14 Former Cruise Lines You Should Know About

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We are used to the fact that many legendary cruise liners end up at shipbreaking yards, although it’s very upsetting to know. This article will be devoted to the “scrapped” cruise companies.

It turned out that many cruise lines left us over the past 10 years. Some of them had delighted tourists for more than 50 years, and the unique ones operated sailing for more than 175 years!

Orient Lines

In 2008, the world lost Orient LinesThe company was founded in 1993. It focused mainly on the exotic cruise itineraries. The only ship at the time of its foundation was the former Soviet liner, Alexandr Pushkin. After a long modernization, she received the name of Marco Polo known to us today.

Former Cruise Line

Although the company did not have a large fleet, it was quite successful. In 1998, the cruise line was taken over by a famous brand, Norwegian Cruise Line. It’s funny that Norwegian Cruise Line was taken over by Star Cruises just a year later.

After the takeover, Orient Lines continued to operate cruises. Former Norwegian Crown was renamed Crown Odyssey and joined its fleet in 2000.

There were rumors that SuperStar Aries (today known as Saga Sapphire) was expected to join the company’s fleet in 2002. But these were only rumors. Moreover, in 2003, the company was left with one ship again. Crown Odyssey rejoined the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet.

In 2007, there were rumors that the company was living its last days. Then it became known that Marco Polo would be sold soon. The company was left without ships. Then there were rumors that another Soviet legend, Maxim Gorkiy known for its unusual funnel, would join the company’s fleet. By the way, we wrote about her fate in the article about Legendary Cruise Ships Lost in the Past 10 Years (Part 1).

Former Cruise Line

The ship was to be called Marco Polo II. It so happened that the ship didn’t survive joining the new company. Since the end of 2008, there was no information about the future of Orient Lines. In January 2009, Maxim Gorkiy was sent for scrapping.

Imperial Majesty Cruise Line

Do you remember the company with the pretentious name of Imperial Majesty Cruise LineIt was founded in 1999 and focused on the market of short cruises (sometimes even 2-3 night long ones) from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas.

The company had only two ships. Its first vessel was the famous liner, Southern Cross, later known as Azure Seas and OceanBreeze. She was built in 1955! Even though the liner was in good condition and she was repaired, it was very costly to maintain her. As a result, the ship was scrapped in 2003.

The second ship of the company was the real legend built in 1953: Regal Empress, more commonly known as SS Olympia or Caribe (Caribe I).

Former Cruise Line
© St from Brussels, Belgium/Wiki/CC BY-SA 2.0

Imperial Majesty Cruise Line existed until 2009, and it is likely that you remember it. It’s difficult to forget cruising in the Bahamas on the vintage liner built in 1953.

In 2009, the company ceased to exist. Regal Empress was scrapped, and all itineraries were given to Celebration Cruise Line. Can we consider this company as an Imperial Majesty Cruise Line’s extension? Probably that’s rhetorical.

Ocean Village

Ocean Village is the memorable company that lasted only seven years. The cruise line was founded by P&O Princess Cruises in 2003 in the UK. By the way, P&O Princess Cruises “united” with Carnival Corporation and formed Carnival Corporation & plc in the same year. That is, we can say that Ocean Village is a kind of Carnival Corporation & plc subsidiary.

One of the Ocean Village’s peculiarities was the lack of a formal style on the ship. The company promoted freedom on cruises, casual clothing, lack of formal evenings, plenty of entertainment and so on.

The company’s fleet consisted of two well-known ships that were transferred from sister brands. Ocean Village, the first ship, was transferred from P&O Cruises in 2003. Ocean Village Two was the second ship. She was transferred from the AIDA Cruises’ fleet in 2007.

Former Cruise Line
Ocean Village © Corgi5623 at English Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

The company operated cruises in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. In the fall of 2008, it was announced that Carnival wanted to develop the Australian cruise market and both ships would be transferred to P&O Cruises Australia within two years. In less than a year, Ocean Village Two became Pacific Jewel. She continues to operate sailings under this name today.

Ocean Village became Pacific Pearl in the fall of 2010. Actually, this marked the “death” of the cruise company, which was left without ships. In 2017, Ocean Village became a part of Cruise & Maritime Voyages and is known to you under the name of Columbus now.


The company with a promising name of EasyCruise lasted only six years.

The cruise line was founded in 2004 and positioned itself as a cruise “low-cost carrier.” The company’s founder was inspired by his other brands of budget travel, including the famous European low-cost carrier EasyJet. The cost of cruises could be up to 50 dollars per person per night.

