Nature Fights Back as Reefs Recover in the Maldives

Snorkelling above reefs

A research group has found that corals in the Maldives are showing some resilience, adaptability and even recovery from climate change effects

Biosphere Expeditions, the Marine Conservation Society, Reef Check Maldives and local Maldives environmental group, Save the Beach Maldives has found, against expectations, that corals are showing some resilience, adaptability and even recovery from climate change effects. The collective group recently returned from a 250 kilometre expedition around the central Maldives, the ninth annual survey of its kind sine 2010.

Expedition scientist and co-author of the paper showing the group’s findings, Dr. Jean-Luc Solandt, said he and his team of citizen scientists found many baby (less than 1 year) and young corals (1-3 years), as well as different species of corals growing vigorously at sites that we expected to be dead or dying: “It was surprising and encouraging to see a greater diversity of corals pushing through from the dead layer below. It seems nature is fighting back with a coral diversity explosion. We have seen resilience, adaptability and recovery this year,” Solandt explained.

The encouraging findings come after two years of little coral recovery in the region, following the 2016 coral bleaching event that killed off large swathes of reefs. One of the outstanding sites regularly visited by the annual Biosphere Expeditions surveys, ‘Rasdhoo Madivaru’, was also recently declared a Marine Protected Area, being both resilient to the worst bleaching effects, and harbouring large megafauna such as sharks, manta rays, turtles and Napoleon wrasse. “Our expeditions have highlighted this site for the past nine years, as being of extraordinary biodiversity value,” concluded Solandt.

However, Dr. Solandt added it’s not all plain sailing for the paradisiacal destination’s marine ecosystem. “Many reefs are still very badly affected and some have died altogether. And another temperature spike would kill many of the new corals we’ve seen. Also, some small corals that had settled on the reef in the last year, which we thought were resistant to bleaching, were now bleached, but the larger ones seem okay. Finally, the background temperature is still ‘hot’ at the bleaching threshold of 30 degrees celsius in very shallow water.”

Hussein Zahir, head of LaMer, one of the expedition’s local partner organisations, added that the recent change in government in the Maldives is another cause for optimism, noting that the government has indicated that it “understands the close link between oceans, climate change and the wellbeing of communities. This is a good start, as is the establishment of a National Research Institute that includes environment, health and social issues – a sort of think-tank and an infrastructure for science-based knowledge and understanding of the issue. And apparently the income from the Green Tax that has been levied on the tourism sector, will now be spent exclusively on the environment,” he said.

Further surveys will be carried out by local organisations Save the Beach Maldives and Reef Check Maldives, who will also train more local divers to survey their own reefs in the future and set up more community-based reef conservation efforts. The Biosphere Expeditions annual survey will return to the Maldives in August next year.

An Investigation into Sustainable Travel
As global tourism booms at an unprecedented rate, the environment is straining under the pressure leaving many of us wondering, are we loving our planet to death? We take a deep dive into the green revolution and the travel brands committed to change.

SeaDream Releases Megayacht Wine Voyage in the Med

SeaDream II
SeaDream II

The 7-Day luxury wine voyage from Malaga to Nice will see guests immersed in the world of wine, all from the luxury of a mega-yacht

Wine lovers, listen up. SeaDream Yacht Club has released a voyage from Malaga to Nice centred entirely on the wonderful world of wine. The seven-day voyage aboard a luxurious mega yacht will take guests to ports in the Mediterranean, visiting world-renowned wineries where they can improve their knowledge of the reds, whites and champagnes of the Mediterranean coast. 

Guests will be immersed into the world of wine as they explore the flavours and rich history from some of the world’s most renowned wineries in France and Spain, with behind-the-scenes guided tours of historic wine destinations, tastings, Signature Chef Walks through local villages, and more. Each SeaDream Wine Voyage is hosted by a particular winery and a representative from that winery hosts wine tastings and a WineMaker’s Dinner onboard, with tastings throughout the cruise.

