Where Is the Cruise Ship Graveyard in Turkey?

By Alice Nichols

If you’ve ever wondered where the world’s abandoned and retired cruise ships go to die, look no further than Aliaga, Turkey. As the world’s most active ship-breaking yard, Aliaga has become the home for hundreds of vessels that have seen their last sail.

Aliaga is a small port town located on Turkey’s Aegean coast and is considered one of the oldest ship-breaking yards in Europe. The town is home to more than 10 ship-breaking companies, making it the largest and most active in the region.

It all began back in 1976 when two brothers from Istanbul opened a small business in Aliaga that specialized in dismantling ships for their scrap metal and parts. As word spread about their services, more and more companies began to move into the area, leading to its current status as the busiest ship-breaking yard in the world.

From cruise ships to oil tankers, Aliaga is now responsible for recycling an estimated 80% of all retired vessels around the globe. The ships are carefully dismantled piece by piece, ensuring that any hazardous materials are properly disposed of or recycled. All of this work helps support both local businesses and provides jobs for many residents of Aliaga.

The process of dismantling these massive vessels can be quite dangerous. It requires a skilled team with specialized tools and equipment to break down hundreds of tons of metal safely and efficiently. In addition, there are strict regulations put in place by the Turkish government to ensure that all safety precautions are followed at all times.

Despite its dark history as a graveyard for old ships, Aliaga has become an important part of Turkey’s economy and its environmental efforts. By recycling old materials from these abandoned vessels, Turkey is able to reduce its waste production significantly while providing employment opportunities for many locals.


The cruise ship graveyard in Aliaga, Turkey has become an integral part of not only Turkey’s economy but also its environmental efforts. It serves as a reminder that even when something may seem useless or forgotten about it can still be put to use in unexpected ways.