A MAN bought an entire cruise ship with 85 cabins 14 years ago – and he is still not done with renovations.
Christopher Willson found the huge liner for sale online and has poured his heart, soul and almost all of his cash into the old 239ft ship to restore it.
CNN/Christopher WilsonChristopher Willson and his partner have spent over 14 years restoring the cruise ship[/caption]
Instagram/aurora_restoration_projectThe brave boat owner bought the 1955 vessel for just under £1million[/caption]
Inside Aurora – which has three decks, 85 rooms and a poolYouTube/@AuroraRestorationProject
After seeing the Craiglists ad in 2008, Willson went to see the 2,496 tonne cruise ship that was moored in California purely out of interest.
The floating hotel came with three decks, 85 cabins and en-suite bathrooms, a dining room and salon and a huge outdoor swimming pool.
Willson had a dig into its history and discovered that the ship was originally built in 1955 in Germany and named the Wappen von Hamburg.
It was one of first large-scale passenger liner’s to be built in the war-ravaged country in the aftermath of World War 2 and was referred to as the “Jewel of Germany”.
Willson surprised himself and decided to buy the giant vessel after negotiating a “really good deal” with the owner and purchased her for just under £1million.
Then the DIY-lover, who had no prior experience with boats, set to work on his historic ship that he renamed Aurora.
“I figured it was going to be a long project,” he said. “The scale of it was massive.
“It’s almost the same as redoing 15 houses all by yourself.”
Willson and his partner, Kin Li, moved into the rusting ship to help speed up the renovation project.
However, 14 years down the line and they still live onboard and spend their working days restoring Aurora.
“As far as actually working on the ship goes, I’ve learned so much,” Willson said.
“There’s nothing I don’t know how to fix. But it all takes a bunch of money to get there.”
As of last year, only 40 per cent of the massive renovation project was completed and the couple had already shelled out £900,000.
“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 told The Insider last year.
“Even a brand new ship requires maintenance right off the bat.”
Now the brave boat owner is hoping to raise £2.5million to finally complete the ship.
It has over 83k subscribers and now hundreds of people are volunteering to help finally finish the mammoth project.
The cruise ship will never set sail, but Willson hopes that one day it can become a quirky bed and breakfast and events center.
YouTube/@AuroraRestorationProjectWillson onboard his ship fixing its rusted exteriors[/caption]
YouTube/@AuroraRestorationProjectThe team has managed to renovate 40 per cent of the ship including its magnificent staircase and grand hall[/caption]
YouTube/@AuroraRestorationProjectWillson hopes one day to turn it into a B&B[/caption]
CBSThe giant liner has a long history and was once known as the ‘Jewel of Germany’[/caption]
instagram@aurorarestorationprojectA picture of the ship in 1956 possibly on its maiden voyage[/caption]
YouTube/@AuroraRestorationProjectMost of the ship has still not been restored[/caption]Leave a comment