The intimate size of SeaDream’s vessels means they can call upon the small ports, harbours and yachting playgrounds that larger ships cannot reach. In this case, the journey begins in Malaga, Spain, one of Europe’s cultural capitals and the birth city of internationally acclaimed painter Pablo Picasso. Then it’s onto Dénia, Spain, home to a castle overlooking the city, which is now an archaeological museum with guided tours. The vessel also calls into the French resort town of Saint-Tropez, long a holiday hot spot for the glitterati, not far from Provence’s magical hilltop villagesThe cruise concludes at the well-known coastal hub of Nice, France. 

The Malaga to Nice wine voyage will take place from May 9, 2020 to May 16, 2020. Prices start from $4,499 USD per person. 

You Can Now Book a Royal Palace on Airbnb

Exterior view of the City Palace, Jaipur, India
Exterior view of the City Palace, Jaipur, India

Jaipur’s Royal Family has listed their family home, the City Palace of Jaipur, on Airbnb 

The 300-year-old City Palace of Jaipur, home to Jaipur’s Royal Family, has played host to numerous special guests over the centuries, but from November 23, 2019, the Gudliya Suite at the City Palace will become accessible to the public, available to book for the first time ever on Airbnb

Steeped in history and located in the heart of Jaipur, capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, the City Palace is one of India’s most iconic buildings. Built in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of the city of Jaipur, the City Palace exemplifies the 18th century Rajput architecture with other architectural influences of later periods. The interiors contain ornate chambers, large and airy reception halls, crystal chandeliers, gilded wall decorations, intricate carvings. The palace complex also houses a large, internationally recognised museum. Notable visiting dignitaries have included Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Jackie Kennedy, among others.

The decadent Gudliya Suite has its own lounge, kitchen, bathroom and private indoor swimming pool. Guests of the Gudliya Suite at the City Palace will be provided a journey into the history, cultural heritage and artistic traditions of Jaipur’s royal family. Guests will be looked after by a private butler and guide who will arrange curated city experiences including shopping tours, guided walks through local museums and other excursions. A terrace with sweeping views of the surrounding Aravalli hills and forts overlooking the palace is a picture-perfect spot for digging into authentic Rajasthani meals, while afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the company of the resident peacocks who live in the Palace’s gardens.

Hosting the Airbnb is the polo-playing 21-year old Maharaja, Padmanabh Singh, who succeeded his grandfather in 2011 as the Maharaja of a land his ancestors have ruled for nearly a thousand years. 

“I am thrilled that my family and I are partnering with Airbnb to bring the splendour of Rajasthan to life for travellers from around the world. My own travels with Airbnb have made me feel very welcome in new cities and cultures, and I am happy that the experience of quintessential Indian hospitality will be shared with others,” sais Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh.

Proceeds from each booking through Airbnb will go to the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting rural women and artisans in Rajasthan. For the remainder of 2019, the Gudliya Suite, priced at USD $8,000 per night, will be available to book on select nights at a special inaugural offer of $1,457 per night, with Airbnb paying the balance amount for each booking as a contribution to the Foundation. From January 1st 2020, the Suite will be available for guests to book at the full $11,662 rate.

Virgin Voyages to Launch Second Ship, ‘Valiant Lady’

Valiant Lady Rendering
Valiant Lady Rendering

‘Valiant Lady’ will be Virgin Voyages’ second ship, transporting ‘sailors’ to top destinations in the western Mediterranean

Virgin Voyages has announced its second ship will be called ‘Valiant Lady’ and she will sail seven-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain when she debuts in May 2021. Bookings for the three feature itineraries – that all offer overnight and late-night stops across destinations in France, Italy and Spain – will open December 19, 2019.

“We are thrilled to unveil the name of our second ship – Valiant Lady – and to deliver on our commitment to offer travellers a sea change in how they can experience cruising in this fantastic part of the world,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.

