Ever dream of living free at sea? Now you can get a taste of this unique, if not quirky, lifestyle by renting one for your next vacation. These floating lodgings afford guests privacy paired with an offbeat—and often awe-inspiring—vantage point for exploration. Houseboat options range from yachts and sailboats to retrofitted tugboats and barges to customized floating suites.
Even if you don’t harbor a deep-seeded desire to play “captain” for your entire vacation, why not be adventurous for a night or two? Here are seven houseboats around the world, all bookable on Orbitz, that will inspire a brag-worthy, maritime adventure.
1. Kerala, India: Marvel Cruise Alleppey Houseboats
Float along the emerald backwaters of Kerala, in southern India, on a luxury kettuvallam. This translates to “boat with knots” as the entire boat is held together with coir knots joining together planks of wood; no nails are used in the construction. This Old World mode of travel is now a popular way for travelers to experience the peaceful waters of Alleppey, also known as the “Venice of the East.” Marvel Cruise Alleppey Houseboats offers 16 renovated kettuvallam options that rival many 4-star hotels, with air-conditioning, premium bedding and bespoke service throughout your stay.
2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Authentic Houseboats Amsterdam
Amsterdam is known for its colorful canals and bike culture. Combine both by booking a houseboat south of the downtown action via Authentic Houseboats Amsterdam and renting a bike that’ll zip you to popular sites. You’ll feel like a Dutch local. The houseboat features four rooms that sleep up to six people, as well as a kitchenette, shower, a flat-panel TV with cable and free WiFi.
3. Los Cabos, Mexico: Catarí Luxury Yacht
With iconic sights such as Land’s End and The Arch nearby, this yacht provides a luxurious on-the-water home in Los Cabos. The houseboat has four air-conditioned guestrooms and a rooftop terrace where guests can enjoy the cooked-to-order breakfast included with their stay. Keep an eye out for playful whales and dolphins from your perch, and use the free WiFi onboard to make friends on social media insanely jealous of your whereabouts.
4. Liverpool, England: Hollywood Apartments & Barges
Brag to friends about your own version of a “magical mystery tour” by staying on a renovated barge in the city center of Liverpool, birthplace of The Beatles. Hollywood Apartments & Barges is adjacent to A Beatles Story, the world’s largest permanent museum devoted to the legendary band, as well as a short walk to other sites and tours that honor the Fab Four. After a “hard day’s night,” return to your purple barge that sleeps up to six, with its two bedrooms and en suite bathroom. The boat also comes with a Hollywood legacy: It was originally built for use by Jack Nicholson’s character in the “Batman” film. Hence its purple decor and name, The Joker.
5. Copenhagen, Denmark: Copenhagen Houseboat
Smack in the middle of Copenhagen‘s city center you’ll find this renovated ferry, which for 45 years journeyed as a passenger vessel around the German-Danish border. With four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fireplace and a full kitchen, it accommodates up to seven people—ideal for traveling groups. The Copenhagen Houseboat is super stylish following its 2014 overhaul, evoking the clean and modern aesthetic famous in Scandinavian design.
6. Sliema, Malta: MS Cutty Jean
Wake up to a sunrise over the sea, while on the sea, in Malta. This island chain in the Mediterranean, between Sicily and the North African Coast, is home to fortresses, temples and the MS Cutty Jean. This four-room boat holds decades of maritime history, made from time-tested wood and updated in 2014 to include the latest modern conveniences and technology.
7. Eilat, Israel: Red Sea Yachts
Sail the Red Sea, home to world-class SCUBA diving and crimson-colored mountain views, aboard a luxury yacht or sailboat from Red Sea Yacht. The houseboats include four air-conditioned bedrooms, living rooms and dining areas, and a 24-hour staff and crew to assist from check-in to check-out.
TIP: Orbitz offers a variety of unique and offbeat accommodations. To book, just go to Orbitz.com After you select your destination and travel dates, check out the “Filter Properties By” column to the left of the resulting hotel selections. You can sort by “Property Type” and “Vacation Rentals” to uncover cool options such as villas, houseboats, tentalows, castles and more.