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The World in Panama

How the world’s largest private residential yacht is truly unique

21 April 2022

Since her launch in 2002, The World has visited over 1,000 ports of call across all seven continents with those who call her home. What’s special about The World is that she moves to a new destination every few days, giving her residents plenty of time to explore and the exclusive lifestyle she is renowned for along the way.

As self-proclaimed adventure seekers, the residents of The World spend their days experiencing the extraordinary. As they continue to circumnavigate the planet, we are reminded of what is so unique about this luxurious residential yacht, not least being the only one of her kind in operation today.

She’s the largest and only privately-owned residential yacht in the world

The hull of the 43,188 GT vessel was built by Bruces Shipyard in Sweden and completed at Fosen Yard in Norway. Measuring 196 metres in length, The World consists of 12 decks packed with everything an owner might need. “Many of our residents are former or existing yacht and superyacht owners,” says Tom Wolber, CEO of The World Residences at Sea. “It’s the perfect alternative to individual yacht ownership, offering services and facilities that would be challenging to achieve on one’s own.”

There are 165 bespoke private residences on board

The World is home to an international community hailing primarily from North America, Europe, South Africa, Asia and Australia. The elegant yacht has an average occupancy of 150 to 200 residents and guests at any time, ensuring a tranquil and capacious onboard environment. For these people, no two days are the same, and not just because they are waking up in a new part of the world every few days. Their lives are filled with opportunities to try new food and wines, engage with expert lecturers knowledgeable on global cultures, experience a new fitness regime and so much more – and all from the comfort of their own home. “The World offers a unique lifestyle that exists nowhere else on the planet. We consider a home here to be a life filled with global adventure at the pinnacle of luxury,” adds Wolber.

Residents with a private chef

The residents decide where the ship goes

This year, The World will visit five continents and undertake three expeditions: the Tuamotu and Marquesas archipelagos of French Polynesia, Polynesia’s Austral Islands and Iceland. This itinerary was decided by the residents three years ago via community vote with the help of the mega yacht’s captains, resident itinerary committee and an itinerary planning department. The journeys are based around extended stays with an average of three days in each port as, unlike most passenger vessels, The World spends nearly twice as many days in port than at sea, so the residents are able to explore on land as much as they like and still allow some flexibility to the itinerary if needed.

The World in the Sea of Cortez

She was designed in Sweden

Swedish designers Petter Yran and Bjørn Storbraaten are behind The World’s contemporary exterior. Whereas inside, many residents have chosen to customise their homes to suit their personal tastes with their own style and décor, furnishings and travel keepsakes. Within some of the studios and one, two and three-bedroom apartments, walls have been decorated with artwork, as well as photographs taken during one of the yacht’s unique expeditions. While on the move, residents often purchase impressive wines to add to their own private collection, sometimes from the winemakers themselves during exclusive wine tastings at wineries not open to the general public.

Play a game of golf at sea

Keeping the mind engaged and the body active is never a chore on board The World. “The World offers first-class facilities and the highest levels of service, amenities and pampering delivered by an expert crew,” explains Wolber. With so many options to play sports and games, residents can take part in anything from mountain bike riding and yoga to billiards and water sports. A firm favourite for many residents is a game of golf, and some choose to improve their swing on the virtual golf simulator or refine their short game on the outdoor putting green. “It is no surprise that we continue to experience a high demand for re-sale opportunities to join our international community,” he adds.

The World hair salon

The spa covers 650 square metres

The World Spa & Wellness Center offers all of the latest beauty and wellness treatments. For anti-ageing and pain relief, residents can try the multi-wave LED therapy, and for those wanting to simply relax, the innovative Vichy bed and Cleopatra infrared heated beds are ideal. There are also multiple swimming pools, including the Aqua Spa pool, and after a swim, residents can opt for one of the many professional massages or the multitude of facial, body, hair and nail treatments. This is all made possible thanks to the yacht’s team of experts who are able to guide residents on their long-term health journeys.

