Imagine a yearlong cruise stopping at resorts like Italy’s Amalfi Coast, and most people would think that is beyond their financial reach.
Yet, to the contrary, a report by InternationalLiving.com proposes that all this and more can be had for under $18,000 a year.
A growing number of people are choosing to retire on a boat — much as many Americans tour national parks lodging affordably in their campervans — and finding that the vagabond lifestyle provides them adventure in exotic locales, a community of likeminded expats and access to their essential needs — all at prices they can afford.
Expat boating provides access not just to the essentials but even to luxuries that that the wealthy pay steeply to secure, according to the publication’s new report on the boating retirement trend:
“On the the cliff overlooking our anchorage was a hotel that charges $342 a night,” the report quotes Carol Witt, who with her husband, Kent, has been cruising Capo Palinuro, south of Naples. Witt says these well-heeled tourists also need good heels to access the beach they are docked at.
“Guests have to walk down a rickety network of several hundred steps to reach the cove that serves as the resort’s beach. At night we went ashore and enjoyed the fancy hotel’s sunset views and ambience for the price of a cocktail.”
And in a quote that Ernest Hemingway would surely approve, Theresa Collins, who with her husband Curtis galavants among various Carribbean and Central American locations, put it this way:
“There are no schedules. We hang out in a place until it’s not fun anymore.”
So how do these young-spirited seniors do it?
The report says a well-equipped, 40-foot sailboat has more than enough room for 2 people and can be had for as little as $89,000.
Living expenses, depending on location, range from $1,000 to $1,500 a month, including marina fees, which run from $150 to $600 a month, with Asian and Central American docks on the low-cost end and European ports on the higher end. Those fees generally include water, power and Wi-Fi.
Then there’s the matter of operating the boat, which International Living assures is “easier and safer than ever” thanks to modern GPS and radar.
“With GPS for navigation you always know exactly where you are, a safe route to get where you’re going and how long it’ll take to get there,” the report says. “You program in the destination just like with a land GPS. You have radar for monitoring weather” in addition to systems that help you stay clear of large ships.
Would-be cruisers start by taking a sailing class, as did Gary and Julie Pierce, quoted in the article.