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Got $2 million to spare? You now can own your very own cruise ship

Dec. 30, 2020
4 min read
Got $2 million to spare? You now can own your very own cruise ship
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Thinking about buying a yacht in the coming year? Why not go big and get yourself your very own cruise ship?

One of the last classic cruise vessels dating to the 1960s is coming up for auction in the coming weeks in the wake of the collapse of yet another cruise-related venture -- and it could sell for far less than the cost of even a mid-size yacht.

Dating to 1961, the 240-cabin Funchal has an estimated value of just $2.2 million. That's just a quarter the price of the average second-hand yacht, according to yachting sites.

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Six decks high and 507 feet long, Funchal also is a heck of a lot bigger than the typical yacht, and it can hold more people. It's designed to carry up to 524 passengers.

But, of course, there are downsides to owning a giant cruise vessel. For starters, you'll have to hire a sizeable crew. Funchal normally operates with a staff of 155 people.

Currently docked in Lisbon, Funchal will be auctioned off by sealed tender on Jan. 29. London-based CW Kellock & Co, a ship auctioneer and broker, is handling the auction.

Constructed by Danish shipbuilder Helsingor Skibsvaerft, Funchal has a classic ocean liner look. It also has a storied history. It originally was built as an ocean liner for the Portuguese shipping line Empresa Insulana de Navegação, but it also was used at times as the Portuguese presidential yacht. It also once was owned by one of the wealthiest families in the Azores.

The vessel for many years served the Portuguese market. But it also had a second act in life as one of the core vessels for now-defunct Classic International Cruises.

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Funchal was the very first ship in the Classic International fleet after the line's founding in 1985. Classic International collapsed in 2012.

Related: Former Carnival, Holland America ships up for auction

Funchal's current owner, a division of the UK's Signature Living Group, had planned to turn the vessel into a "floating beach club" off the coast of Ibiza -- the Spanish island known for its party vibe. The idea was to make Funchal a party ship with a vibrant bar scene and on-deck entertainment from the world’s top DJs.

The 240-cabin Funchal will be sold at auction in January. (Image courtesy of CW Kellock and Co).

But the division entered into administration in April as travel around the globe shut down due to the new coronavirus.

The Funchal project was just one of a number of smaller cruise ventures that shut down this year as the coronavirus-related travel shutdown took a toll on the travel industry.

Related: Why your favorite cruise line probably isn't going out of business

Funchal can be inspected by would-be buyers by arrangement with CW Kellock & Co.

For details about the bidding process and particulars about the ship, would-be bidders should contact CW Kellock & Co by email at kellock@eggarforrester.com.

CW Kellock & Co has not posted a pre-auction price estimate for the ship. But online sites have estimated its value at around 1.8 million euros -- about $2.2 million.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by The 240-cabin Funchal will be sold at auction in January. (Image courtesy of CW Kellock and Co).

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Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees