5 Best Tips for Buying Art on a Cruise Ship

5 Best Tips for Buying Art on a Cruise Ship

Ever thought about purchasing a piece of art on a cruise ship? Making impulsive decisions whilst in holiday mode is never a good idea, especially where money and art are involved. Here are a few tips to assist you in making the right choices for buying art on a cruise ship:

1. Ditch the idea of investments

Unless you’re an independent appraiser and experienced investor, it’s probably best to avoid buying art on cruises just to flip it later. As an investor, you should know that artwork sold on cruise ships are marked up significantly, so your return on your investment is less. That, and there’s no guarantee that anyone except for you values a particular piece.

2. Educate yourself – lots!

Walking into an auction without the appropriate knowledge is setting yourself up for a bad decision. Here are some things you should keep in mind if you aren’t solely interested in personal value:

Cruises rarely sell original pieces¬†of work – If you are getting anything from a cruise ship’s auction, it is more likely to be a limited edition version of the original – not created by the original artist, but usually made under his/her supervision.

Limited edition pieces are less valuable after the artists’ death – Without the original artist ensuring that each reproduction of his/her work is up to par, how can you know that one piece is identical to the previous? Don’t pay top dollar for a limited edition piece when the original artist has passed away.

Certificate of Authenticity (COA) details – The COA should always be signed by the artist/publisher, a reputable art expert, or the artist’s agent. The signature isn’t always their name, so you may need to google which signature to look for.

Beware of poster art – Poster art can sometimes use lower quality printing methods, while serigraphs on the other hand, are printed using a silk screen.

Assess the entry sheet – The artwork’s entry sheet will provide you with information on who the original artist is, when it was produced, how many copies were made, and if there have been any modifications. Take these into account if you’re looking at it from a value perspective.

3. Research Even More

You can never research enough to ensure that you’re buying a quality piece of work at a fair price! Get specific with your research, if that means calling an art gallery for an appraisal, do it. Internet searches to become even more familiar with the work? Absolutely! You can even attend the art seminars multiple times: they’re very informative and can be especially fun with the free win that comes with the event.

4. Check Return/Refund Policy

The last thing you want is to get home, realise you’ve made a mistake, and have no way to get your hundreds of dollars back. Checking out your cruises refund policy prior to a purchase could save you lots of heartbreak later.

5. Value is Subjective

If you’re looking at a blank canvas with a black dot in the middle of it but it reminds you of a childhood memory, it’s completely justifiable to ignore all of the above tips and pay top dollar without a second thought. If that painting means something to you, there’s no better reason to buy.

Cruise ships can have some extremely valuable pieces on offer, but sometimes they can be hard to pick out from the crowd. With these tips you’ll now be able to distinguish the gems from the rubble and take home a true masterpiece. Happy Hunting!


Sophia Smith

Sophia Smith is a content manager and author at Cruise Agency. She is passionate about writing, literature and fine art, and regularly writes about these topics on her blog.