This multi-year cruise around the world costs less than living in Toronto. Would retiring at sea be a better plan?

Tuesday Dec 19th, 2023


As cruise lines offer multi-month, or even multi-year itineraries, some retirees are considering selling than homes and living permanently at sea 

If a weeklong getaway cruise is simply not enough, Life at Sea has an itinerary for you. 

The travel brand, owned by cruise line Miray International, is introducing a three-year world cruise that will cover more than 200,000 kilometres across 135 countries and all seven continents. 

The epic journey, launching from Istanbul on Nov. 1, will be hosted on Life at Sea’s MV Gemini ship, which can accommodate 1,074 passengers in some 400 rooms. There are 375 ports of call on the planned 1,095-day itinerary, charting a course around the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and even to Antarctica. 

The cruise starts at US$29,999 per person, per year for an inside stateroom and is billed as all-inclusive, with the price covering all meals, beverages, on-board activities and Wi-Fi. 

Retiring at sea gaining more popularity 

With cruise lines offering new multi-month — and in this case multi-year — itineraries, some retirees are seriously considering selling their homes and living permanently at sea. 

The idea has gained traction recently, as the cost of living continues to increase and budget travel becomes more accessible and affordable than before. 

Some individuals who have chosen to transform their retirement into a constant sea voyage have made headlines and gone viral over the past few years. 

Some cruise packages are “pretty competitive” compared to GTA living 

As a general rule, most experts agree that retirees need about 70 per cent of their current annual income to live comfortably in retirement. 

If you earn $100,000 per year, for example, you will need roughly $70,000 for retirement. 

In addition to those personal savings, most Canadians will also be supported by government benefits and pensions once they leave the workforce. 

Though not all retirees rent, a one-bedroom rental in Toronto, for example, costs roughly $2,500 per month, up 21.5 per cent from last year, according to data published by In a year, that works out to about $30,000. 

Though the cost of the Miray cruise converts to about $41,000 Canadian per year, considering it includes meals and other on-board services, the yearly expenses on the ship could ultimately cost less than living in Toronto. 

Important to consider personal and financial costs 

But before setting sail so quickly, Calvert cautioned that retirees thinking of this option need to have a comprehensive plan and a solid understanding of how this decision will impact their income and assets throughout their retirement. 

In addition to these financial considerations, he also noted these individuals should weigh the personal costs and benefits of this lifestyle change. 

“Although you may be gaining a new place to call home and even a new set of social networks, there are also things that you’re giving up embarking on this process,” he said. “You need to have a financial as well as a personal plan to make this happen.” 

Clarification — March 20, 2023: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Life at Sea’s $U.S. 29,999 a year charge for an inside stateroom is per person. 

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