The company owned only three ships at different times. The small ship Neptune II was the first to join the fleet. She could accommodate up to 170 passengers. She was named easyCruise One. In 2007, the company got its second ship. easyCruise Two was transformed from a river cargo ship into a river cruise ship. The ship operated cruises under license for less than a year.

Former Cruise Line

The third ship of the company was the Soviet legend. We talked about her in the fourth part of the series of articles about Legendary Cruise Ships We Lost. The former ferry Lev Tolstoy became the cruise ship under the name of EasyCruise Life.

In 2008, the company sold its first ship, declaring its intention to expand the fleet by larger vessels. However, a year later the cruise line was sold to the Greek ferry company Hellenic Seaways. In fact, the new owners got the brand and the former Soviet ferry. The ship was given to Blue Ocean Cruises. She operated cruises under the name of Ocean Life for several years, until she was scrapped in 2014.

EasyCruise disappeared. The website stopped working. There were no ships left. Now we have only memories about the first unsuccessful “low-cost” cruise company.

Cruise West

Cruise West is the small company that operated small cruise ships that accommodated less than 200 people each.

We could not forget this cruise line. The fact is that the company was founded back in 1973 and at one time it was the largest (!) U.S. flagged cruise vessels’ cruise operator (considering the number of ships).

Initially, the company was founded as a tour operator in Alaska. However, in 17 years, in the 90’s, the company began to operate cruises. The company’s famous ships included Spirit of Oceanus, Spirit of Endeavor, Amadeus Diamond, Spirit of Yorktown, Spirit of Glacier Bay, and others.

The company’s itineraries became more diverse. It operated sailings in British Columbia, California, Mexico, as well as river cruises in those years.

It’s interesting to know that the company’s ships ran aground several times. This became such a problem that the US Coast Guard issued a special statement on the safety of this cruise line.

Former Cruise Line
Spirit of Glacier Bay aground in Tarr Inlet, Alaska, July 2008

In 2010, the company ceased operations. Some ships were sold and continue to operate cruises today.

Classic International Cruises

Have you heard of Classic International CruisesThe company was founded in 1985. Its peculiarity was the fact that its fleet consisted of the former ocean liners only! During the first nine years, the legendary Portuguese liner, Funchal, was the company’s only vessel.

Former Cruise Line
© Ulflarsen/Wiki/CC BY-SA 3.0

The same legendary Princess Danae (we already talked about her here) became the second member of the fleet in 1994. Five years later, the former Yugoslavian star Arion joined the company. In 2005, another legendary liner became a part of this flee – the ship that sank Andrea Doria in 1956, the former Stockholm that became known as Athena. Legendary Princess Daphne became the fifth representative of the company in 2008. That was a beautiful fleet!

However, all was not well. At the end of 2012, 4 (!) out of 5 ships were arrested for debt. Funchal escaped arrest because she was in a dry dock. In December 2012, the company ceased to exist. Financial problems were one of the reasons for this.

Only Athena (former Stockholm) can boast of her destiny. The ship not just continues to operate cruises, but she’s also a part of famous Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Despite all the rumors, Astoria is still in service and is one of the world’s oldest operating passenger ships!

Ibero Cruises

Ibero Cruises. This Spanish company is known not only to fans of the cruise history but also to ordinary tourists like you and us.

The company operated cruises for only about 11 years. Initially, it was the company called Viajes Iberojet (2003). The company was taken over by Carnival and its partners in 2007.

Initially, the fleet included three well-known ships: Grand Mistral, Grand Latino, and Grand Voyager. Can you guess their current names?

Now they are known as Costa neoRiviera, Boudicca, and Chinese Taishan.

In 2008, Grand Celebration joined the company. Grand Holiday (now known as CMV Magellan) became a part of the company a year later. By the way, one of the company’s features was quite an unusual cruise livery. Besides, the company operated the Spanish-speaking cruises.

Former Cruise Line

In 2014, the company became a part of Costa Cruises. Some of the ships were sold, the others joined the Costa fleet.

Peter Deilmann Cruises

Now we will talk about the company, which is probably known only to the cruise history lovers. What do you know about Peter Deilmann Cruises?

This company was founded in 1968. Initially, the company was engaged in cargo transportation, but in the 1970s, it began to provide passenger transportation. The company took its first cruise in 1973, although it was more like ferry services.

Berlin was built for the company in 1979. She became quite famous. Famous representatives of the company included Lili Marleen, Nordbrise, Nordschau, Nordpaloma, Deutschland, and others.

