A Meta employee told reporters he plans to work remotely from a new mega cruise ship for several years.
Austin Wells, whose augmented and virtual reality work for Meta is entirely remote, has purchased a 12-year lease on the soon-to-launch MV Narrative cruise ship, which bills itself as a “residence at sea”.
Mr Wells, who is 28 and currently lives in San Diego, said CNBC News he spent $300,000 (£245,342) on a 12-year lease for an entry-level ‘Discover’ studio on the ship, which will be launched in 2025.
Living aboard the ship full-time, the tech employee will have access to a medical center, gym and spa, co-working space, three swimming pools, a bank and even a farmer’s market.
It will make stops in cities including Rome, Venice, the Croatian islands and Greece, as well as trips to the Arctic Circle, on a three-year itinerary yet to be confirmed.
“What excites me the most is [that] I don’t have to disrupt my daily routine to see the world,” Mr Wells said. CNBC.
“I go from this model where, you want to go somewhere, you pack a bag, you take a flight, you rent a room…to now my condo, my gym, my doctors and dentists, all my grocery stores travel the world with me.
He says he will continue to work during US West Coast business hours wherever he is in the world.
“This is probably the first time it’s even been possible to have a standard job and even consider working and living in a floating apartment complex.”
Mr Wells told presenters he was very excited to ‘visit all of Europe again’, adding: ‘In my opinion a lot of the interesting parts of Europe are towards the middle.
Mr. Wells’ base residence will be a 237-square-foot cabin with a rollaway bed, pantry, desk and shower room.
He hopes to meet like-minded travelers on board. “The goal is to have a community of residents on this ship. And that way you’ll make new friends, you’ll largely travel the world with them, which is potentially a way to create some of the deepest friendships you’ve ever had,” he said.
Storylines Cruises, the company behind the residential ship, mainly sells apartments on leases of 24 to 60 years, but Mr Wells says he got a shorter term due to being one of the first clients.
There are 11 categories of residences, with prices ranging from around $875,000 to $8 million depending on size, quality and length of lease.
Passengers can choose to pay an “all-inclusive” monthly rate, meaning all meals, clinic visits, fitness classes and laundry would be covered, or just pay as you go.
In November, Storylines also launched the option to own a 25% stake in a unit, spending three months of the year on board.
The 18-deck ship will also feature 20 restaurants and bars, a school, library and cinema. It is currently under construction in Split, Croatia, where it will leave in 2025.
Storylines CEO Alister Punton, who will also be moving into the ship with his family, said: “We have identified a very large market here. And there are a lot of people who want to get involved and be a part of that.
“I always tell people, you can come and drink pina coladas by the pool all day if you want and not lift a finger… But it gets old pretty fast,” he added.
“So you want to keep doing [the job] you do, right? It’s a way for people to be able to do that. This is a fundamental difference between us and a cruise.