Cruise ships offer many of the essential elements older Americans need to thrive: organized activities, a decent level of medical care and, most crucially, a built-in community of like-minded travelers. Upgraded connectivity has also allowed semi-retired cruisers to make a cruise ship their new retirement home.
For nearly two decades, Jeff Farschman, 72, has enjoyed leisure cruises to exotic ports of call, much like many other adventurous retirees.
Farschman, on the other hand, lives at sea, unlike many of his fellow cruise passengers. He spends half of the year, if not more, traveling the world’s oceans and rivers. Farschman is part of a rising population of elderly people who are physically “retiring” on cruise ships, despite having a real home near where he grew up in Delaware.
“Pandemic aside, I’ve been cruising for seven to eight months a year,” Farschman said. “I am a world traveler and explorer type and cruising has literally allowed me to see the entire planet.”
When Farschman initially started cruising, he had no intention of living on a ship. When Hurricane Ivan slammed the Caribbean in 2004, the former vice president of Lockheed Martin was stuck on a traditional cruise.