How Much Does a Cruise Ship Cost to Build?

By Michael Ferguson

Cruise ships are a luxurious and sought-after way to travel the world. But, with all the luxury comes a hefty price tag.

How much does it cost to build a cruise ship? It varies depending on the size and quality of the ship, but some estimates put the cost between $400 million and $1.2 billion USD.

The size of a cruise ship is one of the main factors that determines its price. Cruise ships range from small vessels of just 600 passengers to megaships with over 5,000 passengers and crew members. The bigger the vessel, the more expensive it will be to build.

The amenities on board also play a role in how much a cruise ship costs to build. Luxury vessels offer passengers top-of-the-line services such as spas, theaters, and gourmet restaurants. More basic ships may still provide basic amenities such as cabins, restaurants, and pools but they won’t include all of the extras.

The Building Process

Once a design is finalized for a cruise ship, there is an extensive building process that must take place before it can set sail. The first step is to create detailed plans for each section of the vessel, including engineering details about how materials should be used for construction. This process can take anywhere from six months to two years before construction begins.

Once construction begins, it usually takes another two years for completion. It can take even longer if complex features are included or if multiple companies are involved in building different parts of the ship simultaneously. As each component is created, it must pass rigorous safety tests before being installed on board.

Cost Breakdown

In addition to labor costs associated with building a cruise ship, there are other expenses involved as well. For example, materials such as steel plates and aluminum sheets must be purchased in order to construct various components like walls and decks. The cost of these materials can range from $50 million to $150 million depending on how large the vessel is.

Other costs involved in constructing a cruise ship include supplies such as furniture and decor items like carpets and curtains; navigational equipment; lifeboats; engines; electrical systems; air conditioning systems; plumbing systems; waste disposal systems; interior design elements like artwork; crew training programs; advertising costs associated with launching new ships; insurance premiums; taxes imposed by local governments where ships are built or registered; emergency repairs during sea trials; and ongoing maintenance fees.


The cost of building a cruise ship varies depending on its size and quality but generally ranges between $400 million and $1.2 billion USD when factoring in labor costs as well as materials needed for construction and other related expenses. Cruise ships are an expensive investment but one that can pay off in spades with satisfied customers who have enjoyed their time spent at sea.