Cruise ships are huge ocean going vessels almost as high as a towering skyscraper building. Although cruises are scheduled to take advantage of favourable weather, they are built to withstand the force of the mighty ocean in any condition. No expense is spared in design and amenities of modern cruise ships, with overall cost generally related to the size of the vessel.
Considerations involved in costing a cruise ship build include the shipyard labour costs, taxes, overall quality of the building materials, and the number of cabins. Each berth on a cruise ship can cost upwards of $200,000 on average. Cabins on the Royal Caribbean International Oasis of the Seas average at $240,000 to build, with the vessel weighing 225,300 tons. Building a cruise ship that facilitates the needs of modern travellers costs more than half a billion Dollars for a medium sized ship, to well over one billion Dollars for the largest vessels.
According to a post on shipcruise.org, Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas cost $1.2 billion, Carnival’s Dream-class ships cost $740 million each and Disney’s latest ships cost around $900 million.
Design and construction of cruise ships
Building a cruise ship takes several years, preceded by design and planning. The shipbuilding is commissioned by a shipyard specialising in naval engineering, while interior work is designed by architects. The process involves exacting research and thorough testing during every phase of the build, resulting in naval architecture solutions that meet stringent industry requirements.
Computer aided engineering informs designers and engineers regarding diagnosis, simulations and other relevant data. This information provides cabin and facility manufacturers with the required specifications to create cutting-edge ready-to-install amenities. Segments of the ship are created with pre-installed components and then lifted into position, saving time and money.
In the extremely competitive cruise ship marketplace it’s imperative that new vessels are unique and innovative. Modern technology provides the opportunity for cruise lines to personalise each class of ship with specialised features, such as the Royal Caribbean ships’ wave pools, ice-skating rinks and surf simulators. Large passenger ships also house swimming pools, atriums, spa and fitness centres, a casino, a multitude of restaurants and much more. Modern cruise ships are more than an ocean liner, they are floating resorts with the best amenities that passengers have come to expect.
Economic considerations in building a cruise ship
Fluctuating dollar rates around the globe are a determining factor in building a cruise ship, with savings or cost blow-outs of hundreds of millions of dollars a very real possibility. Almost all cruise ships are built in Europe and Asia, and competing shipyards are continually introducing the latest technologies and services to lure potential customers.
Each step of the shipbuilding process is exacting in its requirements, and no expense is spared in creating a travel experience like no other. Ultimately, a cruise ship recoups the investment over time by fare paying passengers, and a cruise costing between $1,000 – $10,000 is remarkably good value considering how much it costs to build a cruise ship. The great value is only fully understood by onboard customers accustomed to enjoying the amenities on a cruise, such as accommodation, meals and activities which are all included in the ticket price.
Ocean cruising has never been more enjoyable, with prices, facilities, service and fully integrated technologies all playing their role in attracting new and repeat customers. A cruise remains the unique way to experience an ever-increasing array of exciting and exotic destinations, while enjoying all the opulent trappings of your own floating resort.