The Highly Anticipated Launch in Cruising is only a few days away … Villa Vie Residences “Odyssey” will embark from Belfast on May 30th

Photo of author

By Car Brand Experts

Introducing the protagonist of this tale: Mikael Pettersen

Mikael “Mike” Pettersen, a native of Sweden, served as the Managing Director of the now nonexistent Life at Sea Cruises. Residing in Florida, he boasts a distinguished background in the cruise industry having worked for both Prestige Cruise Holdings and Royal Caribbean International. His vision of operating live-aboard cruise ships around the world has materialized with Villa Vie Residences. All Things Cruise met with Mike on the ship where this dream is turning into reality: Villa Vie “Odyssey”. Currently undergoing its grand dry dock at Belfast’s renowned Harland and Wolff Shipyard, Mike welcomed a group of journalists on a beautiful sunny day. The gleaming white “Odyssey” left nothing hidden as we explored every nook and cranny of the ship. And by cranny, we mean the hull of the ship from bow to stern. As a seasoned writer and passenger of cruise ships, this was a completely new and exhilarating experience.

Villa Vie Mike Pedderson
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
Mike Petterson in front of Villa Vie Odyssey

“Villa Vie Odyssey will be tailored for its immersive, 3.5-year worldwide circumnavigations, ensuring all the conveniences and facilities of home. Named by the residents themselves, Odyssey embodies the company ethos of forging a community to exchange unforgettable moments of discovery on an extensive journey, linking people, destinations, and self.” ~Mikael Petterson, CEO

For all those who have ever fantasized about living on a Cruise Ship, your opportunity has arrived.

We have all heard of a small group of individuals who have forsaken life on land for life at sea. They have boarded a cruise ship and by booking consecutive voyages for months on end, they reside on the ship. This is not a recent phenomenon. My own mother once encountered a lady who expressed her delight in living on board because the passenger list changed every two weeks and she could recount her tales repeatedly. That is both the delight and the bane of these seafarers. They are not truly voyaging anywhere—merely back and forth on a single route. Not anymore. Villa Vie Residences is poised to take live-aboard cruisers on an extraordinary journey.

Why Villa Vie “Odyssey” was the ideal selection for Villa Vies’ maiden cruise ship.

Mike Pettersen and his team possibly stood as the sole Cruise line that gained from the pandemic. Carnival Corporation itself laid up 13 cruise ships. Villa Vie management had a myriad of choices when it came to procuring its inaugural vessel. They opted for MS Braemar and acquired the 31-year-old ship from Fred. Olsen. The 24,000-tonne cruise ship was originally constructed for Crown Cruise Line and subsequently transitioned through several upscale cruise lines before being purchased and renamed MS Braemar by the UK-based, Norwegian-owned Fred.Olsen in 2001. Under Fred.Olsen, the ship even set a record: in 2019, it became the longest ship to traverse the Corinth Canal. Charlie Kinnear, a Maritime Engineer, formerly of the US Coast Guard and a key supervisor of the ship’s drydock, attributed the remarkable condition of the ship’s hull to MS Braemar’s inactive state in cold waters. This virtually eradicated the accumulation of marine life on the hull, a fact that was prominently evident as we strolled along the ship in Harland and Wolff’s drydock.

You would be oblivious to the fact that the Braemar was 31 years old

For one, the original ship was expanded during a refurbishment in 2009 and later renovated again in 2019—just a few months prior to being decommissioned. The interiors are so pristine that Villa Vie did not need to alter the furnishings in spaces such as the exquisite Observation Lounge. Similarly, the cabins had scarcely been inhabited. “Odyssey” can accommodate 924 passengers or residents in its 485 cabins. Its relatively compact size enables it to access smaller ports and dock there as well. Its sleeker hull design allows it to navigate inland waterways. As the “Odyssey,” it will comprise of 8 decks, a wraparound promenade, two pools on its pool deck, multiple Jacuzzis, three restaurants, eight bars, four lounges, a spa, fitness center, medical facility, library, and, specially catering to its substantial count of “digital nomads,” a sizable business center equipped with a Starlink system for global WiFi. This is imperative for conducting business even in the remotest locations the ship will visit. Addressing every passenger expectation, there will be an onboard Pet Spa & Resort, a Golf-around-the-world program, an interactive Culinary Center, live entertainment and enrichment programs. Also included in their ‘fares’ are weekly professional housekeeping services, bi-weekly laundry service and round-the-clock medical support.

How exactly does Villa Vie Voyages operate?

