Robb Reader: Pamela Conover

The CEO of The World, Residences at Sea on an extraordinary, never-ending luxury voyage

How does one go about running a globe-traversing giant mega-yacht doubling up as a six-star residential hotel, providing ultra-fine living  and life-enriching experiences with every voyage? We asked someone for whom it’s a life calling…

Is there a specific type of person to whom The World appeals?
Yes. The World is comprised of an international community of 150 families from 20 different countries. Although they represent a broad range of nationalities and interests, they do have many things in common that attracted them to The World. The average Resident is a self-made entrepreneur whose business success has afforded him or her the wealth to purchase a home on the ship and the time to enjoy it.

Some of their shared interests include a passion for travel, exploration and outdoor activities; enjoying the sea; having a thirst for knowledge and being an adventure seeker; interest in world cultures, history, art, food, wine, fitness and wellness, diving, golf, photography, nature and more. Several Residents are former or existing superyacht owners who are attracted by the hassle-free lifestyle of owning a home on an elegant ship that offers first-class amenities and service. This ship appeals to the type of person who enjoys looking outside their window and literally watching the world go by; stepping outside their front door to a new port of call every few days.

Family-oriented people are also drawn to the ship. Residents often invite their relatives and friends to join them and share in the experience, either staying in their apartment – if they have enough bedrooms – or they can book through our Guest Stay Program.

Many of our residents still work and are active in their business(es), some full-time and some part-time. Satellite communication allows residents to conduct business from the comfort of their home on The World while enjoying their global journey. Although a few Residents live on the Ship full-time, most average a combined three-to-four months a year.

How would you want residents to describe The World?
As the ultimate lifestyle. A unique and luxurious way to explore the planet’s most fascinating destinations from the comfort of home. An amazing adventure of one-a-kind experiences only enjoyed by a fortunate few. The highest standards of luxury living, combining all the best aspects of a six-star hotel, private mega yacht and exclusive resort with Michelin-star dining, custom destination experiences, world-class amenities and impeccable, personalised and anticipatory service.

What are some of the logistical challenges people wouldn’t think of when it comes to running such an operation?
Our biggest challenge is in supplying a ship that is constantly on the move – a different port of call every few days, sometimes to very remote locales. The ship is continuously circumnavigating the globe and does not take the same route each week. Deliveries require precision planning, forecasting and good organisation to ensure that we have everything we might need no matter where in the world we’re located. We plan for accommodating residents’ personal preferences – such as having their favorite ice cream or fresh flowers on board at all times – as well as maintenance supplies and other miscellaneous items. Our Food & Beverage Team is great at sourcing local markets to procure fresh produce to uphold our exceptionally high standards throughout the ship’s restaurants and gourmet delicatessen.

In what ways would you say luxury is changing, as new affluent consumers hit the scene?
Today’s consumers are smarter than they have ever been for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the internet and access to information. The World resonates well with today’s affluent, educated and global consumers who regard luxury as privacy, exclusivity and access to unique and rare experiences. Years ago, luxury meant “expensive”. It doesn’t any more. Luxury now means something different to everyone. It’s become quite personal and takes more effort to achieve. In order to deliver a luxury experience to today’s residents, we’ve become much more in tune with their personal preferences and interests than ever before. We use information gathered from surveys, workshops and direct resident suggestions to create meaningful and customised experiences for them. Luxury for us now can be described as the ultimate personalised experience.

 

 

Would you say that modern luxury is also shifting away from the tangible towards rarefied experiences?
Absolutely. In fact, The World has always been about creating distinctive, one-of-a-kind experiences. Our Residents are exceptionally well-travelled. They dine in the world’s best restaurants, are members of illustrious sporting establishments and attend the most prestigious events around the globe. Part of what makes The World unique and sought after are the exclusive, rare and authentic experiences that we create.

We’re intimately aware of our residents’ preferences and work hard on anticipating their wants and desires to deliver exceptional, six-star service. We know the food they enjoy, how they like to travel, their preferred hotels and wines, even how they like their coffee and tea served without them having to ask. While out purchasing wines for the ship’s cellar, our Beverage Manager will often pick up select wines that she knows will delight particular residents.

For every region visited and for every expedition (a two-to-three-week deep dive into a particular region during which we bring local experts on board), the extraordinary travel experiences are endless: like spotting over 100 polar bears on Wrangel Island in Russia’s high Arctic; retracing the steps of Sir Ernest Shackelton’s epic hike to Stromness on South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic Ocean; and soaring by helicopter over Greenland’s glaciers and fjords and rounding a glacier by Zodiac to be greeted with a glass of champagne!

In January 2017, The World broke the record for the most southerly navigation, reaching 78°43•997´S and 163°41•421´W at the Bay of Whales in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. At that time, it was the furthest south any vessel had ever sailed. It was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure our residents will never forget. This summer The World will embark on another epic experience – traversing 3,500 miles across Canada and Alaska’s Northwest Passage. Having been the largest passenger ship to sail the Northwest Passage from west to east in 2012, this August/September we will complete a “double transit” sailing from east to west. Unique onboard experiences are also integral to our offerings. Next month, as part of our renowned Nobel Laureate Lecturer Series, we will welcome Dr. Brian K. Kobilka, who won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, to speak to our Residents.

Who are your major influences?
My father has been a big influence on me throughout my career. He went from being a junior office boy to the Managing Director of a company. He exhibited great integrity and fairness and was a role model for me. Although he has passed, he continues to inspire me and influence many of the decisions that I make.

Where, and in what circumstances, do you get your best creative ideas?
I always look forward to meeting with residents when I’m on the ship. They are a very accomplished and worldly group of individuals who continue to inspire me and spark new ideas. Their achievements have certainly made an impression on me. Our conversations have led to some wonderful new initiatives and new ways of thinking about things that have benefitted the community at large.

In summer 2019, The World will visit several ports in the U.K, including Greenwich, London. To learn more about The World’s unique lifestyle, call +1 (954) 538-8449 or visit aboardtheworld.com.

All 165 homes onboard The World are privately owned with a small selection available for re-sale every year. In summer 2019, The World will visit several ports in the U.K, including Greenwich, London. To learn more about The World’s unique lifestyle, call 44 20 7572 1231 or visit aboardtheworld.com.

 

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