This Is What Happens When Ships Retire

Retired ships can become everything from floating museums to artificial reefs.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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Ships are wonderful vessels that are always eye-catching due to their grandiose nature. But what happens to these impressive vessels when they are retired? Indeed what can be done with such large vehicles of transportation?

It might surprise you to know that most ships are recycled and given a new lease of life at the end of their first journey. Whether they be cruise liners, warships, or freight ships, there is usually always someone who wants to buy these vessels and repurpose them.

Depending on what they used to be, old vessels are transformed into everything ranging from overnight car ferries to naval vessels, floating hotels, convention centers, restaurants, floating retirement communities, and museums.

However, old vessels are not always transformed into over-the-water projects. Some are sunk to serve under-the-water purposes such as making artificial reefs, being used as target practice, or forming submarine barriers.

Others are sold as scrap providing valuable raw material for new vessels. Finally, sadly, some ships are simply abandoned, left to rust into non-existence. This is perhaps the worst of any of the ships' fate and one to be avoided when possible.

Want to learn more about the many fates of old ships? Then, watch our video.

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