As the sister ship to Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady’s name was inspired by the Latin word ‘valere’ and from the French origin, vaillant, meaning bold, strong and courageous. While historically, the image of women only graced the bows of ships to bring protection to a vessel, ‘Valiant Lady’ embodies the idea that women design, captain, lead and champion change in the maritime industry.

Valiant Lady will continue Virgin Voyages’ ‘Scarlet Squad’ program aimed at recruiting, supporting and mentoring female shipboard talent, and growing opportunities to access leadership roles in onboard areas such as marine, technical and hotel management that statistically show low numbers of female leadership.

Valiant Lady will dock just steps from the tourist strip of Las Ramblas at the World Trade Center Barcelona, positioning passengers as close to the heart of the city as possible. The location gives walking access to the neighbourhoods of Poble Sec, el Raval, Barri Gotic, Port Vell and the urban beach of La Barceloneta. The vessel will sail three different itineraries with various ports of call:

  • Itinerary 1 includes Barcelona, Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Olbia
  • Itinerary 2 features Barcelona, Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara and Cagliari
  • Itinerary 3 is mostly a Spanish immersion, stopping by Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and the British port of Gibraltar

Passengers will have later stays in ports than previous itineraries, with more time to take in what each destination has to offer. Every sailing features a Friday overnight stay in Ibiza where visitors can enjoy beach clubs, bohemian markets, spas, sunsets, or a late night out.

All Virgin Voyages ships have been designed by a creative collection of people who have designed some of the world’s most famous boutique hotel brands. The collective includes names like Design Research Studio (Tom Dixon), Roman & Williams and Concrete Amsterdam.

The Ritz-Carlton Returns to Australia with Perth Hotel Debut

The Ritz-Carlton, Perth at Elizabeth Quay
The Ritz-Carlton, Perth at Elizabeth Quay

The luxurious new hotel is the 100th Ritz-Carlton to open globally, and the first Australian property under the brand since the Ritz Carlton Double Bay in Sydney closed its doors in 2001

The Ritz-Carlton, Perth has opened on the shores of the Swan River in Perth. Part of the landmark development at Elizabeth Quay, The Ritz-Carlton, Perth overlooks the WA capital’s picturesque waterfront and Kings Park, and is the 100th Ritz-Carlton property to open globally. The opening also marks the return of the luxury brand to Australia, 18 years after the iconic Ritz-Carlton Double Bay stopped operating.

“We are very excited to bring the legendary service and exceptional luxury of The Ritz-Carlton brand back to Australia,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader, The Ritz-Carlton. “Perth as a destination has so much to offer the luxury traveler, from its stunning landscapes to its superior produce and wine. Our ladies and gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Perth are looking forward to providing guests with enriching experiences that are deeply engrained in the local culture and destination.”

The hotel offers 205 guestrooms including 19 suites, which feature sweeping city and Swan River views. The rooms boast Frette bedlinens and bath amenities by the British luxury brand Asprey.

With design inspired by the natural beauty of Western Australia, The Ritz-Carlton, Perth displays 13-metre high ceilings and a custom chandelier in the lobby, a palette of natural earth tones and the use of luxurious natural materials. A 277-square-metre signature Ritz-Carlton Suite offers separate sleeping, living and entertainment areas where floor-to-ceiling windows offer vistas and fill the space with natural light. The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge features an outdoor alfresco terrace with views and will feature mixology demonstrations, five culinary presentations per day, personalised excursions and journeys of wellbeing.

Hearth, the hotel’s signature restaurant and lounge offers new interpretations of the classic Australian barbecue. Acclaimed Western Australian Executive Chef Jed Gerrard will take guests on a gourmet journey that celebrates local culture and traditions, showcasing the finest and freshest produce from the region’s farmers, fishermen and artisans. Songbird is set to become Perth’s go-to cocktail venue and hotspot for sunset drinks, with an extensive drinks list featuring local spirits, craft beers and wines. Evening views over the Swan River will be accompanied with original cocktails that focus on native Australian botanicals, created in-house by a team of expert mixologists.

At The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Perth guests will find an array of treatments inspired by Australia’s natural healing products in four specialised treatment rooms. The spa offers pampering rituals as well as a modern fitness centre and yoga studio for post-flight stretches and meditation.

The hotel is located at one of the city’s newest lifestyle precincts, the scenic Elizabeth Quay, and offers easy access to the city’s most visited attractions, including Kings Park and The Bell Tower. The hotel will also be offering a series of exclusive curated local experiences that aim to capture the essence of both the city and Western Australia. Guests can enjoy a bike ride to the Blue Boatshed at Crawley Edge, go foraging with one of the hotel’s chefs, or enjoy a luxury picnic. The more adventurous can explore Margaret River by seaplane, journey across to Rottnest Island or discover the wealth of culinary options in Swan Valley. 

The second Australian Ritz-Carlton is currently under construction in Melbourne’s Swanston Street.

Palatial Luxury Collection Hotel Lands In Qatar

Al Messila Resort and Spa
Al Messila Resort and Spa

Al Messila, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa transports guests to their own private palace in Doha’s oasis district

The Luxury Collection recently announced the opening of Al Messila, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Doha, marking the debut of the brand in Qatar. Located 25 minutes from Hamad International Airport and 15 minutes from Doha’s city centre, West Bay, Al Messila is an urban oasis designed to respect the area’s natural surroundings. The ‘private palace’ setting is a retreat in the heart of the desert, offering service infused with Qatari hospitality and an ethos anchored by holistic wellness and epicurean journeys.

“Doha today is a world-class city with a burgeoning arts and culinary scene, rooted in tradition and a rich heritage,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “True to our brand’s mission and informed by Qatar’s foresight and commitment to sustainability, Al Messila offers global explorers a palatial retreat in a lush haven.”

With an expansive botanical backdrop in Doha’s historic ‘oasis’ district and fringed by native Mimosa and Acacia tree, Al Messila is a visually dramatic presence on the horizon. Guests arriving through the porte-cochere are transported to their own private palace, where a three-story, light-filled lobby adjoins a lounge offering expansive views of the resort. Sculpted marble sits alongside mashrabiya, detailing original Arabic patterning that infuses modern design with Qatari accents.

The resort has 152 rooms and suites, including 30 premium villas, each with its own pool, garden and personal butler service, and a whopping eight dining venues overseen by Michelin Star Chef Pino Lavarra are available. Snøull features a Nordic gourmet experience inspired by friluftsliv, the Scandinavian philosophy of ‘reconnecting with nature’, with dishes crafted using naturally nourishing, raw and biodynamic produce. Veritas offers a refined Northern Italian menu inspired by seasonal ingredients, and Caravanserai serves up hearty, comforting dishes that reinterpret the flavours of the Maghreb and Europe for a contemporary audience. At down-to-earth Greek estiatorio, Siga-Siga, a healthy menu of mezze and seafood is available, complemented by a signature Deli Kitchen where guests can shop, learn and enjoy under the same roof.

The resort’s comprehensive, female-only Al Messila Wellness facility is the region’s largest wellness retreat of its kind with no less than 26 treatment rooms. Advanced hydro-thermal facilities including three therapy pools and four hydro wellness ‘Worlds’ – Oriental, Mystic, Mineral and Floral – equipped with flotation tanks, cocoon beds, oxygen rooms, Kneipp walks, Hammams, salt rooms, and an elite range of exclusive treatment products and protocols are on offer.

Al Messila also hosts the innovative Little Explorers’ Club – the first ‘edu-tainment’ facility of its kind in Doha for the little ones. This includes a gym with kids-fit equipment, a cinema, an educational play area, an outdoor playground with interactive water fountains, and a shaded outdoor pool with hot-dip trampolines.

