Cabins, Auction and Fees
How does the bidding work? If someone bids X on a certain cabin, will he/she know if he is the highest bidder and/or if he gets outbid? Can the bid be raised?
Our system will tell you how many bids there have been and the current price. You will be notified if someone overbids you.
Will you be able to go from bidding to buy now mid-stream through the auction?
Yes, there will be a buy now option, which is about double the initial price of the cabin of your choice.
Are you offering payment plans for cabin purchases or do I have to pay everything up front?
The auction winners will be notified within 7 days after the auction closes on November 28th. Once notified, winners will have 3 days to make an initial deposit of 10%.
On January 1st, 2021, buyers will have a choice to either pay the full balance or begin making payments of 5% per month for 24 months.
For those who choose to pay Buy it Now prices, there will be a $100 down payment to confirm purchase. 10% is due 3 days later. On January 1st, 2021, buyers can choose to pay the full balance or begin making payments of 5% per month for 24 months.
The sales purchase agreement is here.
Will we be able to see the dimensioned floor plans before we buy to know the exact room layout (bathroom/closets/etc) and sizes for possible remodel?
Yes, those will be posted on the website.
Will there be a monthly fee per cabin?
Yes, in order to pay for regular maintenance and maintain the ship’s class we will be charging rent for commercial businesses and the remaining amount will be charged per cabin.
The fees are as follows:
- $570/month for interior cabins
- $629/month for ocean view cabins
- $719/month for balcony cabins
Plus an additional fixed amount of $138/month for electricity until we can start metering individually.
Will individual cabin residents be able to pay for maid service if they don’t feel like cleaning their own cabins?
Maid service will be an optional extra fee paid directly to the individual maid service. We hope to have maid service available on a per-floor basis that you can utilize. If you are interested in starting a maid service you may submit your proposal here:
Is there a self-service laundry or will there be a service?
There is self-service laundry and we are hoping someone will start a laundry service onboard.
If you are interested in starting a laundry service you may submit your proposal here:
Will Viva Vivas be hiring for the upkeep and repairs of the ship?
Yes, we have hired the company Columbia Cruise Services which has a long history of running both cruise ships and a ship that was converted into a floating hotel.
Are there photos available of the cabins in their current state, such that we can see what our cabins?
As photographs become available, we will post them on the website. We have videos of each type of cabin which we will be posting shortly.
Will you be able to customize your cabin?
Yes, you own your cabin and the furnishings that come with it. You will be able to sell your furniture, if you like, and purchase your own.
We will work with you to ensure your potential modification will not interfere with the structural integrity of the ship and stays within the fire code.
Ocean Builders’ architect Koen Olthuis has offered to provide a free design consultation for the first three people to complete the purchase of a cabin(s).
Which cryptocurrencies will you support for payment?
We have partnered with coinpayments.net to provide support for BTC, ETH, DGB, BCH, LTC, DAI, DASH, ETC, TUSD, USDC, USDT, BSV, ETN, CLOAK, DOGE, ERK, XEM, XMR, and many more may be supported in the future. If you would like for us to add additional coins you can submit a request here: https://www.coinpayments.net/coinhosting. We are supporting most of the coins listed here: https://www.coinpayments.net/supported-coins.
We will also accept USD for payment.
Will the rooms be considered valid residences in Panama? Will they have mailing addresses?
You will not be able to claim the ship as your residence. It would work as a membership to the ship. Most residences in Panama do not have a mailing address. At first, you would use a mail service as shown here. We hope to modify that service to go directly to the ship
Humidity is high in Panama at sea-level. Are the ship and cabins air-conditioned?
Yes, both the ship and cabins will have air conditioning. Each cabin will be responsible for energy costs. At first, electricity will have a flat rate of $138 per month per cabin, but later power will be metered.
Legal and Governance
Will there be any restrictions or issues with someone filming a personal vlog of the experience? Or if you already have plans for a documentary or series, would all occupants necessarily agree to being filmed in their contract?
Filming will be fine, but you will have to ask anyone in the shot if they would sign a release, or you will have to try a different shot or wait for them to go if they don’t wish to be in the shot. Our residents and guests enjoy their privacy.
