Specifications of Clydebuilt MS Dark Island
|Year built||2025 new ship|
|Class||residential cruise ship (hotel ship)|
|Speed||19 kn / 35 kph / 22 mph|
|Length (LOA)||220 m / 722 ft|
|Beam (width)||28 m / 92 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||39980 gt|
|Passengers||300 - 404|
|Decks with cabins||5|
|Operator||Clydebuilt Dark Island Resedences|
Clydebuilt MS Dark Island Review
Review of Clydebuilt MS Dark Island
The 2025-built MS Dark Island cruise ship is a newbuild residential ship operated by the UK/Scottish company Clydebuilt Ltd. The boat is currently on order/under construction with launch and inauguration planned for 2025-Q4.
The vessel's flag-state/registry port will be determined later.
Similar "residence cruise ship" concepts are The World (2002-built, managed by ResidenSea), Utopia (2022-built, managed by Utopia Residences), Narrative (2023-built, by Storylines Residences), Njord (2025-built, managed by Ocean Residences). You can also see CruiseMapper's articles about the residential boat Marquette (USA river cruise ship concept) and How to Buy a Cruise Ship.
History - construction and ownership
The "Dark Island Cruise Ship" project was officially announced on November 17, 2021, by Tommy McGinn (Clydebuilt Ltd's Managing Director/1958-born). On the same day were opened for sale all the apartments, with prices between GBP 8 million (EUR ~9,5M / USD 10,7M) and GBP 110 million (~EUR 130,6M / USD 146,6M). Suite prices are based on location and floor size (deck number and cabin location - forward, midship or aft).
With Dark Island, Clydebuilt targets mainly the Asian and North American markets. The vessel's lifespan will be "at least 50 years" (eventually to be scrapped in 2075), which is nearly twice the lifespan of the conventional cruise liners.
The shipowner Clydebuilt Ltd is headquartered in Ayr (South Ayrshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Scotland UK). This is a family-owned company (registry number SC233839, incorporated in Edinburgh on July 5, 2002). The company was founded by top-rank employees working at executive positions at leading shipbuilding yards, large offshore projects, as well as renowned design engineering and product development companies. Planning works on the project were initiated in 2015.
More details on the shipowner and shipbuilder, as well as design and construction details are expected in 2022-2023.
What is currently available as technical details is that the boat will have GT-tonnage/volume 39980 tons, draugth 6,3 m (21 ft), cruising speed 18,5 KN/knots (), max speed 25 knots (), ice-strengthened hull, LNG-based powerplant (total output 23,4 MW / 31350 HP), battery power (energy storage system), gyro stabilizers. The propulsion system is based on 2x bow trusters (360-degree azymuthing pods moved by electric motors) and twin shafts with CPPs (variable-pitch/controllable pitch propellers).
Decks and Cabins
Clydebuilt Dark Island staterooms (101 total) are all in Suite categories (8 cabin types, all with step-out balconies) and generally categorized as Residential Units/Apartments.
Cabin sizes range between 86 m2 (920 ft2) and 587 m2 (6320 ft2). The largest accommodations are the four Loft Suites on Glencoe Deck (forward on deck 8) featuring private access (each has two entries from deck 7), indoor interlevel connections (twin spiral staircases and twin elevators) and balconies on both levels. Each of these staterooms also has a piano and a library.
Cabin types vary from 1-Bedroom Suites to 3-Bedroom Loft Suites. Customers can optionally order designer furniture and fixtures (brands and color schemes) as well as reconfigure their condo according to their lifestyle.
The largest Suite is the Bow-Facing McMillan Suite (upper level E01 plus two cabins on lower/entry level) sized 5160 ft2 / 480 m2, including the upper level's wraparound terrace (1620 ft2 / 150 m2) and the lower level's two balconies (total 290 ft2 / 28 m2).
All staterooms are fully furnished, with a living room (soft-grain leather furniture/sofa, armchairs, footstools), dining room, a separate bedroom (connected to the bathroom), a full kitchen (dry-bar, wet-bar, buffet cabinets, kitchen appliances), soundproof walls-ceilings-floors.
Standard amenities in all staterooms include smart HDTVs (premium satellite package, WiFi Internet, wireless surround sound system), electronic safe boxes, adjustable mood lighting, Mahagony beds with luxury mattresses, under bed storage (for suitcases), premium bedding sets (Egyptian cotton sheets and duvets, brand pillows), bedside cabinets with reading lamps, built-in wardrobes, chests of drawers, bureau/writing desk/dressing table (with an armchair), 4-seat dining tables (plus kitchen counter high chairs), contemporary designer furniture, marble bathrooms (with WC-wall hung toilet, bidet, large bathtub, glass-door shower cubicle, two single-sink vanities/countertop washbasins, LED-light demist mirrors, marble flooring and walls, underfloor heating, heated towel rails, brushed gold faucets, premium brand toiletries), recessed lighting (automated energy‐efficient LED lights), individually controlled air-conditioning.
