Arizona developer Randall Jackson says that he saw the need for a luxury residential cruise ship while sailing through the Straits of Magellan during a family vacation. Never mind that several already exist. Jackson's ship—appropriately named the Magellan—sets itself apart with fractional ownership and the ability to finance 75 percent of an onboard con-do through Jackson's own mortgage company, says Kevin Miller, director of sales and marketing for Residential Cruise Line.

Though the ship was originally marketed toward wealthy, retired baby boomers, Miller says the demographics of early buyers vary widely. (He declines to say how many of the 200 units, as large as 3,147 square feet and priced as high as $8 million, have sold.) Residents will have access to six restaurants, two helicopters, an observatory with a full-time astronomer, indoor golf simulators, and an onboard marina. The ship will likely set sail on a two-year course around the world, stopping at about 150 ports per year, in three years.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Phoenix, AZ.