Need to Know

Rock the Boat

FYI: Travel

May 2016

The extravagant cruise ships of today might one day evolve into MORPHotels. The brainchild of London, England–based engineer and architect Gianluca Santosuosso, MORPHotel is a floating organism that slowly makes a continuous journey around the world.


“It’s the new idea of luxury travel—taking the time to explore the places you visit,” says Santosuosso. “Most cruise ships are like a floating Las Vegas; when you are in them, you don’t feel connected to the environment.”

Although still in the design stage, MORPHotel is certainly making waves for its unique—and striking—approach to cruising: Built around a flexible, half-mile-long vertebral spine, the vessel adapts its shape to meet weather and ocean conditions and can spiral into itself to create an artificial harbor.

Onboard, a self-sustaining ecosystem features solar power, rainwater and wave energy harvesting, and a vegetable garden. Instead of docking at large ports, the vessel becomes an extension of the cities in which it harbors, letting the local population come aboard to enjoy its theaters, restaurants, and garden. Learn more at

Photography by Shutterstock