A residential ship is a ship whose main purpose is to serve people as living space, mostly as temporary accommodation such as for emergency services or as floating barracks. A houseboat therefore serves similar purposes as a houseboat . Houseboats are usually larger than houseboats and less comfortably furnished.
Housing ships are rarely built directly for this purpose. Often older passenger ships are converted into accommodation ships, or accommodation is added to existing hulls. Housing ships are also used when temporary accommodation is required in port cities; For example, at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, several cruise ships were used as accommodation ships (see also hotel ship ). In many navies, obsolete warships were disarmed by upgrading their propulsion system and armament into so-called hulks , in order to then serve as living ships. There were also barges in merchant shipping . In the 1960s, DDG "Hansa" owned the Ali Baba barge in Bremen .
In the course of the new construction and expansion programs for the waterways in the GDR , several large series were built as floating accommodation for hydraulic engineers. Based on push barges were on the Oder shipyard in Eisenhüttenstadt residential barges manufactured. These barges were built in lightweight construction and equipped with modern kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living quarters on the waterways of the GDR. After the reunification, the living spaces were sold to private individuals. Today these boats can be found in varying degrees of preservation in houseboat settlements, for example in Hamburg and Berlin . A houseboat, which has been an in-house holiday ship of the (VEB) Oderwerft Eisenhüttenstadt on the Prerow River on the Darß since 1974 , is still rented to holiday guests today.