All cabin balconies are teak wood-floored and furnished with a 4-seat dining table and sun-loungers.
Housekeeping service is provided twice daily. Room service is 24-hour (hot and cold food).
Suite Owners can live on the cruise ship or rent their properties through Clydebuilt.
The boat has 10 decks, of which 9 are passenger-accessible and 5 with cabins/apartments.
Shipboard facilities and amenities
All decks are interconnected/accessible via stairs and elevators (two pairs of forward and aft lifts and stairways). Public bathrooms are also available.
Clydebuilt's liner Dark Island has the following signature facilities:
- Hospital (Medical Centre and Pharmacy)
- Aft-located Marina Deck that serves watersports activities. The ship has its own mini-submarine and Zodiacs (inflatable speedboats used for coastal cruising). To the residents and their guests is provided sea-trekking and scuba-diving equipment.
- Helicopter Hangar (houses the ship's aircraft).
- Aft (on deck 9) are the Helicopter Hangar (houses the ship's aircraft) and the Helideck (helicopter-landing platform). Clydebuilt's helitour program offers private flightseeing tours. Helideck also facilitates landings by private and chartered helicopters, as well as medevacs (medical evacuations via rescue helicopters).
- Theatre is a 2-deck show lounge (forward on decks 2-3) hosting live show productions, musical concerts, standup comedy acts, lectures, media presentations.
- Library Lounge (reading room with best-seller books, travel guides, popular board games)
- Jewellery Shop, Boutique, Collection Store, dedicated shops for arts, crafts, gifts, photos
- Art Gallery (also hosts art auctions)
- Highland Glen Spa (with hydrotherapy pool and treatment rooms for massages)
- Beauty Salon (hairstyling, barber, nail services)
- Sauna Room, Locker Room, Snack Bar
- Gym & Fitness Centre (treadmills, free weights, exercise benches, etc)
- Gym & Wellbeing Centre (exercise classes, training courses, with personal trainers available)
- Centrum Atrium (2-deck high/open-floor designed, midship on decks 7-8), with a Lobby Hall (recreation area)
- Galley (kitchen with storage rooms)
- Guest Service Desks (Excursions, Sales)
The ship's wellness facilities are all with floor-ceiling windows and unobstructed ocean views.
Dining venues include Main Dining Room (The Clan Restaurant), Fine Dining (The Glen Restaurant), Lido Bistro (The Highland Grill).
Two Meeting Rooms can be used for hosting business conferences, seminars, private celebrations, special occasions and other group events.
Two Gest Service Halls (multifunctional common-use facilities) can be used for hosting banquets and balls for VIP guests and celebrities visiting the cruise ship.
The Dark Island ship also has two Children's Play Areas (indoor playgrounds for kids served by a dedicated staff) - one on deck 7 and one on deck 10.
On Pool Deck (To Deck/deck 9) are the swimming pool (heated), sundeck (sunbathing area with loungers and deckchairs), stage (for live performances), Movie Screen (outdoor), Jogging Track (outdoor), Lido Cafe (indoor) as well as the Funnels (smokestacks) and the Helideck (aft).
At all dining venues are served gourmet dishes with a selection of traditional Scottish and classic international cuisine. The food menus are based on the regions that the boat currently sails. All dishes are freshly prepared with locally sourced ingredients and seasonal produce. Afternoon Tea service (brand coffees teas served with fresh-made sandwiches and onboard-baked sweets) is provided each day.
Activities by Clydebuilt's Enrichment Program include classes (themed on arts and crafts, languages, cooking, photography), group sports sessions (Yoga, Pilates and other classes led by professional trainers), live shows (musical productions, stand-up comedy acts, performances by resident pianists and vocalists), guest lecturers, port talks (regions/destination- and itinerary based presentations).
Onboard and ashore Clydebuilt can organize custom-designed private events (celebrations, special occasions, parties, poolside BBQs and beach barbeques, etc), as well as outdoor recreational activities (premium golfing, camping, hiking, cycling, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, canoeing, rafting, etc).
As with all residential ships, Dark Island's itineraries and visited destinations will be not scheduled in advance, but instead will be determined via voting by the suite owners.