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Seafaring Nomads Live Permanently on Five-Star Cruise Ships for Under $45 a Day

For most people, going on a cruise is (usually expensive) vacation time, the kind you can only take (and afford) once or maybe twice a year. For Angelyn and Richard Burk, it’s a lifestyle and, as such, it’s neither temporary nor costly.
Couple of seafaring nomads live on cruise ships because it's cheaper than a mortgage 10 photos
"Super Mario" "King of the Seas" Mario Salcedo has been living on cruise ships for 23 years non-stop"Super Mario" "King of the Seas" Mario Salcedo has been living on cruise ships for 23 years non-stop"Super Mario" "King of the Seas" Mario Salcedo has been living on cruise ships for 23 years non-stop"Super Mario" "King of the Seas" Mario Salcedo has been living on cruise ships for 23 years non-stop"Super Mario" "King of the Seas" Mario Salcedo has been living on cruise ships for 23 years non-stop"Super Mario" "King of the Seas" Mario Salcedo has been living on cruise ships for 23 years non-stop"Super Mario" "King of the Seas" Mario Salcedo has been living on cruise ships for 23 years non-stop"Super Mario" "King of the Seas" Mario Salcedo has been living on cruise ships for 23 years non-stop"Super Mario" "King of the Seas" Mario Salcedo has been living on cruise ships for 23 years non-stop
The phrase “seafaring nomad” has only started getting attention online recently months, and it’s linked to the trend of middle-aged or retired people choosing to live on cruise ships on a permanent basis. However, as “Super Mario” Mario Salcedo’s example has shown, the trend has been around for at least two decades: he’s been living like this for 23 years, with the only hiatus during the 2020 lockdowns, when the cruise industry came to a halt.

Angelyn and Richard Burk are newer to this lifestyle, but they already know they will never again live permanently on terra firma, as they say in a new interview with 7 News. Both had fallen in love with cruises long before they met, and once they became a couple, they started toying with the idea of living on cruises instead of on land.

The initial plan was to put aside money and retire on board, but they eventually realized they could do it earlier because they had a house in Seattle to sell and get some cash. In May 2021, they set sail, and they haven’t looked back since.

To the media outlet, Angelyn says that the lifestyle is easy, though there are some challenges – the biggest one is mistaking it for a holiday. Like Salcedo, she and Richard too planned ahead to make sure they would move from cruise to cruise almost seamlessly, with as little time on land as possible. They also choose the cheapest options, avoid the drink packages, and make ample use of their loyalty memberships to get discounts

It pays off, she swears: she and Richard can live comfortably for under $90 a day on average for the both of them. The price includes accommodation, food, entertainment, transportation, gratuity, port fees, and taxes. When they arrive in port cities, they get off and explore on their own, to avoid paying extra. They’ve visited 10 countries this way so far, and they plan to see every corner of the planet.

This lifestyle works perfectly for them, but they do warn others to try long-term cruises before making a decision. You can’t live onboard a cruise ship if you hate the environment on one or, even worse, don’t like living at sea on a budget.

“We have been frugal all our lives to save and invest in order to achieve our goal,” Angelyn explains. “We are not into materialistic things but experiences. We don’t plan to permanently live on land in the future.”


Editor's note: Photos in the gallery show Mario Salcedo, also known as Super Mario and King of the Seas, who's been living on cruise ships for 23 years.

 
 
 
 
 

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