“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float. To roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.”
I lifted this quote by Hans Christian Andersen from the Storylines brochure as it best resonates with me when thinking about what the founders of this project are trying to achieve.
Imagine living in a luxury residence on water, travelling the world, visiting famous sights but also discovering places “off the beaten track”. Storylines´ residents do exactly that. Storylines is creating a lifestyle of not only making memories but also making friends along the way. Not for a few weeks’ holiday, but as a permanent lifestyle.
A few of us from The Islander Magazine met up with the Storylines team during the Palma Boat Show. There is so much that we could tell you about this impressive project, but, to start with, we will cover the basics with the help of one of the founders, Shannon Lee.
Can you tell us briefly what Storylines is about?
Storylines is creating an all-inclusive way of life that is attracting adventure seekers looking for immersive cultural experiences on a global scale. It allows for a simple and safe way to experience the whole globe. When completed it will be the greenest cruise ship on the seas with many new technologies built into the design: a ship for the future. We have engaged with our resident community at every step to really make this ‘their ship’ and a future home for the lucky few. We are selling now and demand is very strong.
Who are the people behind this project?
In short, it´s my co-CEO Alister Punton and I. We founded the project to enable people to rediscover their passion for exploration so they could live a life of adventure and freedom. Our core team includes ship designers, construction project management and we have our sales, marketing and technology teams and other experts including legal, medical, sustainability and client relations.
How did you come up with the idea for Storylines?
Back in 2016 Alister and I were in the land-based real estate and construction sector and we started thinking about taking that experience and shifting it toward a new venture by creating a residential community at sea. Two years of market research indicated there was enough demand to expand the current market to a broader audience by making the liveaboard lifestyle more affordable and we decided to go for it.
You mentioned MV Narrative, what exactly is it?
It is a 62.500 gross ton purpose built luxury residential ship, being built in Croatia. It is a luxury residential community on water made up of more than 500 residences of various sizes, some over 200m2 (2100sf). The ship, MV Narrative, has 20 restaurants and bars, unique resident lounges, three pools, an oceanfront marina, cinema and performance theatre, an art studio, a solar powered hydroponic garden farm and a whole lot more.
What stage is your project currently at?
We have an agreement with Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia. Engineering has commenced and the first steel cutting is expected next year. The completion date is set for 2024.
Can people still come and invest in a residence?
Yes, we still have residences available and there are two main price models on offer. Here is an example of the cost of our most affordable residence, the RU1, and the prices go up from that:
1) $929,000 outright purchase and then all-inclusive living from $2,375 per month per person (dual occupancy)
2) $310,286 for a 12 year lease and then all-inclusive living from $2,375 per month per person (dual occupancy)
All current availability and pricing are on the website storylines.com
Something that might also be interesting to your readers is that you can live on board for, say, six month a year (or whatever period you chose) and rent your residence for the time you are not using it.
Who are your typical customers?
It’s a very interesting mix of true global citizens including entrepreneurs who work remotely, families, live aboard sailors, early retirees and expats. For example, we have a Space X programmer in her mid-30s and parents who home-school their children.
Does this mean that you plan to provide education on board too?
Yes, our education program includes teachers who focus on project based learning in small group learning pods, online academics, field trips to exotic destinations and UNESCO world heritage sites and interactive workshops with local artisans. We also offer lots of clubs, classes and outdoor sports including chess and robotics clubs, photography and sound recording classes, sailing and golf.
How is what you are offering different from a typical cruise ship experience?
So many ways. Primarily this is a lifestyle, not a holiday. Our residents live here. This is a community. They are getting to know each other already; forming friendships and business relationships. We provide authentic experiences and care about the locations we visit, giving back to local communities. We stay in ports longer than your typical cruise ship (3-5 days in popular ports). Circumnavigating the world takes about 3.5 years which means we spend about three months at a time in certain regions. Cruise ships generally have only a few hours in each port stop.
How has COVID affected your plans and schedules?
COVID has actually been good to us. It made people rethink things. How do they live? How do they work? What can they do differently? People are coming to us who don’t want to go back to the daily grind. Because of this influx of remote workers, executives and business owners, we created a new set of floor plans; for example one with a large oceanside office and some with 3-4 bedrooms to accommodate families.
Shannon, thank you very much for this chat! Could we perhaps catch up again in a few months, to see how things are going and what’s new?
Sure, I´d love that.
So, anyone interested in luxury living on water and buying into Storylines experience – watch this space! To be continued…
By Mia Naprta
Photos: renderings by Tillberg Design of Sweden