Which Cruise Ships are Being Scrapped or Sold Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

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Which cruise ships are being scrapped or sold directly due to the suspension of cruise operations and the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the cruise industry?

Cruise Ships Bring Scrapped or Sold

With cruise lines around the world pausing operations due to the health crisis, it’s impacting the industry hard. Cruise lines are putting their ships in cold lay-up and have repatriated thousands of crew members to help reduce costs and ride out these difficult times.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the cruise ships that are being sold or scrapped as cruise lines adjust their operations moving forward. We already know that the Carnival Corporation has announced a total of 18 vessels will be disposed of across its nine cruise brands. The list below will be constantly updated on all the latest developments covering many cruise lines.

Majesty of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)

Even though Royal Caribbean announced earlier during the shut down of cruise operations that they would not be selling any cruise ships, that has now changed. The cruise line has already sold the Sovereign-class vessel to an undisclosed buyer. The good news is that she is not being scrapped and the new owner is set to announce her sailing details at a later date.

Majesty of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: mariakray / Shutterstock.com

Majesty of the Seas is leaving the fleet at the end of December 2020. The ship is over 73,900 gross tons, has a guest capacity of over 2,700 along with over 800 crew members.

Empress of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean confirmed on December 16 that Empress of the Seas has been sold to a yet to be revealed buyer. The ship is departing the fleet at the end of December 2020. Just like Majesty of the Seas, she is also set to keep sailing under the new owner.

Empress of the Seas Cruise Ship

Empress of the Seas was the oldest ship in the fleet and entered service as the Nordic Empress in 1990. Many cruisers have had great memories of the vessel along with Royal Caribbean President Michael Baylay who used to work on the ship.

The Empress-class ship is over 48,500 gross tons and has a guest capacity of over 1,800 along with 600 crew members.

Grand Celebration (Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line)

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is a small cruise line that operated out of West Palm Beach, Florida. The cruise line has been suffering due to the suspension of operations in the United States.

Even though nothing has officially been revealed by the cruise line, the Grand Celebration is likely heading to the scrapyard in India. In fact, the ship seems to already be sailing towards the country.

The ship is well known under the name of Celebration operated by Carnival Cruise Line. She was a popular vessel and part of the Holiday-class of ships that were constructed for the Miami-based cruise line.

Grand Celebration Cruise Ship
Photo By: Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

Grand Celebration is over 47,000 gross tons and has a guest capacity of over 1,400 along with over 600 international crew members. There’s likely now a limited number of the crew onboard as she’s set to reach her end.

Sea Princess (Princess Cruises)

It came as no surprise that the Sea Princess has been sold to an undisclosed buyer, it was confirmed by the cruise line on September 21, 2020. It’s not yet known what will eventually happen to the Sea Princess. She could still be scrapped or hopefully sail for another cruise line.

Sea Princess has completed six full world cruises since 2013. She has a guest capacity of 2,000 and was the second oldest in the fleet before being disposed of. The Princess cruise ship is 77,499 gross tons and was last refurbished in November 2017.

Sun Princess (Princess Cruises)

Just like her sister ship above, Sun Princess has also been sold to an undisclosed buyer and this was confirmed by the cruise line recently. It’s not yet known what will eventually happen to the Sun Princess as she could still be scrapped by her new buyer.

Related: Princess Cruises Confirms Two Cruise Ships Have Been Sold

Sun Princess Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: liu yu shan / Shutterstock.com

Sun Princess is the first in her class and made her debut in the Caribbean in 1995. She has a guest capacity of 2,000 with a gross tonnage of 77,441. The vessel was last refurbished in July 2018.

Carnival Fascination (Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Cruise Line did not make a surprise by announcing that Carnival Fascination had been sold. It came as the cruise ship was already in a long term lay-up and parent company Carnival Corporation had announced even more less efficient cruise ships are being disposed of across its brands.

Carnival Fascination Cruise Ship in Barbados
Photo Credit: Solarisys / Shutterstock.com

With the Fantasy-class ship being sold it could be heading to another cruise line or likely being scrapped at the Aliaga ship breaking facility in Izmir, Turkey. Her sister ships of Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Inspiration, and Carnival Imagination are already being scrapped there.

Related: 10 Reasons to Cruise on the Carnival Fascination

The Carnival cruise ship was based out of San Juan, Puerto Rico before the pandemic hit and is 70,367 gross tons with a guest capacity of 2,634 at double occupancy along with 920 international crew members.

Carnival Imagination (Carnival Cruise Line)

The Fantasy-class cruise ship is to be scrapped after recently spending time docked in Curacao to offload any important equipment and items. This was the same situation just before sister ships Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration were also scrapped.