There are currently companies interested in doing a documentary on the ship, but there are no exclusive agreements at this time.
Can you get Panamanian residency with the purchase of a cabin?
Exclusively for residents we will connect you with the proper agencies. Please contact us if you are interested.
Are you getting political support from the government of Panama? Is it conditional upon which political party is in control?
We are currently enjoying fantastic support from the government. We are confident that will be maintained regardless of who wins the next election in a few years, although there are no guarantees.
Will you be transparent with the bookkeeping for the ship? For example, keeping us updated with how our monthly fees are being spent, etc.?
We value trying to be as transparent as possible, but there will be some exceptions, like salaries, etc.
Will smoking be permitted on the ship?
In the common areas we will have designated smoking areas. Also, each business will be able to choose the smoking rules for its own space.
Will cabin owner contracts be able to be updated or amended? Would residents be able to vote for changes?
Contracts may be updated or amended or reviewed on a case-by-case scenario. Residents may petition for changes in groups to show fellow resident support.
Will the ship have any laws and regulations that are different from Panamanian laws and regulations?
There are a few maritime rules that will be different, but many depend upon it being a moving vessel while we will remain stationary. There will also be certain rules pertaining specifically to life aboard the ship in order to maintain the safety and peace amongst residents which will be spelled out in the contract.
Health and COVID-19
How often will it be disinfected?
We are hiring specialized COVID-19 staff to ensure that the ship is COVID free as well as working to upgrade the ventilation in the cabins so that it is more difficult for any airborne disease to travel from cabin to cabin.
How will future and current lockdowns be handled if we own a cabin but are unable to leave our home country to use our cabins?
In the event that you purchase a cabin and are unable to reside with us for any reason, we are confident that you would be able to rent out your cabin to tourists or other visitors.
Do you think the government of Panama will require mandatory vaccinations in the future?
It seems unlikely at this stage that Panama would start a mandatory vaccination program. However, as we are under Panamanian Law, if the country moved in that direction, we would be subject to that decision.
How will people get all their luggage aboard?
With the ferry service you will be able to enter the ship easily with your luggage.
How does the food get loaded?
Columbia CS has experience with logistics and supplies to get supplies on and off the ship.
Will the shuttle run on a regular basis or will we need to call for it?
Tentatively there will be a regular shuttle service to the nearby island and we will be running shuttle service the short distance from there to the ship.
There are currently two different ferries that charge around $20-$30 per round trip.
Jobs and Businesses
Are there any jobs available on the ship?
While our ship management company is hiring experienced professionals for the day to day maintenance and upkeep of the ship as well as everything to do with keeping a ship going and up to class rating, there will be many companies opening on the ship such as restaurants, shops, cafes, etc. These companies will each have their own hiring process.
Can I open my own business on the ship?
Yes, we definitely welcome entrepreneurs. We will be offering office space and we are taking proposals for businesses that wish to run one of our commercial spaces. You may submit your proposal here:
If you rent commercial space on the ship to run a business, would you have to attain a business permit?
Yes, you will likely need a Panama Business permit, but we would be able to help point you in the right direction
Would hotel, retail, or restaurant chains be permitted on board?
Yes, we would accept chain establishments.
Do you have to own a cabin in order to apply to run a business in the ship’s retail space?
No, but we will prioritize residents’ business applications.
Logistically it will be much easier.
Will you allow entertainment from Panama City to play in the theaters and clubs?
Owners of entertainment establishments on the ship are free to book talent to perform at their venues.
Internet and Connectivity
Will there be internet on the ship?
Yes, WiFi can be broadcast from cellular networks using your own WiFi hotspot account, which is easily attained and very affordable, or you might be able to pay for access to a ship-wide internet provider.
Will you be adding kitchens to the rooms or do people have to eat at the restaurants?
Due to fire codes we cannot have heating elements in the cabins. To make up for this, every restaurant on the ship will be providing a 20% discount on food for long term residents of the ship.
Which small appliances would you be able to have in your room?
Due to insurance regulations, you will not be permitted anything with a heating element in your room, but you will be able to have a small refrigerator and Keurig style coffee maker. Microwaves will not be permitted. Our fire safety policy is here
Is there an estimate for how much food will cost and what benefits there will be for residents?