There are six restaurants on board

Most homes come with a fully equipped kitchen for residents to cook for themselves. However, more than likely they are dining in one of the ship’s six onboard restaurants, renowned for their innovative menus that feature fresh, locally sourced produce and the distinctive flavours of the destinations visited. Residents in search of a truly personalized dining experience can invite a private chef into their home who can prepare a romantic dinner for two or for entertaining larger groups of family and friends. For those seeking the perfect beverage, residents can find numerous cocktail lounges and bars across the vessel. Plus, there’s an extensive and award-winning wine list of over 1,200 wines hand-picked from 20 countries. All this is stored in The World’s impressive wine cellar that holds over 16,000 bottles.

Staying healthy is made easy

“Residents are adventure seekers with a passion for travel, exploration and outdoor activities,” Wolber says. That said, it is no surprise that The World’s Fitness Center is one of the most popular places on the vessel. Residents are offered 24/7 access to both the inside and open-air areas to work out with state-of-the-art equipment. Suitable for all levels, the optional activity programme has been curated by a team of qualified fitness specialists and includes Pilates, circuits, power walking, yoga, Bodypump, spinning, Zumba, Cross Fit, and more. There is also the jogging/walking track and two swimming pools to choose from, and the only regulation-sized tennis court at sea, which is perfect for cricket matches and basketball games.

The World in Aldabra, the Seychelles
Mrs Susan Smith

In each destination, there are unique expeditions

Each year, two to three expeditions are held to discover the cultural and geographic treasures of regions, often too remote for most to travel to on their own. For each, like to Antarctica’s Ross Sea or the Aldabra Group of the Seychelles, The World invites a team of experts to provide residents with a carefully crafted program of activities, lectures and workshops for a totally unique and immersive experience in each locale.

For time outside of the expeditions, no matter where The World is, the vessel’s crew and concierge can assist with organising out-of-this-world experiences. For example, residents have been able to watch Melanesia’s Pentecost land divers jump from wooden platforms with vine-wrapped ankles, sail through the Marquesas Islands, swim with whale sharks in West Papua, hike to Cape Town’s Table Mountain and stay overnight in Sri Lanka’s Udawalawe National Park.

“Our residents travel to the most exotic destinations in the world in absolute luxury from the comfort of their own homes at sea, often inviting family and friends to share in bespoke, once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” says Wolber. In addition to these activities and depending on the location, experts such as anthropologists, marine biologists, dive and snorkel guides, historians, kayak guides and oceanographers can be invited on board for special events.

Residents can learn something new every day

As individuals naturally thirsty for knowledge, the residents are invited to become an audience for various educational lectures, both in person and virtually. A day at sea can be spent listening to professional and experienced speakers talk on a variety of topics including arts and culture, history, finance, world affairs and politics, food and wine, photography, science, space, and more. There are plenty of opportunities for residents to go one step further, as lecturers are able to host educational outings relating to the topic.

A standout addition to The World’s education programme is the Nobel Laureate Lecture Series. So far, esteemed Nobel Prize Laureates such as Dr Shuji Nakamura who received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the blue LED and Dr Edvard Moser, a 2014 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine who lectured on the brain’s maps of space have sailed and hosted receptions and private dinners with residents.

For the keen debaters on board, there are regular informal roundtable conversations that discuss important issues such as politics, finance and business with local experts and dignitaries. Interactive workshops matched to the residents’ interests, including photography, diving and snorkelling, cooking and painting, are also available.

There’s first-class entertainment every day

The World’s cultural program includes many activities, lectures and workshops, yet there is still time and space for special events. Residents can immerse themselves in dance and music shows that embody a destination’s tradition. Shows have included salsa dancing in Puerto Rico, a children’s choir in Panama, classical Indian dance and tango dancers in Buenos Aires. To inform residents about such events, and information about The World’s ports of call, an exclusive daily TV programme is produced and forms part of the extensive on-demand television channels on board. Included in this are all of the taped lectures so residents don’t miss any of their favourite speakers. Available in all residences, the TVs have dozens of channels – depending on the location – an advanced system unheard of for a vessel of this kind.

To learn more about ownership opportunities and the unique residential lifestyle of this one-of-a-kind yacht, contact The World’s Residential Advisor by calling +1 954 538 8449 / +44 20 7 572 1231 or clicking here.