Brock Pierce buys historic Portuguese ocean liner

Crypto billionaire Brock Pierce has dropped more than $1 million on a historic Portuguese ocean liner and is pouring millions more into refurbishing it, telling us “You never know when you are going to need an ark.”

Pierce, who starred in the 1992 Disney hit, “The Mighty Ducks,” before staking his claim in Bitcoin, recently purchased the MV Funchal for $1.9 million at auction and has thus far spent $6.4 million on plans to turn it into a hotel and museum.

The ship has a storied history, taking its maiden voyage in 1961. It was chartered during that decade by the State of Portugal to operate as the official “Presidential Yacht.” And in the 70’s, President Américo de Deus Rodrigues Tomás used the ship to travel to Rio de Janeiro for a celebration, carrying the ashes of the first emperor of Brazil, King Dom Pedro I — who declared Brazil independent from Portugal in 1882 — on board with him.

Pierce explains he got a call telling him the ship was “about to be sold for scrap. They are going to melt it down and destroy it for its raw materials, are you willing to save it?” he recounts to Page Six.

Pedro I of Brazil
Pedro I of Brazil.
Universal Images Group via Getty

“And I’m like, ‘Whoa whoa whoa, a 500-plus foot cruise ship that hasn’t been maintained in a long time because of everything going on? This sounds like it could be difficult, but I would like to learn about maritime law, that’s interesting,” Pierce says.

Adding, “You never know when you are going to need an ark.”

Pierce tells us he contacted the government and let them know “We are here to preserve and save it.”

Work has already started on the ship.

“We have 180 people working on the boat right now to turn it into a five-star hotel, but with regular rooms on the inside — all classes — and to effectively be a museum permanently stationed in Lisbon,” he says.

“As someone building things for our future, it is also important to protect our past,” Pierce tells us of his interest in the liner. “Preserving national treasures and relics, I do it around the world,” saying he also has projects in Spain and Amsterdam and is working on something in the UK.  

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