Pack Your Bags for A 3-Year-Cruise

Pack your bags. It’s time to live your digital nomad dream! How would you like to live and work from a cruise ship? If you work remotely, you really need to check this out. Life at Sea Cruises is offering a 3-year-long cruise around the world. Oh wow, that’s a long time to be on a ship. But a trip like this sounds amazing to me.

A trip around the world is on my bucket list, but the logistics are difficult. I wanted to take our son out of school for 6th grade and just go travel. However, it just didn’t work out. Now, I don’t even know if we can go in the future. This cruise would make it so easy and affordable. It’s even better for young remote workers. They can work while seeing the world. This kind of opportunity doesn’t come along very often.  

Anyway, I read about this cruise and told Mrs. RB40 about it. She said let’s do it! But, hold on. Let’s find out more about this long cruise. Can we really go?


Here is some info on the cruise. You can see more on their website – Life at Sea Cruises.

  • Length – The cruise is scheduled for 1,095 days, 3 full years. They plan to visit 375 ports across 135 countries. The ship will stop on all seven continents. Here is their interactive map on Google Earth. Wow, this is a very economical way to visit all these destinations. It’d cost so much more money to visit each destination individually.  They will stop at each port for 2-7 days. This is longer than usual and will allow the seafarers to explore a bit.
  • Price – A cabin starts at $30,000 per person per year. This is double occupancy in the cheapest interior room. This would cost $180,000 if you pay upfront. That might sound expensive, but many families spend much more than this just for living in the US. The cost of living is getting more expensive every year. You can go alone and get a little discount. A single person would pay $153,000 for the same room.
  • Financing – If you don’t want to pay upfront, you can finance it for 10% interest. Instead of paying $180,000 upfront, you’ll put $27,000 down and shell out $4,720 per month. Actually, this sounds better to me. Who has $180,000 lying around? 99% of our money is tied up in various investments. I’d probably finance a trip like this.
  • On-board inclusive – The cruise is pretty inclusive. The trip includes meals and drinks. There is a hospital onboard with free visits. Prescriptions, procedures, and other healthcare expenses are extra, but at the European price. Laundry, Entertainment, housekeeping, and gym are included. You probably don’t have to spend much when you’re on the ship. Excursions would cost extra, of course. A service charge is included. Tips are optional.
  • Work – Their business center has 2 meeting rooms, 14 offices, a business library, a lounge, and a café. Wi-Fi is included. You can go to work at the business center and hang out with your shipmates afterward. It should be fun. Maybe…
  • Visitors – Guests can visit and stay in your cabin. They will have some roll-away beds. If the room is unoccupied, friends can take your place on the cruise. You can arrange some kind of timeshare if you’d like. This provides some flexibility.
  • Pet – Some cabins can accommodate a cat. No dog.
  • Tax saving – Some people may save on taxes with the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. You need to have a tax home outside the US for this. For 2023, the maximum exclusion is $120,000 per person. This could be big, but the FEIE is much more complicated than I thought. Check with the H&R Block tax software to see if you can actually take advantage of it.   
  • Age – They don’t accept kids under 16 years old. Unfortunately, this rules out the cruise for us. RB40Jr just turned 12.  

This cruise sounds too good to be true. It’s a great deal if you’re in the right situation.

Young digital nomad couple with no kids

This is the perfect scenario for young digital nomads who want to see the world. You’ll earn income and may save on taxes. The basic cost of living is all included. You don’t have to cook, clean, or drive. You can work whenever you want and travel all over the world. What a life! They said half of the bookings are from remote workers. I can see why.

Empty nesters

A cruise like this is great for empty nesters without many ties. Once RB40Jr goes off to college, it will be game on for us. We want to travel to many of these locations anyway. This is the most economical way to travel. It would cost more money to maintain a home in the US and visit 2 international destinations per year. I’d rather sell our duplex and go. We’re planning to move when RB40Jr goes off to college anyway. Three years of travel would dovetail nicely into our plan.

Adventurous retirees

Travel isn’t as fun when you’re older. Those long flights and layovers are already torturous on my back. I can’t travel like a young kid anymore. I need to plan for shorter flights and longer stays. But a long cruise like this is a great option too. We can sleep comfortably in our own room and wake up in a new city. It’ll be great to see the world without the discomfort of flying.

Put it off for now

Unfortunately, this isn’t the right time for us. RB40Jr is still in school and we want to give him a normal childhood. Even if this cruise accepted kids, we can’t pack our bags yet. Mrs. RB40 also isn’t quite ready to take off. She wants to work until RB40Jr is done with high school. That’s too bad because this trip sounds like a fantastic deal to me.

Don’t get discouraged, though. Other tour companies are planning this kind of cruise too. There will be a market for it as long as remote work continues. It sounds like this cruise is selling out quickly. If they make money, there will be more long cruises like this. I’m not in a huge hurry.

What about you? Are you ready to pack your bags and cruise around the world for 3 years?

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.

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