A 3-year-long cruise around the world was delayed just weeks before departure because there's no ship
- Life at Sea Cruises has delayed its three-year around-the-world cruise.
- The company, owned by parent Miray Cruises, has faced delays closing on the ship it'll use for this sailing.
On November 1, hundreds of travelers with Miray Cruises' Life at Sea Cruises were set to embark from Istanbul on the ultimate dream vacation — a cruise that would circumnavigate the world every three years.
But less than three weeks away and days after the company reaffirmed this upcoming sail date, these soon-to-be global cruisers received some bad news: The sail date has been pushed back to November 11, according to an email the company sent to customers on Thursday that was viewed by Insider.
Additionally, the company still doesn't have the ship it'll use for the sailing, the MV Lara, a Life at Sea Cruises spokesperson told Insider in an email on Friday.
"Finalizing the funds transfer for the purchase" is taking "longer than expected," according to a statement Life at Sea sent to its future passengers. As a result, closing on its future ship has been delayed, although the company expects to be able to do so, "within the next week."
The residential cruise company has not publicly confirmed which ship it will be purchasing, although it's reported by trade publications to be the AIDAaura, a ship currently owned by a Carnival subsidiary.
"We can't comment on pending ship sales," a spokesperson for Carnival told Insider.
But after the acquisition closes, travelers still won't be able to board immediately. The company says the vessel will have to be dry-docked for about 18 days before it is repositioned and ready to sail. Life at Sea had plans to spend "several million dollars" refreshing the 20-year-old Lara and adding amenities like a wine and cigar bar, Kendra Holmes, the CEO of Miray Cruises, told Insider in mid-August.
Instead of the previously planned launch from Istanbul, travelers will now embark in either Amsterdam on November 11 or Freeport, Bahamas on November 21, according to the email. Buyers were told Life at Sea will help "make changes to [travelers] accommodations and itinerary at Miray's expense."
"We understand this change is not desirable, but we are doing our best to accommodate everyone and keep this adventure on track, even if it is a little late," Life at Sea wrote.
When it sails, Life at Sea is promising a dreamy and affordable escape
When it's ready to sail, this vessel could be the perfect affordable option for many world cruise fans. After all, interior cabins start at a little over $115,500 per person for all three years. Broken down, this per-day cost is cheaper than Azamara's recently announced 2026 world cruise. The offer is so enticing, a buyer even sold her home in anticipation of this journey, CNN reported.
And unlike a typical world cruise, the vessel will be sailing for much longer than just a few months. Life at Sea says the MV Lara will spend 1,095 days sailing to 382 ports across 140 countries and all seven continents. After this itinerary, the ship will continue its global circumnavigation on different routes every three years.
As of now, there's only one residential vessel currently in operation: The World. But unlike this 20-year-old concept, Life at Sea buyers only have to commit to a minimum three-year period.
The ship will have 540 cabins for between 800 to 900 mostly American passengers, Holmes told Insider in mid-August. At the time, Holmes said about 40% of the ship's available accommodations had already been reserved, including from "a lot of people" who had never been on a cruise before.
Onboard, Life at Sea says these passengers will have access to amenities like wellness and business centers, Starlink WiFi, a hospital, and typical cruise amenities like a pool, restaurants, bars, and a movie theater.
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