House Oakland's Homeless on a Cruise Ship?

Port of Oakland

The Oakland, California city council president has floated an idea to house 1,000 of the city’s homeless on a cruise ship, according to local news reports.

At a public meeting Tuesday, Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan said a ship in the city’s harbour could act as emergency housing for the city’s ballooning homeless population, which rose from 1,900 to more than 3,200 since 2018, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Kaplan reportedly plans to officially propose the idea in January.

The council president claimed to already be in discussions with cruise lines about the project, which would offer cabin space on a pay-what-you-can scale, based on income.

She said similar efforts had worked to temporarily shelter aid workers after natural disasters and to house Olympic athletes.

Obvious unaddressed problems include the overall cost of per-square-foot cruise cabins versus shoreside apartments:

  • Fuel and crew pay to get a ship to Oakland.
  • Fuel to operate the ship while in the harbor.
  • California shoreside power regulations, both current and future.
  • Wastewater produced by the ship.
  • Freshwater needed for the ship.
  • Paying the necessary ship’s crew while in the harbor.
  • Comparatively quick degradation of ship infrastructure versus that of land-based buildings.

14 Cruise Ships Received a Perfect 100 Health Score

Disney Fantasy by Disney Cruise Line
PHOTO: Disney Fantasy by Disney Cruise Line. (photo via Marina113 / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

Virgin Rethinks Funnel Design Concept

Virgin Funnel

Virgin Voyages is promising to reinvent the cruise experience, and one of the most traditional parts of a cruise ship – the funnel – will be rethought and redesigned for the company’s upcoming trio of Lady-class ships.

“We’re at the top of the game in super yacht design,” said Kristian Arens, exterior design lead for England-based Redman Whiteley Dixon (RWD).

The design firm has been tapped by Virgin to redevelop the cruise ship funnel.

“This big cruise ship needed elements to be more of a superyacht than a cruise ship,” continued Arens.

“What Virgin Voyages really wanted to do was to create something very different. They wanted the funnel to be a funnel, but not a funnel.”

Added Adrian Chisnell, project manager:  “It was actually known as the non-funnel … traditionally (the funnel) has been a bit of an afterthought. It has been put on top of the boat.

“This is the first time we know the funnel is not being used in that way,” he said.

The duo from RWD described their design brief for Virgin as luxurious and iconic, while being different, exciting and new.

“The Virgin Voyages ship will hopefully be one of the most recognizable in the world,” Chisnell said.