NEW YORK -- The World,
the ship that executives call the only existing residential
community at sea, is sold out, with the final few available
residences recently purchased. But in a press event here,
executives said that travel agents will still play an active role
in selling cruise vacations to renters, as well as in the re-sale
The World, which was
launched early in 2002, was sold to its owners more than two years
ago; since then they have controlled itineraries and
James St. John III,
president of ResidenSea Ltd., the management company behind the
vessel, said, While were excited that The World is sold out, there
will still be ways for agents to sell the experience to clients by
booking residences on the rental market.
Agents, he added, are
also eligible for referral fees if a client buys a residence; and
if a client takes a vacation on The World and subsequently buys a
unit, the agent will be paid the referral fee as well.
Although the ship is
sold out, said St. John, there will still be an average of 5% to
10% of units available at any given time for re-sale as owners die,
get divorced or simply change their plans. There are 165 residences
on board, but only 109 owners because many owners buy more than one
Niki Upshaw, senior
vice president-sales and marketing for ResidenSea, Ltd., said the
company had created an Ambassadors Club of 50 travel agents, yacht
brokers and other intermediaries who regularly book the ship; about
30 are agents.
The potential earnings
are substantial because nightly rates range from $1,200 to $5,000,
depending on season and residence. Currently, residences are on
sale at prices ranging from $850,000 to $7.3 million; annual
maintenance is currently $150 per square foot.
In 2007, The World
will begin the year in Argentina before moving to Antarctica,
several stops in Latin America, and then Europe for much of the
year. The itinerary is designed so the ship is in port for major
events like Carnival in Rio and the Cannes Film
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