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

Dec 30, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter

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.

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

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 of Funchal from CW Kellock and Co

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.