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

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.