Cruise Ship Boats

Cruise Ship for Sale: Insider Guide to Best Deals and Selections The market for cruise ships for sale consists of a wide variety of options for potential buyers, with each vessel having its unique characteristics and amenities. Understanding the specifications of each cruise ship is essential when aiming to purchase one, as different ships offer varying passenger capacities, cabin types, and levels of luxury. In addition to the physical aspects, interested parties must be aware of the geographical locations and commercial aspects of cruise ship sales, as these factors can significantly Show More

Cruise Ship for Sale: Insider Guide to Best Deals and Selections

The market for cruise ships for sale consists of a wide variety of options for potential buyers, with each vessel having its unique characteristics and amenities. Understanding the specifications of each cruise ship is essential when aiming to purchase one, as different ships offer varying passenger capacities, cabin types, and levels of luxury. In addition to the physical aspects, interested parties must be aware of the geographical locations and commercial aspects of cruise ship sales, as these factors can significantly impact the overall investment.

Another crucial aspect to consider when exploring the cruise ship market is the range of available varieties and customization options. Some sellers specialize in custom-built cruise ships, allowing buyers to tailor their vessel to suit their specific requirements. As the cruise industry continues to expand, the demand for unique and diverse cruise ship experiences grows in tandem, presenting a lucrative opportunity for investors.

Key Takeaways

  • It's essential to understand the specifications and characteristics of each cruise ship for sale.
  • Geographical locations and commercial aspects can significantly impact the overall investment.
  • Custom cruise ships offer an opportunity to meet the growing demand for unique experiences in the cruise industry.

Understanding Cruise Ship Specifications

When considering purchasing a cruise ship, it's essential to understand the various specifications that define its size, performance, and suitability for various purposes.

Length, Beam and Draft

The length of a cruise ship is the overall distance from the bow to the stern, measured in meters. The beam refers to the ship's width at its widest point, also measured in meters. Cruise ships' drafts (the depth of the submerged portion of the hull) can range from shallow for smaller ships to deep for larger ones, affecting their ability to dock in specific ports.

  • Length: Varies depending on the ship's size and purpose, typically between 140 and 400 meters.
  • Beam: Usually ranges from 20 to 60 meters depending on the vessel's size.
  • Draft: Can range from shallow (4 to 6 meters) for smaller ships to deeper (8 to 12 meters) for larger ships.

Knowing these measurements can help determine whether a ship is suited for specific routes or ports, as different locations might have draft restrictions.

Hull Types

There are various hull types used in the construction of cruise ships. These play a crucial role in the ship's performance, stability, and efficiency. Some common hull types include:

  • Monohull: A single, streamlined hull that provides excellent stability in rough waters.
  • Catamaran: A twin-hulled design that offers enhanced stability and fuel efficiency.
  • Trimaran: A three-hulled design that combines the stability of the catamaran with improved speed and performance.

The choice of the hull type will depend on the intended use of the vessel, its size, and the cruising conditions.

Class and Power

The class of a cruise ship refers to its classification by organizations such as Lloyd's Register or the American Bureau of Shipping, which evaluate the vessel's construction, design, and safety features. Additionally, ships are classified by their engine types and power output, impacting their speed, fuel consumption, and overall efficiency. Some common power classifications include:

  • Diesel-electric propulsion: Uses diesel generators to produce electricity that powers electric motors driving the propellers, offering excellent fuel efficiency and flexibility.
  • Gas turbine propulsion: Utilizes jet engines to generate electricity, providing faster speeds, but with increased fuel consumption.
  • Hybrid propulsion: A combination of diesel-electric and gas turbine engines, allowing for optimal performance in various operating conditions.

Understanding the class and power of a cruise ship is essential for potential buyers, as it dictates the vessel's performance, operating costs, and environmental impact.

Varieties of Cruise Ships for Sale

When searching for a cruise ship for sale, buyers will encounter various options to consider. There are used cruise ships, new cruise ships, and refit cruise ships available in the market. This guide will shed some light on the different kinds of cruise ships one can invest in.

