Man buys 2,496-ton cruise ship online with pool, dining room and 85 cabins
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    We thought the couple who'd booked 51 cruises back-to-back must be ship-obsessed, but one man has seriously upped the ante by buying an entire cruise ship online.

    Chris Willson spotted the 2,496 gross ton ship on Craigslist in 2008, and decided to take the plunge and buy the vessel, which was in need of some serious restoration. Formerly a popular ocean liner and hailed as one of the most luxurious ships in the 1950s, the ship boasted three decks with features such as 85 cabins, a dining room and a swimming pool.

    Since then, he's named it the Aurora and has been working hard with a team of volunteers on what he's dubbed the Aurora Restoration Project, in the hope that they can turn the formerly abandoned ship into a museum, although he and his partner currently live on the ship.

    READ MORE: Huge cruise ship sailing in 2025 will have 'Magic Carpet' bar and floating pools

    READ MORE: Inside the lavish £82k cabins on epic world cruise sailing to 147 countries

    "She's called The Aurora – a classic cruise ship that's going to take a lot of TLC to whip her back into shape, and I'm the guy that's going to do it," he explained in a video on the project's YouTube channel. "My name is Chris Willson and I took on the project of a lifetime when I found the Aurora. She has hundreds of jobs that need to be tackled and we're going to do them all right."

    Usually when cruise ships get retired they often end up in a giant cruise ship graveyard full of abandoned vessels, but thanks to Chris the Aurora was saved from that fate fairly last-minute. However, he didn't originally set out looking to buy a cruise ship when he was browsing Craigslist.

    "I kind of posed as a potential buyer, even though I really didn’t have any interest in purchasing a ship. It was a little out of my comfort level, to say the least," he told CNN Travel. However, the more he looked into the ship, the more he was interested. As part of the transformation, he estimated that it could cost around $3million (approximately £2.4million) to transform it into a shoreside museum.

    You can find out more about the Aurora Restoration Project on Instagram and YouTube.

    While buying an entire cruise ship is quite the life-changing decision, there's one couple who've followed in similar footsteps – although they've bought a £2million cabin rather than a full ship.

    Despite having only been on four cruises before the venture, Mike and Barbara decided to take the plunge and buy one of the residential cabins onboard upcoming ship MV Narrative, where they plan to spend their retirement.

    Unlike other cruise ships, this luxury vessel isn't just offering up holiday stays, but entire cruise cabins and apartments that can be bought long-term, or as holiday rentals. Storylines, the firm behind the ship, promises that it will offer heaps of activities, on-board facilities such as laundry services and a gym, 20 restaurants and more.

    The couple say they are looking forward to meeting new people and discovering a plethora of new destinations – although currently the ship is still being built, so it won't be expected to sail for a few years yet.

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