Here’s a brainteaser: How does a massive cruise ship end up on top of a cliff? Natural causes—a tsunami, maybe? In 2011, the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami did pick up and drop ships across different inland locations.
Perhaps it was placed there strategically by engineers and scientists? In 2014, the beached Costa Concordia was floated and towed away from its crash site.
The truth is that neither natural causes nor magic tricks put this vessel where it’s rested for over 14 years. Read on to learn more about the story behind this South Korean ship-on-a-cliff.
12. It’s Not Photoshopped
And the boat is real, too. You’re more than welcome to step inside and even stay the night.
11. It’s Never Been In Water
This ship opened for business in 2002 as the first of its kind in the world. Located in the South Korean town of Jeongdongjin, the structure overlooks a beach resort and the Sea of Japan. At 541 feet long and 148 tall, the vessel has 211 guest rooms and six restaurants.
10. No Plans On Moving
In case you haven’t guessed it yet, the cruise ship on a cliff is a resort and hotel! It’s called The Sun Cruise Resort Yacht, and it was built on land with almost all of the amenities found on a cruise at sea.
Pictured here is the hotel’s inspiration: A Royal Caribbean International Sovereign Class cruise ship.
9. Plenty To Do
Fishermen sail into the Sea of Japan to catch Pacific saury, abalone, and sole. The town is a picturesque destination and a favorite spot among locals.
8. By The Numbers
The rotating top-floor bar gives visitors a panoramic view of the horizon. There’s also a golf range, volleyball court, and fitness club.
7. Picturesque Views
When the sun rises over the ocean, it outlines the train station and pine trees, creating a sight straight out of a fairytale.
6. No Sea Sickness Here
Sounds of crashing waves are played over speakers throughout the hotel, enhancing the cruise ship theme. The resort’s swimming pool is filled with saltwater, adding to the authenticity.
5. Cruise Without The Cost
There are no fuel costs or crew members needed to operate this boat, so the resort offers a cruise-like experience at much more affordable rates. Family-sized rooms, complete with views of the sea, rent for around 220,000 South Korean Won per night ($197 in U.S. dollars). All of the resort’s guest rooms feature en-suite bathrooms, too.
4. Top Floor
Party animals will find themselves at home in the karaoke room. It’s stocked with a high-tech sound system, video projector, and disco lighting.
3. Weddings, Parties, Anything
Before the construction of the Sun Cruise, Jeongdongjin was one of the lesser-known tourist spots in South Korea. The resort spurred tourism growth to the region, and it’s accessible from the Jeongdongjin harbor, train station, or the nearby Moraeshigae Park.
2. Saltwater And Sun
History buffs will enjoy the nearby outdoor naval museum, as well as an old South Korean battleship and a damaged North Korean submarine on display.
1. High Up
The structure may be safe and not rocked by ocean waves, but it’s perched high above ground, so anyone who’s afraid of heights might not enjoy their stay. Still, Jeongdongjin is revered as one of the very best spots in South Korea for toasting the New Year.
Interested in a visit? Learn more at eSunCruise.com.
The Sun Cruise was the first resort of its kind, and it’s proven to be a successful tourist attraction. A traveler reviewed the Sun Cruise on TripAdvisor.com and mentioned that an add-on ship is currently under construction, expected to be finished by May 2017. Other reviews are mixed, ranging from “overpriced” to “quirky and unique.” Travelers all seem to agree on one thing, though: The hotel’s got incredible ocean views.
In 2003, a similar hotel was opened in Turkey by Titanic Hotels. The hotel, named The Titanic, looks nothing like the ocean liner that sank in April 1912.