Lighthearted Luxury Arrives in London with Treehouse Hotels

Treehouse London Bedroom Window
Treehouse London Bedroom Window

The Treehouse London, from the hotel group behind design-led, sustainability-centric 1 Hotels, is a modern and playful hideaway breathing lighthearted luxury into London’s upmarket neighbourhood of Marylebone

The company behind sustainability-focused 1 Hotels, SH Hotels & Resorts’ latest venture, has debuted its new brand, Treehouse Hotels, with the opening of  Treehouse London. A playful and distinctly modern hideaway amid the Big Smoke, the hotel is located at Langham Place in Marylebone and features 95 guest rooms, including 15 suites, an acclaimed Mexican restaurant and a spectacular rooftop bar with 360-degree views of central London

Every detail of Treehouse London is imagined through the lens of childhood, with guest rooms featuring cuckoo clocks and sleeping bag throws, and programming such as resident horticulturalists giving tours of local gardens, book clubs and poetry slams on offer. Coffee and wine bar Backyard meets guests on entry and feels like an actual treehouse with exposed wood and branches, and the Treehouse app connects guests to neighbourhood favourites curated by hotel staff. 

“It’s really exciting to launch our first Treehouse Hotel in one of the greatest cities in the world,” said Barry Sternlicht, CEO & Chairman of Starwood Capital Group, of which SH Hotels & Resorts is an affiliate. “I believe Treehouse, with its unique philosophy and playful aesthetic, will introduce a new kind of hospitality experience to the London market — fun, witty, surprising, and as much a destination for visitors as it is a local hangout.”

Like 1 Hotels, Treehouse London prides itself on its sustainable initiatives, with the hotel striving to optimise eco-conscious operations within its city setting. It has developed a robust composting and recycling program, and is committed to reducing single-use plastics throughout all its operations. Every guest room is outfitted with organic cotton sheets, as well as locally-sourced bath and other products, and reclaimed wood and exposed rafters are on show in common areas creating a natural, wild and woody feel. The check-in counter on the 15th floor features a wooden mosaic with festoon lighting, bringing the outdoors in, from roots to canopy.

Treehouse is home to L.A. hotspot Toca Madera, the go-to destination for traditional Mexican cuisine taking a modern approach. Toca Madera, which aptly translates to “knock on wood,” pairs strong flavours with organic ingredients, and the menu favours shared-plate dining. The food is complemented by Toca Madera’s “farm-to-glass” mixology program. 

Promising to be the hotel’s most talked about feature is The Nest, a photo shoot-worthy rooftop bar with spectacular 360-degree skyline views of London. The bar and lounge feature a tandem swing set, areas for cozying up in blankets and viewing the cityscape, and spots for catching up over cocktails and small bites while the DJ plays in their own ‘treehouse fort’.

Aman Takes to the Skies With Private Jet Debut

Aman Private Jet Exterior
Aman Private Jet Exterior

The new private jet is available for charter to elevate existing multi-destination Aman journeys, to create bespoke itineraries incorporating several Aman destinations around the world or for use between non-Aman destinations

Aman Resorts is the latest hotel group to take to the skies, with the recent launch of the Aman Private Jet – an airborne extension of the Aman resort philosophy.

One of the world’s most luxurious and spacious personal aircrafts, Aman’s new Bombardier Global 5000 seats a maximum of 12 passengers and promises one of the smoothest rides in the private skies, reaching top speeds of 923 kilometres per hour. Available for charter to elevate existing multi-destination Aman journeys, to create bespoke itineraries incorporating several Aman destinations around the world or for use between non-Aman destinations, journeys can be tailored to the needs of its guests.

As you would expect of a private jet charter, each booking is fully customisable and every itinerary flexible, with an Aman Jet Concierge on-hand to plan every detail of the guests’ travels. Guests can choose their in-flight meals ahead of their journey and have access to their luggage throughout their flight as well as constant, high-speed WiFi connectivity. Other unique Aman touches include a tea ceremony and amenities from the brand’s all-natural range of Aman Skincare products.

To celebrate the launch of the jet, Aman has curated four new journeys incorporating multiple Aman properties, that explore some of the world’s most beguiling destinations.

Bali & Beyond offers passengers the chance to build a bespoke Indonesian itinerary encompassing up to five Aman destinations. These include Aman’s trio of Balinese retreats – Amandari, Amankila and the Aman Villas at Nusa Dua – as well as Amanjiwo overlooking Borobudur in Central Java’s spiritual heartland. Unique tented camp Amanwana, on the island of Moyo in the Flores Sea, is also included, offering an unparalleled opportunity to experience the cultural, spiritual and natural diversity of the world’s largest archipelago.

From the rural peace of Hangzhou’s West Lake and the thousand-year old history of Lijiang to the 21st century dynamism of Shanghai, The Secrets of China journey combines stays at Amanfayun, Amandayan and Amanyangyun to create a personalised private jet tour of the country’s hidden wonders – both ancient and modern.

Indochina Past & Present takes in the ancient culture and scenery of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with Amantaka, Amansara and Amanoi worthy places to rest your head in between flying.

From the Himalayas to the Sea combines a Bhutanese spiritual escape with a Phuket beach break, incorporating a minimum seven-night journey through Amankora’s five lodges and a three night stay at Amanpuri in a consecutive journey. Guests can enjoy traditional Bhutanese blessings and culture, followed by secluded beach views.

As well as all flights, private transfers and accommodation at Aman properties, each of these journeys includes private tours of key cultural sites plus a host of exclusive privileges at each resort. These range from personalised spa treatments and traditional blessing ceremonies, to unique culinary and cultural experiences.

Anantara Debuts Iko Mauritius Resort and Villas

Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort Beach Aerial View
Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort Beach Aerial View

From locally inspired cuisine to history tours, pool- and beach-side relaxation to sports adventures, southeast Mauritius’s newest resort offers a variety of experiences to inspire travellers

Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas has debuted on Le Chaland Beach along the south-eastern coast of Mauritius as a tranquil and luxurious beachside hideaway. Designed by award-winning Ground Kent Architects of Australia and Abacus Design interior designers of Thailand, the new resort’s aesthetic reflects the history of the country, drawing influences from the island’s architectural heritage. Natural, locally-sourced materials take precedence with a range of of volcanic stone, basalt, drift wood crafted by local artisans, scattered light and wave-and-ripple patterns implemented.

Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort’s 164 guest rooms feature a terrace or balcony with a daybed overlooking either the resort’s tropical gardens or the Indian Ocean, while eight luxury Pool Villas – two with two bedrooms and six with four bedrooms – will launch in the second quarter of next year.

Anantara Spa offers a range of therapeutic treatments including traditional massage therapies, detox treatments and rituals in the spa’s Turkish hammam. The resort offers yoga, meditation and a variety of wellness journeys led by experts in Reiki therapy, chakra healing and Ayurveda. The focal point of the resort is the 30-metre ozone-based swimming pool, one of many sustainability initiatives which are incorporated into the property.

Mauritius’s cuisine is inspired by Indian, French, Dutch, Creole and Chinese flavours and the resort’s multiple dining options pay tribute to these. Local seafood and regional flavours await Sea Fire Salt, the signature restaurant that offers diners cooking displays. Zafran offers private dining on degustation menus accompanied by wine pairings. At Bon Manzer the focus is on natural food. Horizon, the all-day dining restaurant, opens with a breakfast buffet and closes with nightly themes celebrating the island’s cuisine. Karokan Poolside Bar is open throughout the day.

Guests can partake in a  Spice Spoons cooking class that includes visits to a market, a future in-resort herb garden and a boutique winery with locally-made lychee wine. Guests desiring a more private meal can order from the in-room dining menu or book a Dining by Design meal, which offers couples and small groups a choice of menus serviced by a personal chef and private butler.

The Kids Club offers a supervised program that includes arts and crafts, face painting, treasure hunts, cooking classes and games inspired by local Creole culture and the ocean.

