net revenue year-over-year.
Goldman CEO David Solomon stated that investors can see the steady growth in wealth business year-over-year from the company’s earnings calls. We will continue to focus on that opportunity. It’s a slow process, and I want to emphasise that. It’s a huge opportunity for us. We have an aspirational brand within the wealth space, I believe.”
These financial institutions are not blessed with a wealth management system that is strong. Wall Street has made large investments in it. The Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis 14 years ago. Morgan Stanley purchased E-Trade, Eaton Vance bought United Capital, and Goldman Sachs acquired Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management.
stylebes has a wealth management writer based in New York. Before joining stylebes, I worked for Private Asset.