Rent in Style on the High Seas

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Do your friends accuse you of trying to cram everything you own into your suitcase when you travel? One solution might be to really take all your belongings with you, and move aboard the Utopia.

That's the lofty-sounding name of a new residential cruise ship (left) slated to hit the seas in 2013, with opulent units for sale or rent to the lucky few who can afford a high-end floating abode.

For buyers and renters who can't quite decide on one glamorous location in which to put down roots, their ship has finally come in. The Utopia plans to drop anchor in proximity to world-class events around the globe, such as the Cannes Film Festival, Rio's Carnivale, and Sydney's famed New Year's celebration.
The units for sale
range from $3.7 million to $26 million, and feature details like hardwood flooring, marble countertops, and fireplaces (don't ask us where they plan to find firewood on the high seas). But don't worry if you can't scratch up a down-payment right now: half of the massive ship's 400 units will be reserved for short-term rental.

And though the "in-this-economy-" flack is already flying, one industry wag weighs in with an all-too-true observation: "There are still a lot of people with a lot of money that they don't know what to do with. It wouldn't be too hard to find 200 people with that kind of money." Another offers what might be the understatement of the year: "It's going to be an extremely niche product".

Ya think?

If you can't wait til 2013 to live the high life on the high seas, book a week on Richard Branson's Necker Belle as soon as next month.
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