Residensea has signed a building contract with the Norwegian yard Fosen Mek. Verksted to build The World.

According to ResidenSea CEO Freddy Dellis, The World will cost $262 million to build and is scheduled for delivery in September 2001.

The 40,000-ton ship will feature 110 apartments, of which 43 have been sold so far, ranging in size from 1,107 square feet to 3,244 square feet, and in price from $2 million to $6 million. The owners buy the apartments - which all feature private verandas, a minimum of two bathrooms and two bedrooms, including furnishings - for 50 years.

There will also be 88 guest suites which will be sold on a cruise-basis in the luxury market.

Silversea Cruises will be responsible for hotel and marine operations as well as sales and marketing of the guest suites.

Dellis said that pending apartment sales, ResidenSea's intention is to enter into options for two more ships.

Fosen and Silversea have become shareholders in ResidenSea.