Cruise Ships for Sale

Cruise ships for sale.

It's not often that you find a sign or classified ad listing "cruise ships for sale," but it does happen from time to time. There are a variety of reasons a cruise line or individual owner may put a ship up for sale. The reasons vary from the ship being outdated to the owner not being able to afford to maintain it.

Shopping for a Cruise Ship

Here are some pointers to help you if you are in the market for a cruise ship:


Determine the type of ship that will best meet your needs, such as:

  • Five-star cruise ships
  • Three-star ships
  • Luxury catamarans
  • Casino ships
  • Floating hotel ships
  • 100-passenger ships
  • 1,500-passenger ships
  • River cruise boats
  • Ocean liners


Cruise ships range in price from $2 million to $350 million, and come in all sizes, shapes and designs. It is rare to find a large cruise ship priced at less than a few million dollars, although it is certainly not impossible. However, if you are seriously looking for a cruise ship to buy, then you already know how you will finance it. All you need to do is find your price range.


Do you need a 36-meter luxury cruise catamaran, a 127-meter luxury cruise ship or a 195-meter classic cruise liner? Decide what size ship will best suit your purposes.

Places to Find Cruise Ships for Sale

Below is a list of places on the Internet which regularly advertise cruise ships for sale:

Ship Names

Since ship names are often associated with a cruise line, it is standard for the transfer of ownership to involve a name change. For example, all of the ships in Royal Caribbean's line end with "of the Seas." The grand cruise ship, Ocean of the Seas, and its sister, Freedom of the Seas, are also Royal Caribbean ships.


Refitting may be required as part of a ship's transfer as well. Each cruise line has its own livery (uniforms, insignia and symbols). These may be displayed prominently throughout the ship. Most likely, you will be required to remove any trademarked symbols or branded materials and come up with your own original designs.


Depending upon your idea or dream, the ship you purchase may be repurposed to meet your needs. For example, many ocean liners were repurposed as cruise ships when cruising became popular in the 1980s. Some cruise ships have been repurposed as floating hotels. In 2005, three Carnival Cruise Line vessels were contracted by the U.S. government to house Hurricane Katrina victims.

There is a ship called The World, which is a floating residential community, owned by citizens of 40 countries. The owners live aboard as the ship navigates the globe, staying several days in each port. Floating casinos are also very popular. Since cruise ships may change hands multiple times during their useful years, repurposing a ship for a new role is very common.


Construction of cruise ships is handled predominantly by European and Asian companies. These are the leading shipyards which build new cruise ships:

  1. STX Europe (Norway)
  2. Fincantieri (Italy)
  3. Meyer Werft (Germany)
  4. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan)
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Cruise Ships for Sale