Dream home that floats on water

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How does this sound? You slide through the French Riviera dropping in at the Cannes Film Festival and the Grand Prix in Monaco, then head to the British Open in Edinburgh after a short stay in London, and follow-up with a visit to San Francisco via Reykjavik - all without leaving the comfort of your luxuriously appointed home. That's what's on offer from The World of ResidenSea, a cruise ship promoted as a first-of its-kind resort community at sea continuously circumnavigating the globe. Christening festivities got underway in Venice on 17 May for The World as the 12 deck, 196m, 43,000 tonne vessel completed its maiden voyage.

Whilst only a fraction of the size of the proposed Freedom Ship featured in the last edition of Gizmo, The World is unique in that it consists of 110 privately owned luxury apartments that are also available for rental from periods of five days to as long as you like.

Apartment rentals start at US$1,400 - $7,200 per day and if you like it so much that you want to move in full-time - purchase prices start at US$2,225,000.

Ranging from 102 to 301 square meters in size, the fully furnished apartments deliver the promised luxury including complete kitchen, private veranda, Wedgwood china, and Christofle flatware and there's also a choice of interior styles from four international designers.

When not in port there's also a full-shot driving range and natural grass putting green, a water-sports marina, a gourmet market and lots more to amuse yourself with before you even think of hitting the restaurants and bars. A host of other facilities you'd expect to find on dry land are also available including a business and conference centre, modem access in each apartment, lectures, concerts, art exhibitions, medical services and of course - bingo.

Less than two years after the laying of the keel, The World docked off the Piazza San Marco in the heart of Venice on May 16 and celebrate its christening with a black and white masked ball that evening followed by a ceremony the following afternoon - then it was off to the south of France via Taormina, Italy, then St. Tropez, Portofino, Siracusa, Malaga- and on and on it goes.

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