Former Cruise Line
© Morn/Wiki/CC BY-SA 3.0

In 1983, the company began to operate river cruises in Germany. In the late 2000’s, the company had problems that could lead to the cessation of activity. The cruise line survived and continued to operate cruises.

At the end of 2014, it became clear that the company would cease to exist soon. In winter 2015, the company’s icon, MS Deutschland, left Germany. She was officially sold in May 2015.

As a result, in 2015, Peter Deilmann Cruises ceased to exist, largely as a result of significant court’s decisions and large debts.

Ocean Star Cruises

The next company can hardly be called well-known. Have you ever sailed with Ocean Star Cruises or even heard of this company?

Ocean Star Cruises became the first Mexican cruise company. It was founded in 2010.

The only ship of the company was legendary Royal Caribbean’s Nordic Prince. The ship began cruising for new owners in the spring of 2011.

In 2012, the company ceased to exist because its ship was “laid up.” Later she was sold because of numerous problems. Ocean Star Pacific was scrapped in 2015.

Island Cruises

Island Cruises is the European company founded in 2001. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd was one of its founders! Once again, we can talk about the subsidiary company.

The cruise line operated cruises in the Caribbean, South America, and Europe. In 2002, Viking Serenade, the famous cruise ship that belonged to Royal Caribbean before, became the company’s first representative. The Island Cruises’ flagship was named Island Escape.

Former Cruise Line
© Benjo08/Wiki/CC BY-SA 3.0

In 2005, former Horizon became the company’s second vessel. Her new name was Island Star. Three years later, Royal Caribbean sold its shares in the company. Besides, Island Star returned to Royal Caribbean in 2009. The ship still operates cruises under the old-new name of Horizon (Pullmantur Cruises)

In fact, in 2015, Island Cruises ceased to exist when its last ship, Island Escape, was sold to the next owners. In the spring of this year, it became known that the ship was sent for scrapping.

Celebration Cruise Line

Celebration Cruise Line has an exciting destiny. The company was founded in 2008.

The only company’s ship was the former ferry called Bahamas Celebration. The cruise line operated cruises from Florida to the Bahamas.

On October 31, 2014, the ship ran aground near Freeport. According to other information, she hit an unidentified object. Because of this incident, the company ceased operations, and the ship was sent for scrapping.

Former Cruise Line
© Penny Higgins/Wiki/CC BY-SA 2.0

This story has a kind of continuation. This tragedy was unable to break the former owners of the company. They founded the new company that continues to function today. It operates cruises and adds new ships to its fleet. We are talking about Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. However, it’s not a subject of our article. Let’s return to the companies that ceased to exist.

Swan Hellenic

Although past and future of the famous European company Swan Hellenic are steeped in secrecy, we tried to understand it.

So, the company was founded in 1950. It was aimed at cruises to historically interesting places. Initially, the company’s fleet consisted of small ships: Miaoulis, Ankara (built in 1927(!)), and Orpheus.

In 1983, the company was taken over by the P&O brand. In 1996, the first cruise ship with a tonnage of more than 10,000 tons, Minerva, joined the company’s fleet. It’s interesting to know that this ship was originally a Soviet research vessel!

Former Cruise Line
© alexleo/Wiki/CC BY 4.0

After P&O was taken over by Carnival, Minerva was replaced by the more capacious ship, Minerva II, and this could disrupt the company’s initial positioning. Swan Hellenic owned the ship for several years.

In the spring of 2007, the ship was transferred to Princess Cruises. She is more commonly known as former Royal Princess, P&O Adonia or Azamara Pursuit. In fact, this event was the “death” of the Swan Hellenic cruise company.

Regardless, since 2007, there were attempts to revive the company. A year later, the company’s website was launched again. New “owners” had two ships, including Minerva.

In 2017, the brand was finally taken over by G Adventures. We’ll see how it goes.

CDF Croisières de France

The next company existed only ten years, but it left its mark in the cruise world. The company with the beautiful name, CDF Croisières de France, was founded in 2007. It was a subsidiary of Pullmantur Cruises and therefore of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Its feature was focusing on French-speaking tourists.

Bleu de France was the company’s first ship. We know her under the names of Europa, SuperStar Europe, SuperStar Aries, Holiday Dream, and Saga Sapphire (her current name).

Former Cruise Line
© Oliver Bühler/Wiki/CC BY-SA 3.0 Germany

In 2010, the ship was sold to Saga Cruises, and the company was left without the ship. In 2012, Horizon (we already talked about her) joined the company’s fleet. In 2014, Zenith also became this cruise line’s representative.

