That is according to Mikael Petterson, MD, Life at Sea, a new cruise brand launched by Miray, who revealed to Seatrade Cruise News, ‘Bookings are off to a flying start, with over 1,300 booking requests in the first 24 hours. Our team, as you can expect, are working long hours to keep up with this sort of volume and expect to be fully sold out within 60 days, if not before.’
The sailing will see Gemini depart November 1 from Istanbul, with pickups in Barcelona and Miami. For less than $85 a day, including all food, drinks and accommodations, passengers will travel 130,000 nautical miles to 135 countries and seven continents, calling at 375 ports.
Currently housing refugees
The vessel is currently sheltering refugees in Iskenderun, Turkey, following the February 6 earthquake that hit parts of Turkey and Syria. It is scheduled to begin operating short Greek Islands cruises starting in spring.
Petterson explained the motivation behind the new concept: ‘We recognized there was a void in the long-term world cruise market and feel we are in a great position to fill that gap with the right sized ship, and the experience to make it possible.’
He added, ‘We are targeting pre-retires in their 50s to retirees in their 70s. However, this product is for anyone wanting to travel the world at their own pace, and the onboard product has been targeted to guests living aboard.’
Less than $85 a day
Prices start at $29,999 per year, and payment options from $2,499 per month, all-inclusive. The ship's 400 cabins, accommodating up to 1,074 passengers, range from 130 sq ft for virtual inside (with screens displaying a live view of the ocean) and ocean-view staterooms to 260 sq ft balcony suites, starting at $6,699 per month.
Passengers are promised fine dining, entertainment and recreational activities.
‘Professionals need connectivity, the right amenities and the functionality to perform their jobs. There is no other cruise product that offers this sort of flexibility to their customers’ said Petterson.
As well as modern workspace facilities, such as a business center with meeting rooms, 14 offices, a lounge and business library, the ship will include a 24-hour on-call hospital with free medical visits, learning and enrichment classes and the opportunity to make a positive impact through volunteer and philanthropic initiatives.
Passengers will have access to a state-of-the-art wellness center, sun deck and swimming pool, auditorium and multiple dining options.
Life at Sea asserts passengers may see additional tax benefits when working as an international resident aboard the ship.
Longer days in port
Each stop on Gemini’s itinerary, which includes access to 13 Wonders of the World, gives multiple days in port, allowing passengers more opportunity to explore.
Port charges are included for residents, but extra for additional guests.
Matchmaking service, shorter journeys available
Petterson said numerous people have expressed interest in a one-year leg of the journey but, 'right now, we are offering the three-year length. We also have a matchmaking chat room where guests can buy rooms together.
‘Many guests are able to leave in 2024, and there are a lot of one-year inquiries.’
Bucket list cruise
Irina Strembitsky, director of sales & marketing of Life at Sea Cruises said the voyage serves as ‘the ultimate bucket list cruise without having to sacrifice the comforts of home,' adding: 'It’s your home at sea with the world as your backyard.’
Miray Cruises’ VP Strategy & Business Development Kendra Holmes expressed similar sentiments. Of Miray’s new product, she told Seatrade Cruise News, ‘We are so excited to provide this unique opportunity to our guests and give them the chance to truly experience the world.'
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