Carnival Cruise Ship Reaches Scrapyard After 31 Years in Service

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Carnival Ecstasy has ended her final voyage, having reached the Aliaga ship-breaking facility in western Turkey early on Monday, November 7, 2022.

Transponder tracking data shows the ship is no longer in motion, though the vessel has not yet been beached for actual scrapping work to begin.

Carnival Ecstasy Arrives at Scrapyard

The now-retired Fantasy-class vessel has officially reached Aliaga, Turkey, where the ship will be scrapped in the next few weeks and months.

Tracking data now shows the vessel positioned at rest – presumably at anchor – just 3.8 miles (6.1 kilometers) northeast of the breaking yard where ships are beached and eventually broken into recyclable portions.

That anchorage position is determined by water depth, local marine traffic, ship accessibility, and other factors that determine where the ship can best be positioned for scrapping work.

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Paul Wishart / Shutterstock

It has taken three weeks for the ship to reach the shipyard, though that has included time to debark crew members so they can return home if their contracts ended with the ship’s last sailing, or to transfer to different ships if they were reassigned for the rest of their contract time.

There has been no rush for the ship to reach the shipyard. Sailing speeds have been impacted by weather and fuel efficiency as the ship has made her way to her final destination.

A Final Voyage Well Sailed

Carnival Ecstasy sailed her last cruise with guests October 10-15; a 5-night Western Caribbean sailing from Mobile, Alabama that visited Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico.

As the only one of the six retired Fantasy-class vessels to have a planned “farewell” cruise, Carnival Ecstasy had many special events onboard that last cruise, including games, parties, special menu items, and more.

Of special interest was an onboard charity auction led by Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald. That auction included commemorative items and unique memorabilia, such as a life ring, port of call plaques from the ship’s first visits all over the world, a flag autographed by the ship’s officers, and much more.

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

When I decided to be on this voyage I asked the senior beards to please allow me to do this auction,” Heald said. “There are some things that belong in good homes of people who have a connection to the ship and to Carnival.”

Two very special items featured in the auction were the remains of the bottle used by Carnival Ecstasy’s godmother, Kathie Lee-Gifford, when the ship was christened in New York on May 11, 1991, and an opportunity to sound the ship’s horn for the last time.

In total, the charity auction raised more than $40,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, a long-time cause supported by Carnival Cruise Line.

Next Steps

Now, the remainder of the ship’s crew and officers will leave the vessel after officially surrendering the ship to the scrapyard.

Much onboard material has already been removed from the ship, especially materials that can be used on other ships or proprietary equipment for Carnival Cruise Line.

One such item is the iconic 1934 Rolls Royce Saloon that was a focal point of the City Lights Promenade, which was removed in June and is now part of the memorabilia collection onboard Carnival Celebration.

Carnival Ecstasy Rolls Royce
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

This process may continue for a brief period while the ship is at rest and before it is surrendered. In the coming days, shipyard workers will continue to strip material that can be resold by local dealers, many of whom will buy large lots of items to resell.

Read More: Cruise Ship Scrapping: Everything You Need to Know

Eventually, the ship will be beached at the shipbreaking facility, and the hull will be dismantled. The metal will then be recycled.

Two Fantasy-Class Ships Remain

Of the original eight Fantasy-class vessels, six have now been scrapped. Five of the vessels – Fantasy, Fascination, Imagination, Inspiration, and Sensation – were retired and scrapped during the pandemic shutdown in an effort for the cruise line to modernize the fleet and adjust operational costs at a time when there was no passenger income.

Now that Carnival Ecstasy has retired, only Carnival Paradise and Carnival Elation remain in the Fun Ship fleet.

Carnival Paradise is offering 4-5 night Western Caribbean and Bahamas sailings from Tampa, while Carnival Elation is offering 4-5 night Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean sailings from Jacksonville.

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