At sea, the resort offers a range of water sports including paddle boarding, water skiing and kite-surfing, with diving, deep sea fishing and catamaran cruises to private islands also available. 

The nearby Blue Bay Marine Park is one of the island’s premier snorkelling and diving destinations. The underwater coral beds house an array of tropical fish along with occasional turtles and moray eels. Approximately forty different species of coral – some up to eight hundred years old – have been identified at the Blue Bay Marine Park, including some of the largest spheroid shaped brain corals ever found in the Indian Ocean.

Many nature, history and adventure activities can be found in the southeast corner of the island, including a historical tour led by the hotel’s Cultural Guru. Just 15 minutes’ drive from the resort is Mahebourg, the first capital of Mauritius. Mahebourg is known for its local market, museums, fortifications and the historic battles between the French and British. Guests interested in flora and fauna can visit nearby nature reserve Ile aux Aigrettes. Nearby Black River Gorges National Park is famous for its waterfalls, vistas, hiking, quad biking and zip lining. There are over a dozen golf courses across the island, including an 18-hole course with sea views just 30 minutes from the resort.

Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort’s room rates start at EUR 330++ per night.

World’s Most Eco-Friendly Residence at Sea to Debut in 2023

Storylines Vessel Rendering

Storylines’s luxury eco-friendly ship will take residents around the world for culturally immersive experiences

Storylines is now taking pre-sale deposits for its first new-build ship, a sleek and luxurious vessel that uses clean LNG fuel. Scheduled to debut in 2023, Storylines is reimagining the cruise ship experience, building a residential community at sea that provides each member with the opportunity to live as part- or full-time owners.  

“We’re thrilled to finally be able to release the design of our new ship,” said Storylines Co-Founder Alister Punton. “The Storylines mission is to deliver a sustainable, responsible, and thoughtful lifestyle for our residents, and we are so proud to introduce what we see as the first-of-its-kind experience in the market. This new vessel is designed to cater to the unique community we are offering and every aspect of the ship from the room layout to the culinary offerings and the spa to the itinerary has been thoughtfully planned out.”    

Storylines’ commitment to quality lifestyle gives access to historic and exotic locations as well as unique, hard-to-find cultural events. Residents will be able to experience monumental sporting events like the Olympics and America’s Cup or chase vibrant cultural festivals around the world such as Midsummer celebrations in Sweden and Carnival in Trinidad from the comforts of their home-at-sea.

With an average of three to five days in each port, adventure-seeking experiences are integrated into curated itineraries with immersive shore excursions. Additionally, Storylines will bring each destination to life onboard with enriching educational and entertainment experiences, spa services that feature local elements, and a signature Chef’s Table Market Gallery that will use regional ingredients to create culinary offerings inspired by each port of call.

“Our aim is to disrupt and revolutionise travel and lifestyle options for citizens-of-the-world who appreciate adventure,” noted Co-Founder Shannon Lee. “Our goal is to attract like-minded residents who, at varying stages of their lives—whether early retirement, digital nomads or families that are looking for new ways to enhance their lifestyle—to integrate global travel and cultural immersion as part of their life’s journey.”

The ship features 627 fully furnished residences with units from 237 square feet to 2411 square feet, and price points ranging from USD $352,235 to more than USD $8 million for a premium two-level penthouse suite for up to six residents. When not in residence, owners have the option to make their unit available through the Storylines rental management program.

Positioned to be the world’s greenest cruise ship, Storylines’ commitment to balancing sustainable practices with quality lifestyle and comfort for residents can be seen in the ship’s unique design features that include:

  • Green LNG powered with onboard power generation
  • Water-level guest marina
  • Expansive unit layouts with majority balcony residences
  • Large public and private areas

Additional onboard amenities feature a micro-brewery, art studio, hydroponic farm, smoothie bar, 20 restaurants, 45 resident lounges, three pools and a 5400 square-foot garden farm.