We All Live in a Yellow Submarine



For some the best part of a cruise is being docked in port. You don’t have to worry about getting seasick and all the attractions of town are always close at hand.

If you are a landlubber who doesn’t want to find your sea legs, you can book stays at ship or boat hotels (aka ‘botels’), using them  as a crash pad and refuge as you explore the port city. Running the gamut from magnificent to quaint, the botels provide experiences that are by turns luxurious and eccentric.

Bonus: If you have a Titanic moment, and an iceberg rams your boat, you can simply walk down the gangplank to safety.

yellow submarine

We All Live in a Yellow Submarine

If you are in Liverpool to pay homage to all things Beatles, then you should book a night at the Yellow Submarine Hotel Floating on a mooring in Albert Dock, this was once a “narrowboat” (an English canal boat), and has been renovated to include a psychedelic lounge and three bedrooms, outfitted with 3D TVs, computers, WiFi and more.

This botel was originally built around the concept of the sub in the film The Hunt for Red October. In the lounge you will find gold discs from The Beatles and the mod scooter from the film Quadrophenia. The furnishings are from Paris, Italy and New York, and the master bedroom is based on the suite at the seven-star Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

The Yellow Submarine  is docked in the heart of the city, within walking distance of nightlife and shopping attractions.

Queen Mary

See the Stars and the Starstruck

Once the “grandest ocean liner in the world,” the Queen Mary is now moored permanently in Los Angeles, offering tours, champagne brunches, overnight accommodations and more to anyone wanting to experience her storied luxury.

The Queen Mary departed on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, in May 1936, boasting five dining areas and lounges, two cocktail bars and swimming pools, a grand ballroom, a squash court and even a small hospital. In her time, the Queen Mary played host to Hollywood celebrities like Bob Hope and Clark Gable, royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and dignitaries like Winston Churchill. In 1967, the Queen Mary departed on her final cruise, arriving in her current resting place, Long Beach, California.

Touches include authentic polished wood paneling, the original 1930s artwork, the art deco style throughout,  operable portholes and staterooms with unique personalities.

From the Queen Mary, L.A. and area is your oyster, with attractions ranging from the Pike at Long Beach Entertainment Complex to designer shopping in the downtown, and from whale watching to star watching.

 lady hutton2

Hang with the Poor Little Rich Girl

Docked in Riddarhomen Harbour in Stockholm, the Lady Hutton or Mälardrottningen had movie stars, politicians and royalty cross its gangplank in its day. The ship was built for New York’s C.K.G Billings, in 1924, and at that time she was world’s largest diesel-driven yacht.

The ship was later  bought by the millionaire Frank W. Hutton, who gave it to his daughter, Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, on her 18th birthday. Barbara’s extravagant life had her cavorting with  princes and movie stars, and included a 1940s marriage to Cary Grant. She later sold the vessel  to the Royal British Navy for one pound sterling.

Since 1982, Mälardrottningen has been docked in the port of the Swedish city, offering a restaurant, bar and cabins for overnight stays.

Enjoy the Cruise on a Cliff

While not strictly a real boat, the Sun Cruise Resort is definitely boat-shaped and deserves inclusion if for nothing more than its dramatic perch atop a cliff, overlooking the ocean in Jeongdongjin, South Korea (see image at top). Claiming to be the “first resort of its kind,” this botel allows guests to enjoy a full boat cruise without the sailing or seasickness.

Located on one of the most popular vacation spots in Korea, on the sea of Japan, the Sun Cruise Resort features a revolving bar that provides a panoramic view of the horizon, seawater swimming pools, netted golf driving range, six restaurants, gym, entertainment  and 211 “cabins,” ranging from hotel-style bedrooms to private apartments.

The cruise ship theme is enhanced by the sound of crashing waves played on speakers throughout the hotel and the occasional blast from a foghorn.

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