By Ken Hegan for MSN

In the coming apocalypse, when the oceans rise up to swallow the land, this South Korean hotel is where I want to be.

Yep, it’s a cruise ship hotel perched up on a cliff.

This ship/hotel is reminiscent of the RMS Queen Mary hotel in Long Beach, California. But instead of a ship masquerading as a hotel, the Sun Cruise Resort & Yacht is a hotel masquerading as a ship.

Located in Jeongdongjin on the eastern coast, the hotel bills itself as the “world’s first on-land cruise themed resort” and says the upper deck gives you the best view of the sunrise in all of Korea. WARNING: the hotel likes to ring a 4:40 a.m. ‘wake-up bell’ so you can get up to see the sunrise.

It looks like the Ark after a long and nasty storm. But rather than thousands of soaked, annoyed animals, this hotel’s filled with tourists, two by two, who are afraid of motion sickness and refuse to leave the shore.

Opened in 2002, this landlocked ship/hotel has 211 rooms that range from hotel-style bedrooms to private apartments. Some rooms have a view of the town, while others have a view of the sea and a white sandy beach.

The ship/hotel is 165 meters long, 45 meters high, and weighs 30,000 tons (I measured it myself). It boasts a night club, wedding venue, golf range, bakery, grocery store which sells red wine, botanical gardens, gym, two restaurants, karaoke, a sea water pool, and a revolving sky bar to make you feel like you’re slowly spiralling down the draining Sea of Japan.


“Relaxing in this unique hotel right by the sea and gazing at the mesmerizing sunset, guests will enjoy a refreshing retreat and take back wonderful memories,” says the site.

The ‘ship’ features portholes and piped in sounds of seagulls and crashing waves, for that authentic fake feeling of ‘Seafaring adventure without leaving the safety of your cliff’. I’m surprised Las Vegas hasn’t already copied the idea.


TripAdvisor gives it 4 of out 5 stars. Not too shabby, especially since room rates start at a reasonable 80,000 South Korean won ($72.15 CDN). Unlike the Ark, though, no pets are allowed. You have to pay for your own newspapers but there’s free cable, wi-fi, and all the golf you can stomach. Some rooms offer kitchenettes but apparently you have to bring your own cutlery.

The hotel thinks it a great spot for marriage proposals. In cute broken English, their site says “Invite you to the special resort for making your impressiver love confession.”

Boat night

What do you think of this clifftop cruise hotel…fabulous or folly?

I’ll say this much: it looks way more fun than the Carnival hell cruises we keep hearing about. And thankfully the captain’s not Italian or else the hotel would look like this:

Italy ship

— Ken Hegan

P.S. There’s also a cruise ship-themed hotel in Turkey called the Titanic. But it opened a year after the Korean hotel in 2003 and I don’t give out prizes for second place copycats.


The Sun Cruise Resort & Yacht is on South Korea’s eastern coast, about 3 hours away from Seoraksan National Park. To get to the ship from Seoul, first take a bus to Gangneung Express Terminal (168 km to the east) . Then take bus 109 to the resort which departs at 07:00, 08:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, and 20:00.


Read more of Ken’s travel stories here

Twitter: @KenHegan

Hotel pics courtesy Sun Cruise Resort & Yacht, and the Korea Tourism Organization. Grounded Italian ship photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM