Construction on the much awaited residential cruise ship Utopia commenced in January 2010 in South Korea. The Utopia is expected to become one of the most luxurious residential ships in the world, when she meets the scheduled 2017 completion date.
Utopia cruise ship
Until now, MS The World (a similar resident-owned ship currently in service), has enjoyed the reputation as the largest and most exclusive residential ship in the world. However, it could soon lose bragging rights.
Ship desing and construction
Ordered in November 2009 by US-based cruise owner and operator Utopia Residences, the Utopia cruise ship is being built by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), one of the world's largest shipbuilders. The company claimed that nearly 400 engineers will be required to construct the Utopia ship and that she will be the biggest ever cruise ship constructed in Asia.
Samsung Heavy Industries is building the luxurious residential ship with most of the financing coming from Frontier Group, a private equity firm based in St.Louis, Missouri. Frontier will put up most of the needed funds to cover the US$ 1.1 billion in construction costs. Frank C. Carlucci, secretary of defense during Reagan administration, is a co-founder and chairman emeritus of the equity firm.
The conceptual designing of the residential cruise ship was done by Utopia via partnership with Elomatic Consulting & Engineering. The main and coordinating architect for the vessel is Tillberg Design. The Utopia's interior design has been done collectively by Tillberg Design and Nancy Iraggi. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are to be supplied by Novenco's Marine and Offshore Division. Responsible for providing technical management for the newbuild is Wilhelmsen.
The designed gross tonnage of the Utopia cruise ship is 108.000 GT. Her length and breadth will be 296 m (971 ft) and 36 m (118 ft) respectively. Utpia's height will be nearly 50 m (160 ft), while draft will be 8.3 m (27 ft). A prototype of ship's hull is being constructed to test fluid dynamics and vibration.
The Utopia will have an installed power capacity of 50.400 KW (6×Wärtsilä diesel engines) and propulsion by 2×14 MW ABB Azipod, azimuthing. She will be equipped with 3 bow thrusters with total power generation capacity of 9.000KW. The Utopia cruise ship will also feature 2 sets of fin stabilizers. Her cruising speed will be 22 knots.
The Utopia cruise ship will be able to accommodate 900 passengers and 600 crew members. The ship will have 199 luxury residences, ranging in size from 130 to 613 m2 (1.400 to 6.600 square foot). The Utopia will also have 218-room hotel, casino, 1.486 m2 (16.000 square foot) spa, night club, and lots of other amenities.
Utopia's 218 hotel suites will be rented for limited periods just like hotel rooms. The luxurious residential ship will also offer 199 apartment-type cabins that are planned to be sold as permanent residences. Those who purchase a cabin on the ship can't claim a share of ownership of the Utopia cruise ship itself. All cabins will be furnished with walk-in closets, fireplaces, hardwood floors, recessed lighting and marble kitchen counter-tops.
A 1,400 square feet home, composed of 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, will cost US$ 3.7 million, whereas a 613 m2 (6,600 square foot) home built with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms will cost the awesome US$ 25 million.
In 2013, a Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive sales office was opened to promote the venture and accept deposits for the Utopia condos.
Efforts to learn how many future condo owners have put down their deposits were unsuccessful.
The Utopia ship's 199 luxury residences will be constructed on decks 8 through 15 (among a total of 16 decks) and will offer views of outside environment. The residential decks of the vessel have been designed carefully in order to offer maximum comfort and convenience to guests. There will be 6 private elevators to move to and from Utopia's residential decks.
The floor plans of the Utopia cruise ship have been created by leading designers, architects and engineers to give ever-changing scenic views. The floor plans of the vessel vary in characteristics and size to suit all personal requirements of the owners.
- The Utopian Estates will spread on an area of 530-614m2 (5.700-6.600 square foot) consisting of 3 to 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms;
- The Royal Cup Estates will feature 3 to 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms over an area of 394 square meters;
- The Regatta Estates will have 3 to 4 bedrooms and 2.5-3.5 bathrooms;
- The Symphony Estates will have 2 to 3 bedrooms and 2.5-3 bathrooms;
- The Carnevale Estates will have 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms;
- The Olympian Estates 1 to 2 bedrooms and 1.5 to 2.5 bathrooms.
The private residents Club, which will be situated on decks 15 and 16, will be the private place for residents to meet other members of their elite residential community. The Club will boast with its own professional staff to take care of all residents in personalised manner.
The Club will include a lounge, restaurant and gym facilities. The restaurant will feature favourite dishes and selected wines to residents. Properly-mixed martinis and fresh ginger tea will be served at Club's lounge - its window seats will allow guests to admire panoramic views of the coastline. Club's gym will be equipped with the latest technology and will provide proficient fitness instructors. Residents will be able to participate in Bikram yoga, pilates, zumba and dance classes, apart from regular exercise.
The Utopia ship will also feature signature restaurants, a theatre, casino, spa, marina and swimming pools. The residents will be able to take all their personal belongings onboard.
The Utopia ship will be registered in the Bahamas. She is expected to circumnavigate the world and her residents will be able to attend the world's most exclusive events: America's Cup, Wimbledon, Rio Carnival, Cannes Film Festival, Tour de France, Monaco Grand Prix, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, H.K. Dragon Boat Festival, Dubai World Cup, Nagoya Basho, Running of the Bulls, Sydney's New Year's Eve.
The maiden voyage of Utopia is planned for 2016. More than twice the size of The World, the completion of the Utopia cruise ship is awaiting final financing and signed contracts.