Used Cruise Ships

Used cruise ships are often available at a more affordable price compared to new cruise ships. The history and maintenance records can provide insight into the quality of the ship, enabling buyers to make well-informed decisions. Some used cruise ships for sale in the United States come with various amenities such as entertainment facilities, restaurants, and comfortable accommodation spaces.

Buyers should be aware of the potential costs of maintenance and updates required for used cruise ships, as they may need investments in refurbishments and certifications to be aligned with industry standards.

New Cruise Ships

New cruise ships provide state-of-the-art technology, modern designs, and upgraded facilities. These vessels have not been previously owned or operated, offering buyers a clean slate to personalize and adapt the ship according to their business needs.

However, new cruise ships generally have a higher initial cost, and the buying process may include longer waiting times due to the manufacturing process. It is essential to research for reliable shipyards and manufacturers while considering a new cruise ship for sale.

Refit Cruise Ships

Refit cruise ships are used vessels that have undergone extensive renovations, updates, and improvements. These ships combine the best of both worlds: the affordability of a used ship, and the modernization of a new ship. Buyers can find refit cruise ships at Horizon Ship Brokers with added features such as fin stabilizers and updated cabins.

It is crucial to research the refit process and the upgrades that have been made to ensure the ship meets the desired quality and safety standards.

In conclusion, there are various types of cruise ships to consider when looking for a vessel for sale. While some buyers may prioritize affordability and opt for a used cruise ship, others may prefer the cutting-edge technology of a new ship. Refit cruise ships might strike the right balance for those looking for a combination of affordability and modernization.

Geographical Locations for Cruise Ship Sales


In Germany, the cruise ship industry has a strong presence due to the country's rich maritime history and skilled workforce. Multiple shipyards, such as the well-known Meyer Werft, specialize in building cruise vessels, but the market also offers opportunities for purchasing used ships. For instance, a 1995 German-built cruise ship is listed for sale.


Italy, with its extensive coastline and numerous ports, plays a significant role in the global cruise ship market. Italian shipyards like Fincantieri are recognized for constructing luxurious and technically advanced vessels. Buyers interested in purchasing cruise ships from Italy can find a variety of options on the market, from new builds to pre-owned vessels.


Norway's thriving maritime sector encompasses shipbuilding, ship sales, and chartering services. Norwegian-built cruise ships are known for their high-quality construction, advanced technology, and eco-friendly features. Prospective buyers can find a wide range of vessels designed to operate efficiently in various conditions, such as those experienced in polar regions.


Greece has a long-standing history in the maritime industry, making it a key player in cruise ship sales. Greek shipowners and brokers often possess insider knowledge of available vessels and can provide valuable assistance to those looking to purchase or sell a cruise ship. With Greece's extensive network of companies engaged in ship management, technical services, and sales, buyers can explore numerous opportunities in the Greek maritime market.


China's rapid economic growth has driven investments in the shipbuilding and maritime sectors, leading to an increasing number of cruise ships available for sale. Chinese shipyards like CSSC and GSI are producing cutting-edge vessels with advanced technologies to meet international standards. Those interested in purchasing cruise ships from China can explore options both in new builds and used vessels, meeting various operational requirements and budgets.

Commercial Aspects of Cruise Ship Sales

Chartering Cruise Ships

The process of chartering cruise ships allows customers to rent a vessel for a specific time period, providing an alternative to purchasing the ship outright. This can be an attractive option for businesses looking to use a ship for a limited purpose, such as event hosting or short-term passenger operations. Various types of commercial vessels, such as passenger ships, cruise ships, and ferries, are available for chartering. Consulting with a reputable broker can facilitate the process and help secure a suitable ship for charter.