At the end of 2016, it became known that the company would cease operations in 2017. Both ships were to become a part of the Pullmantur Cruises fleet.

Black Sea Shipping Company

Legendary Soviet Black Sea Shipping Company will be the last company in this article. Perhaps it is little known or absolutely unknown to you. Nevertheless, it is one of the world’s oldest cruise companies! It was founded in 1833! Four years earlier than P&O, seven years earlier than Cunard, and 12 years earlier than White Star Line (although the last one did not become the cruise company).

The history of the company like this is worth a separate article because it’s even difficult to list all its ships.

The company took its first cruise from St. Petersburg to Odessa on a paddle steamer in 1831. There were about 50 passengers on board, and the “cruise” lasted six months. In the same year, the ship took four regular sailings from Odessa to Istanbul (then Constantinople). A few years later, Black Sea Shipping Company was officially founded.

During the times of the Russian Empire, the company actively developed itineraries on the Black Sea and between Odessa and Istanbul. However, it was still difficult to call them “cruises.” It is interesting that the cruise industry in this part of the world was also actively developing, albeit in its own way that sometimes was similar to the American one.

By 1901, the company had 72 ships in its fleet. It is worth noting that many ships for this company were built in European countries, for example, in the UK.

During the First World War, most of the company’s ships became transport or hospital ships.

Former Cruise Line
Hospital ship “Imperator Pyotr Velikiy”

After the October Revolution, at the beginning of the Soviet era, there were less than 5% of ships left in Black Sea Shipping Company.

The company tried to develop, and its fleet was joined by large and well-known ships, including SS Lenin (accommodating up to 600 passengers), Theodor Nette, Armenia, Ukraina, and others. Despite the renewal of the fleet, the Second World War made its own adjustments. The company lost almost all its ships during the war.

Former Cruise Line
The Germans sank Armenia during WWII; up to 7000 people died, and only eight people survived!

After WW2, Black Sea Shipping Company received several landmark ships as reparations, including Admiral Ushakov, Nezhin, legendary Patria that became “Rossia,” and, of course, SS Berlin that became Admiral Nakhimov.

This ship’s fate deserves not only the article but an entire book. She was one of the most classic ocean liners that you can imagine!

In 1986, tragedy struck, and the ship sank after a collision with a cargo ship. More than 400 people died. This crash became one of the most massive cruise catastrophes of the past 40 years.

As for Black Sea Shipping Company, after recovering from the war, the USSR began to create new ships for the company. It is worth noting that this company was not private and was completely subsidized by a huge empire. As a result, over the next 40 years, the fleet of the company was replenished with hundreds of ships, including real legends. Many of them still delight tourists under the flags of different companies (or used to delight them recently). We recalled several of these ships in this article.

Let’s name some of them: Pobeda-class, Fedor Shalyapin (ex-Ivernia), Leonid Sobinov (ex-Saxonia), Ivan Franko-class (including CMV Marco Polo, which is still in service), Byelorussiya (including Delphin, which still operates cruises), Dmitriy Shostakovich-class (easyCruise Life or former Lev Tolstoy, which we already remembered today), Fedor Dostoevskiy-class (Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ “Astor”), Maxim Gorkiy and others.

Former Cruise Line
The cruise liner Maksim Gorkiy in the port of Funchal, Madeira in 1978 © Buonasera (eigene Dateien/eigenes Werk)/Wiki/CC BY-SA 3.0

It’s interesting to know that in the 1980s, the company became the world’s largest cruise line in terms of the number of cruise ships! Black Sea Shipping Company had more than 250 ships!

In the last 30 years, the company was going through a tough time. The Soviet Union collapsed, and the company’s fate was unclear. One part was taken by Russia, another part became the property of Ukraine, and the last part was sold. As a result, the company never returned to the cruise market. As of 2004, there were only six small cargo ships in the company.

Despite the fact that in 2008, there were celebrations dedicated to the company’s 175th anniversary, there had been no cruise ships in its fleet for a long time. In 2009, the company ceased operations. Attempts to reorganize the company still take place.

Also Read: The Former Carnival Cruise Ships, Where Are They Now?

As you can see, not only ships are sent for scrapping, but many cruise companies are sent there as well. The reasons are different, but the wheel of history is ruthless.

In this article, I missed several companies, whose fate is even more controversial. I wanted to write some conclusion…

And the conclusion is that it’s sad. Business destroyed history.

Alex Shumaiev
Alex Shumaiev
Blogger, travel enthusiast, entrepreneur, and thinker. Enjoy writing about travel, cruises, and cruise history. Founder of CruiseBe. Find out more about us here.


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