A seven-story hotel set sail Monday on a 2,175-mile voyage to open for business as a floating resort off the coast of Australia.
The 12,000-ton structure departed aboard the Dutch heavy-lift ship Mighty Servant 2 for the 13-day trip.The midsection of the special cargo vessel's hull was submerged to load the 295-foot luxury hotel by floating it aboard. Mighty Servant 2, of 21,162 gross registered tons, usually carries oil rigs.
The first guests are expected in February once the 200-room hotel, owned by Barrier Reef Holdings Ltd., is anchored securely inside the Great Barrier Reef, a massive coral formation stretching 1,250 miles along Australia's northeastern coast.
Its destination is the central lagoon of the John Brewer Reef, 45 miles
from the port of Townsville. Well-heeled vacationers will need 90 minutes to reach the Four Seasons Barrier Reef resort by catamaran from shore or 20 minutes by helicopter to the rooftop helipad.
The five-star hotel will concentrate on short-staying guests, most of them American, with room prices ranging from $240 to $580 a day, its promoters said.
Amenities on attached floating piers, also on board Mighty Servant 2, include tennis courts, a swimming pool, a gymnasium and sauna, a disco, restaurants, bars and an underwater observatory. A submarine is available for coral excursions.