Carnival imagination
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

Related: Carnival Imagination Might Be Heading for the Scrapyard

Even though as of writing this Carnival Cruise Line is yet to announced the scrapping of Carnival Imagination, the vessel is heading towards the Aliaga ship breaking facility in Turkey. The route tracking is showing Aliaga as her final destination. She will likely be beached a few days after arriving in Turkey and the remaining crew will disembark.

Black Watch (Fred Olsen Cruises)

The British-based cruise line announced towards the end of August 2020 that Black Watch will be retired. The cruise line has purchased newer ships from Holland America Line named Bolette and Borealis.

Black Watch Ship
Photo By: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Related: Cruise Line Confirms it Will Retire Two Cruise Ships

It is likely the vessel will be scrapped due to her age. She first entered service for Royal Viking Line in 1972 and was constructed in Finland. Since then the ship has been operated by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Cruise Line and until her retirement, Fred Olsen Cruises. She’s 28,200 gross tons with a guest capacity over 800. It’s not yet known where the ship will be scrapped.

Boudicca (Fred Olsen Cruises)

Just like Black Watch, it was announced by Fred Olsen Cruises that Boudicca is retiring which will likely lead to scrapping due to her age. This comes after the cruise line purchased two newer ships that will replace itineraries and offer greater capacity.

Boudicca Ship
Photo By: Fred Olsen Cruise Line

Boudicca entered service for Royal Viking Line in 1972. Since then the ship has been renamed many times including Sunward fir Norwegian Cruise Line until 1993 and Golden princess for Princess Cruises until 1997. In total, she’s been operated by ten different cruise lines including the most recent Fred Olsen Cruises.

The ship is 28,300 gross tons and has a guest capacity of around 900 along with 320 crew members.

Carnival Inspiration (Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Cruise Line has not officially announced the Carnival Inspiration is leaving the fleet but it’s pretty much confirmed. The Fantasy-class ship has already been stripped of all her important items and equipment in Curacao and is currently heading for Izmir, Turkey.

The ship will be scrapped at the Aliaga ship breaking facility which is just north of Izmir. She is following sister ship Carnival Fantasy which is also being scrapped. All the details on the Carnival inspiration leaving the fleet can be found here.

Carnival Inspiration Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Stories In Light / Shutterstock.com

Carnival Inspiration debuted for Carnival Cruise Line in 1996 and was constructed in Finland which is the same for other ships in her class. She has a gross tonnage of around 70,360 and a guest capacity of over 2,000.

Costa neoRomantica (Costa Cruises)

The oldest Costa cruise ship which entered service in 1993 has been purchased by Celestyal Cruises. The ship has been sold due to the impact from the suspension of cruise operations and this comes after parent company Carnival Corp announced 13 cruise ships would be disposed of. You can read more about the purchase here.

Celestyal neoRomantica
Image Via: Celestyal Cruises

MS Amsterdam (Holland America Line)

Amsterdam has been sold to Fred Olsen Cruises which is a mid-ship cruise line in the UK. The vessel has been sold as a pair with sister ship Rotterdam and will be renamed as Bolette. She’ll be refurbished and rebranded before the end of 2020. You read more details about the Fred Olsen purchase right here.

Amsterdam Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: 1000 Words / Shutterstock.com

The cruise ship has a gross tonnage of over 62,700 making her the largest of the four Holland America vessel to be sold. She has a guest capacity of over 1,300 along with 640 crew members.

MS Rotterdam (Holland America Line)

Rotterdam is being sold by Holland America Line along with sister ship Amsterdam to British-based Fred Olsen Cruises. The UK cruise line will rename the ship Borealis and it will join the fleet later in 2020.

MS Rotterdam Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: 1AdesiA1 / Shutterstock.com

The Holland America cruise ship entered service in 1997 and has a guest capacity of 1,400 along with 600 crew members. Once Fred Olsen Cruises has updated the vessel some stats may change.

MS Veendam (Holland America Line)

The Veendam cruise ship has been sold to an unknown buyer and will be leaving the Holland America fleet. Parent company Carnival Corp is selling the ship along with Maasdam as a pair.

MS Zaandam Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: pho.stories / Shutterstock.com

The Veendam made her debut for Holland America Line in 1996 and was constructed at the popular Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard in Italy. The ship is over 57,000 gross tons with a guest capacity of over 1,300 along with 560 crew members.

MS Maasdam (Holland America Line)

On July 15 Holland America Line announced it has sold four cruise ships and one of those was MS Maasdam. Currently, the buyer for the vessel along with sister ship Veendam, has not yet been revealed.

