The 2,496 tonne ship didn’t come cheap

Man bought an entire cruise ship on Craigslist and now he lives there

As many of us struggle to get on the housing ladder, one man has seemingly hacked the system and purchased an entire cruise ship.

With the price of everything sky-rocketing in recent years, people are looking for alternative ways to cut the costs of living.

And for many, it appears living on a cruise ship is a lot cheaper compared to a house on land.

One man, who lives on a cruise ship for 300 days, even claimed is more economical than renting.

However, Chris Willson decided he wanted a ship of his own, so had a look for one on Craigslist.

Craigslist... yep, the place where you find these. (CBS)

Craigslist… yep, the place where you find these. (CBS)

And he quickly came across a retired vessel being held at the California Delta, so decided to swing by and take a look for himself.

The boat-lover discovered how neglected the 2,496 tonne ship was and questioned if he was up for the task of renovating it.

However, Willson’s mind was well and truly made up upon further inspection.

He came across the five levels of the ship that were beneath the surface and hailed it as ‘the most spectacular layouts of just about any ship I’ve seen’.

Willson then took it upon himself to do a deep dive (pun intended) into the cruise ship’s history and discovered that it was constructed back in 1955 at the Blohm and Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.

The ship, originally named Wappen von Hamburg, had been the first significant passenger liner to come out of Germany following World War II.

Willson thought through his plan of how a renovation might play out, and ultimately decided to purchase the boat after he was able to ‘work out a really good deal with the owner of the vessel’ in 2008.

He ended up buying the 293-foot cruise ship, which had three decks, 85 cabins with en-suite bathrooms, a dining room and salon, an outdoor swimming pool, for $1.2 million.

After buying it, Willson had the ship moved to the California river city of Rio Vista where he began a lease and kick started Wappen von Hamburg’s restoration.

He has since renamed the ship Aurora.

The cruise ship has 85 cabins. (Christopher Willson)

The cruise ship has 85 cabins. (Christopher Willson)

Speaking to CNN Travel, Willson said: “I figured it was going to be a long project.

“The scale of it was massive. It’s almost the same as redoing 15 houses all by yourself.”

In a bid to devote more time to the ship’s renovation, Willson and his partner Jin Li ended up moving onto the cruiser, and still reside there.

Fast forward to 2022 and Willson predicted that he’d spent an eye-watering $1 million on the boat’s upgrades.

“Once you have finished one end of the ship, you have to start all over again by the time you get to the other end,” he told Insider.

“Even a brand new ship requires maintenance right off the bat.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *