When most people think of cruise ships, they think of relaxing vacations, sunny skies, and time spent with family and friends. Cruises are one of the best ways to get away from the stress and chaos of daily life. They are, you might say, tiny islands of reprieve. With so much to see and do, both on land and on sea, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable time.
But have you ever wondered what happens to cruise ships, once they’ve reached the end of their lives? After years of delighting passengers, all cruise ships are eventually retired. But just because a ship is retired does not mean that is ceases to exist. On the contrary, there are many retired cruise ships that end up on the market, looking for someone to give them a final home.
Garry House, a New Zealand businessman, has an idea that may just be the answer to more than one problem.
Faced with a growing homelessness problem in New Zealand, House and his colleagues have proposed using retired cruise ships as an alternative housing option for the homeless, while the government builds more social housing.
Although it seems like an idea out of left field, House insists that it would be a medium-term solution that would work. After all, if there are hundreds of cruise ships that have been rendered outdated, why not put them to use?
The price tag on this endeavor isn’t cheap. House estimates that it would cost $5 million to bring a ship from Europe to Auckland. Once in port, it could be lodging for two to three years—just enough time to take care of the social housing situation on land.
Currently, many homeless are lodging in hotels. However, with the upcoming tourist season, House reasons that the hotels will need more space for visitors. Thus, a more sustainable situation for the homeless is necessary and, to a certain extent, urgent.
When asked if this is a moneymaking venture, House explained, “We have to cover our costs and make some money, but the main thing is we are trying to solve a problem.”
With so many high profile news events taking place on cruise ships, it is refreshing to hear about a possible solution that could be taking place aboard a cruise vessel. Although there are logistical issues to consider, if this were to work out, it would be an incredible benefit to all of the people of Auckland.
That said, housing roughly 400 people aboard a ship would bring about its own set of problems and liabilities. While we hope that the endeavor will go off without a hitch, we are well acquainted with the mishaps that can take place aboard a cruise.
With over 40 years of successes in maritime law, we are prepared to handle a wide range of cases. So if you or your loved ones are ever injured aboard a cruise, we are here to help.