All Aboard The World’s Most Wondrous Houseboats

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Enjoy the finesse of these unreal floating homes.

Some people feel most at home when on the water. For them, luxury houseboat living offers all the benefits of a modern residence with a few unique qualities. The floor gently moves beneath your feet. Fresh breezes roll in off the surface of the water, and natural light is everywhere.

Storms can be concerning. Upkeep is essential. And having hot water can be challenging. For luxury houseboat owners, though, the charm of watching the sunset over the water from their front porch is worth any minor inconvenience.

These luxury houseboats rock–and not just from the waves.

Villa Nackros

Swedish houseboat

This floating villa on Sweden's east coast has an expansive floor plan with over 1,900 square feet of living space. An additional 1,000 square feet of rooftop space is the perfect place to cultivate a home herb garden while enjoying 360-degree views.

Designed by renowned architect, Staffan Strindberg, this-6 room floating villa started with a very specific inspiration. "The design is focused on bringing the surroundings inside, to get the feeling of the water into your living,” Strindberg said in an interview for New Atlas.

Water Villa Omval

Amstel River houseboat

The Dutch firm +31 Architects created this bright white aluminum houseboat in Amsterdam that will make you think you're in a contemporary split-level condo until you glance out one of the floor-to-ceiling windows and see the Amstel River.

The bottom section sits just below the surface of the water, resembling the hull of a ship. A floating terrace runs alongside the main house–allowing residents to step out of one of the sliding glass doors and walk along the water on the outside.

The Seahorse

Floating Seahorse Dubai

In Dubai, luxury living is on another level. Lifestyle is the focus of the houseboats available at the Heart of Europe at The World Islands and marketed by The Floating Seahorse is a fully-customizable 4,000 square-foot family home on and under the water.

The signature edition offers three-levels with the lowest floor's massive windows showing immersive under-sea views. It looks like a set from a James Bond movie with state-of-the-art technology throughout and climate controls inside and out.

Andrew Cummings, co-founder and managing director of says, "The Seahorse offers a unique aquatic experience, with the main bedroom located underwater, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into the crystal blue ocean. Residents can enjoy the spectacular marine life up close and personal from the end of their bed, or out on their private relaxation deck."

Whether you aim to entertain or enjoy the privacy and peace of life surrounded by sea life–the Floating Seahorse can be tailored to suit your every need.

The Fennell Residence

The Fennell House

There is something timeless and poetic about the constant flow of a river. It was this quality that the Fennell Residence hoped to capture when it was designed and built to resemble the shape of flowing water.

Resting on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. This undulating home is constructed from curved beams making it feel completely natural in its environment yet out-of-this-world at the same time.

"Luxury floating homes are few and far between in Portland, and the exquisite contemporary design of the Fennell Residence makes this particular floating house even more extraordinary. Portland-based architect Robert Harvey Oshatz is well known for his organic, innovative creations that are born from his unique approach to architecture–integrating the environment and the personalities and dreams of his clients," says Kristen Kohnstamm, principal broker with Cascade Sotheby's International Realty.

The Nut House

The Nut House Glowing Bar

For a whimsically colorful take on houseboat living, step aboard "The Nut House." Built from the ground up by Ty Angle, everything on this boat is entirely custom. Each level including the upstairs bar has a custom lighting scheme, which can be controlled by an iPad mounted on the wall. This house makes sure Lake Don Pedro stays lit long after the California sun has set.

These houseboats are not only architectural marvels. They are outfitted with the modern conveniences of a brick and mortar home–from central heating, and chef-quality ranges to cozy fireplaces.

Houseboats let you have a big city at your doorstep, while still feeling the freedom of the open sea.

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