How to Buy a Cruise Ship

by Lee Mellott

Owning a cruise ship as a business to transport guests or to enjoy for personal pleasure is a costly proposition. Cruise ships can run in the multi-millions of dollars, and like an automobile a ship it has many different parts that need to be considered when making a purchase. In addition to the inner workings of the ship that make it cross the ocean smoothly and the outer appearance of the ship such as the flooring, seating and other external factors, there is also the cost of maintenance. If you are in the market to purchase a cruise ship, there are simple steps you can take to buy a cruise ship for smooth sailing. Here is how to buy a cruise ship.

Decide if you want to purchase an existing cruise ship or have a new one built. If you opt to have one built, the general rule is 5 percent down and payments in stages during the building process with the final amount due on delivery. New ships come with a warranty of at least a year. See Resources for a list of new cruise ship builders.

Check to make sure you have adequate financing, and consider your budget when purchasing a cruise ship. Cruise ships usually start at a low of several million dollars and can cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Look at cruise ships on different Internet sites. There are auctions for cruise ships on eBay. There are sites that specialize in selling ships, including and (see Resources for links). If you want one built, go directly to the builders of the ship you are considering. See Resources for a list of ship builders. Once you have found ones you like that are in your budget, make arrangements to see them in person.

Carefully examine several cruise ships if possible, even if they are priced higher than your budget. If you look at expensive ships you will see the types of materials used and will be able to note if some of these materials are being used in the less expensive cruise ships you are considering.

Take note of the external factors with the ship, such as how many rooms, if there is a casino, what the retail section includes, how well equipped the scullery is and other factors. Also, look at the internal working of the ship to be sure the machinery is in good operating condition.

Check to see if a warranty is being offered on the ship, and make sure it is comprehensive to cover problems or other issues.


  • check If you are interested in purchasing a cruise ship for retirement but feel it is too expensive, consider purchasing a condo on a retirement cruise ship such as ResidentSea--a cruise ship that includes a spa and restaurants.

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About the Author

Lee Mellott holds a Masters degree in education from Hood College. Her background includes freelance writing, Internet promotion, sales and education.

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