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Man bought an entire cruise ship online and now he lives on board

Man bought an entire cruise ship online and now he lives on board

He has been busy renovating it, but still has a long way to go

A man who bought an entire cruise ship online has revealed he now lives on board, with plans to eventually turn it into a unique B&B.

Chris Willson was browsing on Craigslist when he stumbled upon a literal cruise ship.

But while many people might have a little chuckle and carry on scrolling, he decided it was the perfect new project and decided to snap it up.

Willson bought the ship – named Wappen von Hamburg - back in 2008, having managed to ‘work out a really good deal with the owner of the vessel’.

He then had the boat moved to California river city of Rio Vista, where he began a lease and kick started the restoration.

The ship Willson bought needs a lot of work.

Naturally, it’s taken a bit of time to get it up to scratch, given that it’s 293-foot long and has 85 cabins to renovate.

Oh, and it was constructed almost 70 years ago, having been built in 1955 at the Blohm and Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.

When Willson went to go and see it for the first time, he realised just how neglected the 2,496 ship was, even questioning if he was up to the task of doing it up.

He's still got a long way to go.

But thankfully he saw the potential in it after clocking the five levels of the ship that were beneath the surface, hailed the setup as 'the most spectacular layouts of just about any ship I've seen'.

Willson splashed out $1.2 million on the ship - which has three decks, a dining room and salon and even an outdoor swimming pool – and decided to rename it Aurora.

In an effort to devote more time to the ship’s renovation, Willson and his partner Jin Li ended up moving onto the cruiser, and still reside there.

"I figured it was going to be a long project,” he told CNN.

He's living on board with his partner.
Chris Willson

"The scale of it was massive. It's almost the same as redoing 15 houses all by yourself."

Fast forward to 2022, when Willson predicted he’d spend an eye-watering $1 million on the boat’s upgrades.

Speaking to Insider last year, he explained the project was 40 percent done, and that he needed more cash to finish it off – hoping to raise $3 million to do so.

Chris Willson.

"Once you have finished one end of the ship, you have to start all over again by the time you get to the other end," he said.

"Even a brand new ship requires maintenance right off the bat."

Willson initially planned to turn Aurora into a shoreside attraction, but now reckons it’d make a good bed and breakfast and events centre, in addition to serving as a working coastal cruiser.

Featured Image Credit: CBS

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