How Much Does a Cruise Ship Cost?

If you ever have the need to purchase a cruise ship, you’d have to have some pretty deep pockets, as these seafaring transportation modes do not come cheap.  So how much can you expect to pay for a cruise ship? Cruise ships come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, and therefore its pricing differs. You can, however, expect to pay from $2-350 million. Here’s a breakdown of what a cruise ship might cost you. 

Popular Reasoning behind Buying a Cruise Ship

There may be several reasons why someone would want to buy a cruise ship. For instance, many people don’t want to spend their savings on buying a home or traveling. If you buy a cruise ship, you get to travel in a condo-like residence. So you’ll be fulfilling your dream of cruising without leaving the comforts of home, as your ship will now be your home. 

If you buy a cruise ship, you’ll also have a permanent home at sea, which provides all the comforts of a multi-bedroom apartment on land. You’ll also get to enjoy spectacular sea views. Owning a cruise ship satisfies any wanderlust you may have, without you having to go through customs and packing. 

You also won’t need to contend with lost luggage if you live on a ship. If you’re planning to live on a ship when you retire, you’ll pay less than when opting for assisted living on land. The reason being is that with a cruise, you could pay up to $150 per day, as opposed to $2,000 per month in an independent living facility or $3,000 per month in an assisted living facility. 

Silversea Silver Origin
Silversea Silver Origin

The Cost of Building a Luxury Liner 

You’ll need more than a billion dollars to design and build a luxury liner. One of the biggest luxury liners in the world, Harmony of the Seas, set Royal Caribbean back a whopping $1.35b billion. Royal Caribbean really pulled out all the stops with Harmony of the Seas, as this liner was designed with 2,747 cabins, a Starbucks café, and robot bartenders. 

The second biggest cruise liner, Allure of the Seas, cost $1.5 billion, a cost higher than Harmony of the Seas. Royal Caribbean also built Oasis of the Seas at a cost of $1.billion.

How Much Does a Cruise Ship Cost? | 12
Viking Jupiter in dry dock and the Viking Orion at berth during the Float Out Ceremony at the Fincantieri Shipyard, Ancona, Italy.

What a Typical Cruise Ship May Cost 

Luxury liners are lavish and humungous, so pricing is exorbitant. However, your average smaller cruise ship costs considerably lower. Data gathering company the Muster Station, gathered data on the cost of more than 200 cruise ships in a bid to ascertain the average price of a regular cruise ship. 

The Muster Station found that ships accommodating an average of 500 passengers, cost roughly $260 million. Cruise ships catering to up to 1000 passengers cost an average of $394 million. Ships catering between 1000-2000 passengers cost $442 million and those catering to 2000-3000 passengers cost approximately $555 million. Therefore a big lottery winner could afford to buy a cruise ship.

The Muster Station also discovered that cruise ships looking to accommodate 3000-4000 passengers would cost $734 million, while cruise ships catering to 4000-5000 passengers had an average cost of $937 million. Cruise ships catering to an excess of 5000 passengers averaged at $1, 31 billion. 

Factors Determining the Cost of a Cruise Ship, besides Size 

Besides size, there are other factors that determine the cost of a cruise ship. You’ll also need to take into account the economy when the ship is being built, the shipyard where the ship is being designed and assembled, as well as amenities and features. 

The price of materials per ship varies too. Steel is pretty expensive and an ocean liner would need more of it, compared to the amount of steel necessary for a smaller boxer cruise ship. You may also opt to buy a renovated ship, as it can be less expensive than a newly built ship, although some renovations could spike the price of a renovated cruise ship to half a billion. 

Determining the Type of Cruise Ship You’ll Need 

Pricing is an important factor when deciding on the type of cruise ship you want. However, there are other deciding factors too. One of these is the type of cruise ship that’s ideal for your needs. 

Ask yourself if a casino ship, plush catamaran, river cruise boat, ocean liner, floating hotel ship, three or five-star cruise ship, or a 1500 or 100-passenger ship suits you best. Ask yourself whether you need a classic cruise liner, a catamaran, or a 140-meter cruise liner to best cater to your business or personal purposes. 

Where to Find Cruise Ships 

You’ll rarely ever find a cruise ship advertised in your local classified section of the newspaper, even though some companies do advertise cruise ships online. These companies include, Appolo Duck Commercial Listings,,, and

John Shallo
John Shallo
John Shallo is the founder and editor of Cruise Addicts. Since 1999 it has been a leading destination for cruise travelers and self professed Cruise Addicts looking for the latest news, ship reviews and travel tips.

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