Columbia Cruise Service will be providing food service at first as people move in. There will be buffet-style dining as well as in-room dining.
Later, restaurants on board may provide a resident discount with a multi-tiered monthly food dining plan.
Your cabin will have a mini-fridge, and the local supermarkets have food prices comparable to the US.
Sustainability and Waste
Where does the poop go?
As we are all about sustainable tech and finding the best ways to live on the ocean, we will not be satisfied until we have the best technological solution that is safest for the environment and the marine ecosystem.
For a demonstration of how waste management is handled on a cruise ship please watch the video below and understand that we wish to do better.
Have any considerations been put into running this cruise ship sustainably and in an environmentally friendly manner?
Yes, this is a priority for us. The ship will be continually modified with the latest technology and upgraded over time as new technologies emerge. We are researching ways to apply and combine energy production including solar, wind, tidal energy, and others. We would like to move toward more food production independence with the use of hydroponics and other methods. Also, we will not be dumping waste or garbage into the surrounding water. The environment in Panama is beautiful, and we intend to not harm it, and to help to improve it over time by encouraging coral growth and increasing marine life in the area.
Privacy and Security
Are there cameras in the hallways by the cabins?
There are cameras throughout the ship which will be monitored. The footage is currently kept for 30 days but we will likely lower that to just a few days as their main purpose is to prevent theft and violence.
Life in Panama
How would living aboard be considered better than living ashore in Panama City?
We consider living on the cruise ship to be superior because you are joining an international community of entrepreneurs, nomads, thinkers, and doers. You can reach your destination in a similar or shorter commute time without having to sit in traffic. Also, you are already at your recreation destination…and, of course, the view is better!
Will the ship stay in the same location for the life of the ship?
As of now we plan to remain in the same location permanently.
Activities and Recreation
Will cabins and common areas be available for rent for events, or other purposes?
Yes, there will be cabins available to rent out to guests, and certain common areas will be available for rent as well. Some featured areas of the ship may be rented out by separate private companies such as the theater or restaurants, etc.
Will you buy more cruise ships for the area?
We plan to create an ever-growing community of cruise ships. We invite other floating neighbors, from anchored vessels to other forms of floating architecture, to join the community.
Will pets be allowed?
Pets under 20 pounds are allowed, the policy is here
What about pirates?
Ocean Builders is partnering with the very successful Detroit security firm Threat Management Center to manage threats for our homes with the goal of de-escalating situations soon enough to allow for the nearby Panamanian police or border control to intervene.
What ever happened with Thailand?
The Ocean Builders prototype was confiscated by the Thai navy. We hold no ill will toward the people or government of Thailand. We understand that this was the act of one or two corrupt officials in the Thai navy which had too much power for their own good.
The key takeaway from our experience in Thailand is that we were able to prove an engineering feat that nobody has ever done before, allowing us to move forward in the next phase of this paradigm shift.
How do you get electricity?
We will be taking a three phased (pun intended) approach to launching our Ocean Builder homes. Initially we plan on being near shore so if we do not use solar we may be able to use shore power.
How do you get water?
We have several water sources in mind and were able to produce plenty of water on our prototype so rest assured, you will have water in your Ocean Builder home.
How much does one cost?
We are trying to keep the price as close as possible to an average US family home for the minimal home with the option to add features such as Air Conditioning, more solar, upgraded kitchen, etc.
Where are you located?
We are located in the Linton Bay Marina at the northern most point of Panama. The homes will be located in the anchorage right next to the marina in a protected area on the leeward side of an island.
Where does the poop go?
We are working on several options for this. Either composting or having a service for cleaning out the black water tank.
What about tsunamis?
One of the safest places to be in a tsunami is out in the ocean. A tsunami consists of the ocean swell rising very high to the point that it does a lot of damage to land. While we may be more vulnerable closer to shore we will likely fare a lot better than any home on the coast or further inland.
What do you do with your garbage?
On the prototype we followed the tradition of boaters and took our garbage into land when we were ashore. In the next phase we will likely have a garbage service for such things. Our hope is a drone garbage pick up service.
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