This couple lives full time on cruise ships—here’s how

Cruise ship sails on sunny day
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Have you ever wished you could go on a permanent vacation? How about a never-ending cruise? For one Washington couple, retiring early and living on a cruise ship made sense.

In 1992, Angelyn Burk took her first cruise and fell in love with ocean travel. When she met her now-husband, Richard, the couple discovered they shared this passion and loved taking cruises at least once a year.

“We really enjoy cruising and being able to visit different parts of the world without hopping on an airplane,” Angelyn told Australia’s 7Life.

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Initially, they planned to visit many countries, staying for about a month in each one. But eventually, they wanted to retire to cruise ships as they got older.

The 53-year-old former accountant decided to crunch the numbers. She determined that they could comfortably shift to living on cruise ships full time for $100 per day — less than it cost them to live in Seattle.

“We love to travel and we were searching for a way to continuously travel in our retirement that made financial sense,” Angelyn told 7Life.

The couple took to full-time cruising in May 2021. After quitting their jobs and shifting to life at sea, the Burks have found it is even more affordable than they anticipated.

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“Currently, this year, we have secured 86 cruise days with an average all-in cost of $89 per day for both of us,” Angelyn told CNN. “Which includes room, food, entertainment, transportation, gratuity, port fees and taxes.”

The Burks don’t live on the same ship all the time, although they tend to stay put when they can.

“When planning out cruises, I try to stay on the same ship as long as possible, as long as it is cost-effective,” Angelyn told CNN.

Most of the cruises they have taken this year have been on Holland America, with about a week on a Carnival Cruise ship. They will visit Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Alaska, Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam this year.

Angelyn shares photos of their travels, such as this shot of a Jamaican beach.

And photos of the two of them, of course:

The Burks have some advice for others who dream of this vacation lifestyle.

“I believe this is achievable for the everyday cruiser, but it does take effort,” Angelyn shared with CNN.

First, they recommend taking some lengthy cruises to ensure they enjoy living primarily at sea. And second, prepare to make allowances elsewhere to afford it.

“We have been frugal all our lives to save and invest in order to achieve our goal,” Angelyn explained to CNN. “We are not into materialistic things but experiences.”

About the Author

Tricia Goss

Tricia is a professional writer and editor who lives in North Texas with her family and one smelly dog. She is a wannabe problem solver, junk food maven professional coffee practitioner, web guru and general communicator. Learn More.