Commencing this month, Villa Vie “Odyssey” will navigate the globe every 3 and a half years. Its route involves visiting over 420 ports in 147 countries across all seven continents. There are two ways to participate in this unparalleled voyage. You can acquire a cabin to possess on board or you can enroll in Villa Vie Residences Voyagers Program where you can craft your own itinerary and combine up to 16 world cruise segments. Alternatively, you can partake in just a single segment and “test the waters” to experience life at Villa Vie.

You can Possess a Cabin at Sea

Villa Vie’s Ownership Program has already achieved resounding success. Currently, 270 travelers have become owners of their individual cabins at sea. During our visit to Odyssey, we encountered a couple from Palm Beach Florida who may hold a Villa Vie record. They have purchased 3 adjoining staterooms which they are transforming into their own private Villa at sea. They constitute 80 percent of owners who are US. Citizens. Following them are Canadians, Britons, Australians, just 2 New Zealanders, and a mere 2 Europeans. An intriguing fact: There are at least 40 unmarried gentlemen enlisted, nearly all below the age of 50. Correspondingly, there are an equal number of single women all in their retirement years. The emergence of a new Love Boat scenario may appear somewhat restricted, but who can say for sure?

We engaged in extensive conversations with the buyers from New Zealand

Aboard “Odyssey”, we encountered the Kiwis, a delightful couple in their early 50s. A software designer, the pandemic underscored that he could work from anywhere. And Odyssey’s business center will provide further testament to this. He can even avail his own private office if he desires. His wife validated that they could pack all they required for their 3-1/2 year “Odyssey” within the 33-kilo baggage (72 lbs.) allowance permitted by their airline from New Zealand. Their two children, aged 23 and 21, will join them at various junctures. Their son will be on board when Odyssey reaches Japan in August ’25 for a 36-day itinerary. This feasibility arises from the fact that Family and Friends can visit at no expense—only $33. Daily port charge and gratuities are applicable. Should their parents opt to disembark when Odyssey arrives in New Zealand in 2026, theycan lease their chalet when not on board. Meanwhile, their daughter has bigger aspirations. A skilled sound technician, she aims to become a crew member on the ship. Her presence will be vital as the plan entails engaging discussions on various topics currently in progress.

Alternatively, you have the option to design your personal Global Journey

Dubbed the Explorers Initiative, Villa Vie offers travelers the chance to personalize their own travel plan by acquiring segments of Odyssey’s premium global voyage. Embark on a journey lasting between 35 to 120 days. Starting from a mere $89 per day per individual, you can test if the Villa Vie way of life suits you. This could be a prudent decision considering that there are only 25 cabins available for purchase. Villa Vie has set aside several premium cabins in exceptional locations for its Explorers Initiative. These cabins will undoubtedly be necessary as Mike Pettersen is on the brink of finalizing a deal for another Cruise Ship in his collection—this one slightly larger than his beloved Villa Vie “Odyssey”. But before that, he intends to spend the upcoming summer on the “Odyssey” accompanied by his spouse and three children, aged 13, 16, and 17, all excited to see what their father has been tirelessly working on for many months. They will not be alone. Two other adolescents will be on the passenger roster.

The Concluding Remark

Villa Vie Residences is revolutionizing the cruise industry in a significant manner. Offering extraordinary global expeditions, you can discover the world while residing on a luxuriously equipped cruise vessel. Mike Petterson has seamlessly integrated lavish comfort, thrilling routes, and environmentally conscious cruising into one extraordinary ship. The current offerings—Ownership and the Explorers Initiative—provide unparalleled flexibility and exclusivity. By emphasizing sustainability and responsible tourism, Villa Vie Residences has the potential to transform our perceptions of the world, one continent at a time.

Visual representations, inner snapshots, and the ship cover image, credited to Villa Vie

Monte Mathews credit for Mike Petterson’s photo


ABOUT Villa Vie Odyssey (credited to Villa Vie Residences)

A Distinctive Voyage Experience

Introducing Villa Vie Odyssey. Villa Vie Odyssey offers a unique, fresh cruise lifestyle and the capability to access regions of the world that larger vessels cannot reach – often docking at the core of destinations.

All the Luxuries of Villa Vie Odyssey

  • Thanks to its flat hull, the ship can navigate through inland waterways and rivers effortlessly.
  • Villa Vie Odyssey boasts eight levels, which include flowing aft decks and a surrounding promenade.
  • Extended in 2009 and renovated in 2019, the ship provides three dining venues, five bars and sitting areas, an expanded pool featuring two Jacuzzis, a wellness and fitness facility, and a library.

A Lifestyle Tailored for Modern Adventurers

  • A sizable, centralized business hub will let remote workers thrive at sea with private workplaces and meeting spaces.
  • Starlink will deliver swift and dependable internet connectivity to all residents and guests.
  • Moreover, the vessel will introduce an onboard golf simulator and tutorials overseen by a Master PGA Professional.

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!