A 28-year-old tech thinks he’s found the perfect way to see the world while working remotely – by buying a studio on a cruise ship.
Austin Wells, of San Diego, bought a 12-year lease on the MV Narrative, buying a 237-square-foot apartment.
The cruise ship will launch in 2025 and Wells, who works for Facebook parent company Meta, intends to settle down for at least three years as he cruises around the world, while he works .
“What excites me the most is that I don’t have to disrupt my daily routine to go see the world,” Wells said, speaking to CNBC.
Austin Wells, 28, bought a $300,000 studio on a cruise ship, with a 12-year lease
The MV Narrative is expected to leave Croatia, where it is under construction, in 2025
Wells’ 237-square-foot apartment features a Murphy bed and small bathroom
The bathroom inside the Wells Cruise Ship Studio is similar to those found in high-end apartments
Wells’ apartment is the cheapest available: The high-end property is on sale for $8 million
“I start from this model where you want to go somewhere, you pack a bag, you catch a flight, you rent a room; so far my apartment, my gym, my doctors and dentists, all my groceries travel the world with me.
The MV Narrative will have 547 floating condominiums, with Wells being the smallest.
The upscale is a two-story, four-bedroom apartment that spans over 1,970 square feet and is for sale for $8 million.
Most apartments are offered for a 24-year or lifetime (60-year) lease, but Wells has secured a shorter term as part of a promotion to attract new residents.
Wells said he had always been fascinated by large ships, describing them as “a marvel of engineering and economy”, and was excited to experience them.
The ship features multiple lounges and workspaces spread over 18 floors
The more expensive apartments have balconies, like the one advertised in this computer-generated image
A library and meeting area are pictured inside the ship
He said he was looking forward to exploring “harder to reach destinations or sea destinations like beautiful dive sites.”
Wells added: “It’s like owning a condo. You can sell it, you can rent it.
The company behind the project, Storyline, has a team that will help with sales and rentals – which Wells said was important, to ensure the ship “feels alive”.
A studio like the one Wells bought could generate around $4,500 a month, according to a calculator on the Storylines website.
The ship will have a bridge with a champagne and whiskey bar, a cigar lounge and a small swimming pool at one end.
It has 20 restaurants and bars spread over 18 floors; a 10,000-square-foot gym and spa open 24 hours a day; three swimming pools; a school, a library, a bank and offices.
One of the three pools aboard the MV Narrative is pictured
The ship will also have a theater for shows and movies, but does not plan to hold the extravagant entertainment typical of regular cruise ships.
The company hopes people from all walks of life will join, including families.
Residents will have to pay $2,100 a month per person as part of an “all-inclusive living expense,” which covers food and drink from the ship’s restaurants and bars, laundry, fitness classes and exams medical.
Wells’ studio costs $2,083 per month for the 12-year lease, so with living expenses included, its total cost will be significantly less than renting a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.
Wells works within Meta’s augmented and virtual reality division, Reality Labs, and her work is entirely remote.
He plans to continue working hours on the west coast of the United States while the ship visits European cities.
“My working hours will be shifted to evenings, nights and very early mornings,” he said.
“But maybe it allows me to see a city from noon to afternoon and then start my work day around 6 or 7 p.m.”
The most expensive apartment is an $8 million two-story four-bedroom property, priced at $8 million
The 741-foot cruise ship will dock in ports for about three to five days, longer than the average cruise liner.
“Most people will go out to local towns and do day and overnight trips, hire a car and go out for three or four days and meet the ship at its next destination,” CEO Alister Punton explained. , former director of construction and real estate. who had never cruised before founding the company.
He plans to settle on the ship – like all executives – with his wife and children.
Punton said a sample itinerary could include three days moored in Rome, then three days in Naples, followed by stops in smaller places such as the seaside towns of Sapri and Marsala, and finally reaching Venice before sailing. to Slovenia, Albania, Croatia and Greece. then Turkey.
The ship will also visit the Arctic Circle on its three-year voyage around the world.
Wells said he was excited to start the journey.
“This is probably the first time it’s even been possible to have a standard job and even consider working and living in a floating apartment complex,” he said.