MIAMI -- A cruise ship whose cabins will be sold as condo apartments, a la the World of ResidenSea, is to be operated by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts under the luxury hotelier's brand name.

The concept is still in the development stages.

Finland's Kvaerner Masa-Yards said June 15 it signed a conditional contract with FS Ocean Club, managed by Miami-based Ocean Development Group, to build a 42,500-ton, 700-passenger "residential" vessel that will be branded, managed and operated by Four Seasons. The ship will be built if Ocean Development meets its sales target to sell 30% of the ship's residences by July 2005.

The ship, to be named the Four Seasons, will have 100 residences. Ten will be sold as timeshares and the remaining 90 will be sold as condos; prices range from $4 million to $12 million. A spokeswoman for Ocean Development said the condos would be sold through real estate brokers.

ResidenSea was the first cruise company to market its ship as a floating condominium when it launched the World in 2002.

But the Ocean Development spokeswoman said the Four Seasons will be an "improved" version of the ResidenSea concept. For one, she said, all the cabins will be sold as residences instead of having a mix of residents and cruise vacationers.

Four Seasons will take a 10% equity stake in the venture, the Ocean Development spokeswoman said. Ocean Development, headed by Kristian Stensby, the former chairman of Premier Cruises, will take a 90% stake.

To contact reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].

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