Renting Cruise Ships

Renting a cruise ship can serve as a temporary solution for companies looking to expand their fleet or for special occasions. Cruise ships are available in various sizes, measured in both feet and meters, to accommodate different markets and needs. Rental fees may vary depending on the size and age of the ship, as well as the duration and terms of the rental agreement. Horizon Ship Brokers, Inc. offers a range of ships for rent, with varying capacities and amenities to fit a wide array of requirements.

Cruise Ship Dealerships

For those interested in purchasing a cruise ship, engaging with a specialized dealership can offer a streamlined experience. Cruise ship dealerships typically have a collection of used and new vessels up for sale, making it easy to explore and compare options. Prospective buyers should work with reputable dealers to ensure a positive outcome and the acquisition of a high-quality ship. Apollo Duck is an example of a dealership that offers both used and new cruise ships to suit various budgets and needs.

Years and Stock No

When shopping for cruise ships, buyers should consider the age of the vessel, which is usually indicated in years. This factor, along with the ship's stock number, can provide insight into the ship's history, maintenance, and potential refurbishment needs. Older ships may require additional investment for upgrades, while newer ships may come with a higher upfront cost. As with any significant investment, thorough research and due diligence are essential to making an informed decision and ensuring the long-term viability and profitability of a cruise ship acquisition.

Cruise Ships Listing and Purchase

List of Cruise Ships

There are numerous cruise ships available for purchase, ranging from smaller passenger vessels to larger, more luxurious options. On websites like YachtWorld and Horizon Ship Brokers, Inc., potential buyers can find a variety of cruise ship boats listed for sale, with various features and specifications. The available ships usually have accompanying information such as:

  • ID: A unique identifier for each ship
  • Length: Measurement of the vessel from bow to stern
  • Year of construction: When the vessel was built
  • Passenger capacity: The number of passengers it can carry
  • Price: The asking price for the vessel

Buyers can browse these listings and filter results based on factors like location, price range, and size, allowing for a more efficient search.

Purchasing a Cruise Ship

The process of purchasing a passenger cruise ship involves several steps, which include:

  1. Research: Begin by researching available cruise ship boats and their features to understand what best fits the buyer's needs and budget.
  2. Consultation: Consult with a maritime expert or a professional ship broker who can provide guidance and assist in the purchasing process.
  3. Inspection: Thoroughly inspect the cruise ship. It is important to check the overall condition of the vessel, ensuring that it meets the necessary safety requirements and standards.
  4. Financing: Secure financing for the purchase, either through a bank loan, private lender, or other financial institution.
  5. Negotiation: Negotiate the price and contract terms with the seller, making sure to discuss any contingencies, such as repair/maintenance, licensing, or permits.
  6. Closing: Finalize the transaction, sign the purchase contract, and complete any required documentation in accordance with maritime laws and regulations.

By following these steps, a buyer can successfully navigate the process of purchasing a cruise ship, ultimately acquiring a vessel that meets their specific requirements and needs.

Passenger Capacity and Accommodation

Number of Cabins

One of the key factors to consider when looking at cruise ships for sale is the number of cabins available. The number of cabins can vary significantly between different ships, depending on their size and purpose. For instance, some passenger ships have around 1002 passenger cabins, while others offer a smaller number. The number of cabins will determine the overall passenger capacity and directly influence the revenue potential of the ship.

Passenger Capacity

Passenger capacity is a crucial aspect when evaluating a cruise ship for sale, as it represents how many passengers can comfortably travel on the ship. The passenger capacity may range from a few hundred to several thousand passengers. For example, a 258.5m long ship has the capacity to accommodate up to 2,450 passengers, while smaller ships may accommodate fewer pax. It's essential to understand the target market and select a ship that has the suitable passenger capacity to cater to the demand.

Bed Arrangements

Another aspect of passenger accommodation is the bed arrangements within the cabins. Different ships will have various bed configurations, including single beds, double beds, bunk beds, or even pull-out beds. The Prestige Monaco Series 135-foot superyacht, for example, has six staterooms that can sleep multiple passengers. It is crucial to ensure that the bed arrangements not only maximize the space within the cabins but also cater to the needs and preferences of the target passengers. This will contribute to overall passenger satisfaction and the success of the cruise ship operation.

