The cruise market together with flotel market represents the “natural” market where accommodation in vessels is offered to potential clients. While a flotel vessel is located for long periods of time in a fixed position (at harbor or in the middle of the ocean), a cruise vessel is normally sailing from one port to another daily. Therefore, cruise market seems not to be the perfect marine structure for the establishment of autonomous ocean communities. But on the other hand, the study of the costs of cruise vessels (both CAPEX and OPEX) and also the business models and market segments could be very helpfully for seasteading purposes, for example, for Sink or Swin 2010 Business Contest.
You can download a brief report about the cruise market here.
Some conclusions of the report are:
– There are scale economies in cruise vessels as shown in the curve “No. pax vs. Cost/pax”: from 200,000$/pax for vessels next to 3,000 pax, to 600,000$/pax for vessels next to 250 pax. It could be assume that the same is expected in a shipestead.
– Corporate cost represents 38% of OPEX of a cruise vessel. In a shipstead, those costs would not exist, same as port costs or agent commision , and other ones like fuel costs could be lowered. It should be investigated more in deep, but perhaps that expenses in a shipstead would be lower than 50% of the expenses in a similar cruise ship.