Life at Sea Cruises by Miray has confirmed that its three-year-around-the-world cruise will depart on November 1st, as planned, after several months of uncertainty. The journey will now take place on the MV Lara, a ship with 627 rooms and built in 2003. It can accommodate up to 1,266 passengers but, according to CNN, Miray plans to sell a maximum of 532 cabins, or around 85%, to avoid any feeling of overcrowding.
According to Miray, the MV Lara is the perfect size while offering all the amenities of a large cruise ship. Sailing the full 130,000 nautical miles, it can start at $87,720 per year in double occupancy. “You can get out close to the bow of the ship, and can see the ocean coming at you,” Kendra Holmes, CEO of Miray Cruises told CNN. “She just met those criteria – and the restaurants are nice, the bars are big, there’s a lot of space. She just ticked all those boxes.”
The Lara has great covered outdoor spaces, open spaces, and a deck on top to watch the stars.Kendra Holmes, CEO of Miray Cruises
The MV Gemini, smaller than the MV Lara, was originally the chosen ship for the adventure but was discarded after some doubts regarding its suitability emerged earlier this year.
In June, several customers began to demand refunds after questions regarding the ship’s suitability for the journey came to light. Life at Sea Cruises, a subsidiary of Miray Cruises, also decided to pull out of the project. In the 800-member Facebook group for the Life at Sea community, Mike Petterson, Life at Sea’s former managing director, wrote that his company issued refunds after a split with Miray with some of the main concerns being linked to the suitability of the ship. According to Irina Strembitsky, former employee at Life at Sea Cruises, the ship has capacity for up to 1,074 passengers, and Gemini MV was considered “unseaworthy” by an engineer.
Miray did not agree with the engineer’s comments and expressed its dissent. “Unseaworthy is a very specific term that relates to the safety of a vessel (that a vessel has enough lifeboats / LSA’s, decks that are skid proof, among other requirements to ensure its safety),” Kendra Holmes, CEO of Miray Cruises, wrote in the email to CNN back in June. “With that said, every cruise ship must have a Passenger Ship Safety Certificate issued by the class society that the ship belongs to, evidencing that the vessel complies with the requirements of SOLAS 1974 in order to be able to sail with passengers. Gemini has this certificate, and it will be renewed again at the end of July 2023.”
But the uncertainty seems to be thing of the past. The MV Lara will depart on November 1st. “We looked at a lot of different vessels and we liked her layout,” Holmes recently told CNN. “She has lots of nice public spaces, an open pool deck, a running track – we liked the way everything was laid out on her. My big focus is on public spaces – you don’t want to be cooped up in a cabin for three years. The Lara has great covered outdoor spaces, open spaces, and a deck on top to watch the stars.”
The sailing schedule includes as many as 382 destinations in 148 countries on the seven continents. The epic round-the-world voyage will depart from Istanbul on November 1st and from Barcelona on November 5th From the Mediterranean. During the first year, the ship will sail along the Caribbean, South America and the US’ West Coast.
Via Alaska, the MV Lara will make the crossing to Asia in the summer of 2024. Australia and more Asian destinations will follow in the spring of 2025. The Indian Ocean and Africa are on the sailing schedule in the first half of 2026. The Mediterranean and northern Europe will follow in the summer season. The calling port will be Istanbul on November 1st, 2026.
Guests travel in an all-inclusive formula that includes all restaurants and alcoholic beverages with meals, fitness, laundry, cabin maintenance, port taxes and gratuities. The ship also features a business center at sea with meeting rooms, offices, a relaxation lounge, a self-service center and included Starlink Internet. According to the promoters, making money at sea has never been easier with all the tax advantages of international residency. Residents can also invite family and friends who only have to pay port taxes during their stay.