In conclusion, when evaluating a cruise ship for sale, it's important to consider factors such as the number of cabins, the overall passenger capacity, and bed arrangements to ensure that the ship meets the needs of both the target market and potential revenue generation.

Custom Cruise Ships

Custom cruise ships offer a unique and tailored experience for those looking to purchase a vessel for personal or business use. These ships cater to exclusive clientele, providing an opportunity for specialized services, amenities, and a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

One of the advantages of investing in a custom cruise ship is the ability to design a vessel that meets specific needs and preferences. Whether it is for private use or charter purposes, custom-built ships allow owners to have complete control over the layout, design, and onboard features. Some of the popular custom cruise ships available for sale can be found on YachtWorld.

The process of building a custom cruise ship typically begins with selecting a reputable shipyard and working with naval architects to design the vessel. This collaborative effort ensures that the final product meets the owner's requirements, while also adhering to maritime safety standards. The construction of a custom cruise ship can vary in duration, depending on the size of the vessel and the complexity of the design.

The cost of a custom cruise ship also varies based on factors such as size, materials used, and the features incorporated into the design. For example, a custom 1991 cruise ship available for sale is listed at $25,000,000, while another custom cruise ship built in 2003 has an asking price of $50,000,000.

It is essential for potential buyers to carefully consider their budget and intended use before making a purchase. Engaging with maritime professionals and conducting thorough research can provide invaluable insights, ensuring that the decision to invest in a custom cruise ship is well-informed and aligns with personal or business objectives.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a small cruise ship cost?

Small cruise ships can vary significantly in cost, depending on factors such as size, age, and condition of the vessel. Prices for a small cruise ship can range from a few million dollars for an older, used vessel to over $50 million for a newer, luxury model. It's essential to research the market and consult with a marine broker to find a suitable ship within your budget.

What are the expenses of owning a cruise ship?

Owning a cruise ship involves several ongoing expenses, including maintenance, fuel, crew wages, insurance, and port fees. Maintenance costs can be particularly high for older ships, which may require more frequent repairs and refurbishments. Crew salaries, food, utilities, and other operational expenses also contribute to the overall cost of owning a cruise ship. It is crucial to carefully consider these expenses before purchasing a cruise ship to ensure profitability.

Can you buy and live on a retired cruise ship?

It is possible to buy and live on a retired cruise ship, though several challenges need to be addressed. Retrofitting the ship to make it suitable for residential purposes can be costly, and maintenance expenses can be high for older vessels. Additionally, finding a suitable location to dock the ship and obtaining necessary permits may be challenging. However, those interested in pursuing this lifestyle may find it a unique and rewarding experience.

What are the steps to acquire an abandoned ship?

Acquiring an abandoned ship involves several legal and logistical steps. First, the potential buyer must identify the ship's owner and negotiate terms of sale, often involving a maritime attorney. Next, a thorough inspection of the vessel is necessary to ensure it meets safety standards and is seaworthy. After purchase, the new owner must register the ship and comply with all required maritime regulations, securing necessary permits and insurance.

Are there any legal requirements for owning a cruise ship?

Yes, there are legal requirements for owning a cruise ship, including registration, compliance with maritime regulations, safety standards, and insurance. Ownership and operation of a cruise ship must adhere to international maritime laws and regulations, which includes obtaining a vessel's flag, meeting safety requirements, and maintaining proper crew training and certifications. Insurance is also necessary, providing financial protection in case of accidents or other liabilities.

How can one make a profit from owning a cruise ship?

Making a profit from owning a cruise ship often involves operating the ship as a commercial venture, offering tours, events, and charter services. Developing a solid business plan and marketing strategy, providing exceptional guest experiences, and maintaining good relationships with travel agencies and partners can contribute to the success of a cruise ship venture. Ensuring efficient operation, cost control, and regular maintenance can also help maximize profits and maintain the vessel's value.



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