Are There Cruise Ship Graveyards?

By Michael Ferguson

The world of cruise ships is a wonder to behold. From the grand vessels that traverse the open seas to the smaller boats that ferry passengers from port to port, cruise ships are an integral part of our modern vacation experience.

But what happens to these behemoths when they reach the end of their service life? Are there really such things as cruise ship graveyards?

The answer is yes. Cruise ship graveyards exist, but they may not be quite what you picture.

Cruise ships are typically retired from service due to age, safety concerns, or simply because they have become too outdated to be profitable. When this happens, the ships are usually sold for scrap and dismantled for their metal and other valuable parts. The scrap metal is then sold and recycled into new products.

While some cruise ships are simply scrapped and recycled, others are sent off to “graveyards” around the world where they can remain intact in storage until a buyer can be found. These graveyards can range from abandoned ports in isolated locations to purpose-built facilities that house dozens of retired vessels.

Unlike traditional graveyards, cruise ship graveyards don’t necessarily have any sort of memorial or tribute attached to them. Instead, they serve as a sort of storage facility where retired ships can sit until somebody decides to buy them for scrap or refurbishment. In some cases, these graveyards may even serve as temporary homes for homeless people looking for shelter.


Cruise ship graveyards do exist, though they may not look like what you expect. These facilities serve as a way for retired vessels to find new purpose after their service life has come to an end, either through scrapping and recycling or by being refurbished and resold.