MS Maasdam Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

The vessel debuted for Holland America Line in 1993 and is 55,575 gross tons with a passenger capacity of over 1,200 at double occupancy. There is also a capacity for 580 crew members.

Carnival Fantasy (Carnival Cruise Line)

It’s not yet official but extremely likely that Carnival Fantasy, which is currently the oldest ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, will be scrapped. We’ve already reported that important equipment is being taken from the vessel at the cargo dock of Brion Wharf in Willemstad, Curacao.

Carnival Fantasy Docked in Cozumel

It’s also been found that Carnival Fantasy’s next final destination is Izmir, Turkey, the region where cruise ships go to be scrapped at the Aliaga ship breaking facility. It will be a sad ending to the popular ship but she is showing her age and Carnival will soon be taking delivery of the new Mardi Gras in February 2021.

Carnival Fantasy entered service in 1990 and has a gross tonnage of 70,367 and a guest capacity of 2,056 at double occupancy. The vessel also has a capacity of 920 crew members but at the moment there is only a limited number onboard.

MS Monarch (Pullmantur Cruises)

The Monarch was operated by Spanish-based Pullmantur Cruises until the cruise line filed for bankruptcy in June 2020. As a result of the cruise line shutting down, the ship was taken control by Royal Caribbean which already partly owned the cruise line.

Pullmantur Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Yingna Cai / Shutterstock.com

The ship was previously part of the Royal Caribbean International fleet from 1991 to 2013 and known as Monarch of the Seas. The ship was then sailing for Pullmantur until June 2020. Sadly the vessel is being scrapped at the Aliaga scrapyard in Turkey. She has already been stripped of all the important items in Naples, Italy as we reported here.

MS Monarch was refurbished for Pullmantur in 2012 and is 73,937 gross tons with a guest capacity of 2,733.

MS Sovereign (Pullmantur Cruises)

The MS Sovereign, which was also part of the Pullmantur Cruises fleet, is being scrapped due to the cruise line filing for bankruptcy in June 2020. The ship has had her valuable and important items removed when it was in Naples, Italy. At the moment the ship is docked in Malta and will be scrapped following sister ship Monarch.

Pullmantur Cruise Ship
Copyright Cruise Hive

Sovereign was previously operated by Royal Caribbean International and named Sovereign of the Seas. She was the first in her class and made its debut for Royal Caribbean International in 1988. The ship then started sailing for Pullmantur in 2009, until the cruise line shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MS Sovereign was remodeled for Pullmantur in 2008 and is 73,592 gross tons with a guest capacity of 2,733 along with 820 crew members.

MV Horizon (Pullmantur Cruises)

The cruise ship MV Horizon has been known under a handful of different names but the main name Horizon came from the Celebrity Cruises when the cruise line operated the ship from 1990 to 2005. Just like other ships in the Pullmantur fleet, MV Horizon is to be scrapped in Turkey, a sad ending for such an interesting vessel.

Pullmantur Horizon Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Photomarine / Shutterstock.com

All the important equipment was taken from the vessel in Athens, Greece, and now the ship seems to be awaiting the scrapyard. Royal Caribbean took back control of the ship when Pullmantur filed for reorganization in Spain, which is a form of bankruptcy.

Horizon has also sailed for Island Cruises and Croisieres de France. The ship is 46,811 gross tons with a passenger capacity of 1,442 along with 620 crew members. She was last refurbished to become part of the Pullmantur fleet in 2012.

Oceana (P&O Cruises)

Cruise Hive has already reported that P&O Oceana has been sold by the Carnival-owned cruise line, however, it is not yet known who the buyer is. The good news is that the vessel is not being scrapped and we can hope she will offer cruises again in the future.

P&O Oceana Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Gail Heaton / Shutterstock.com

P&O Oceana is leaving this month (June 2020) as confirmed by the cruise line. As the vessel was built in 1999, she is fairly new and still has many years to come before heading to any scrapyard. P&O Cruises will also be taking delivery of Iona, a new generation of LNG ships ordered by Carnival. The new ship will no doubt make up for the loss of Oceana once cruises get back to normal in 2021.

P&O Oceana is 77,500 gross tons and has a passenger capacity at over 2,000 along with over 800 crew members.

Costa Victoria (Costa Cruises)

Costa Victoria was the first Carnival-owned cruise ship to be disposed of due to the global health crisis and the suspension of operations. It was a surprising move as the Costa vessel was delivered in 1996 so still had many years to go in its expected service life.

Costa Victoria Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Shi Yali / Shutterstock.com

The ship was sold to Genova Trasporti Marittimi and there were reports that Costa Victoria was to become a floating hotel for workers at the Cantiere Navale San Giorgio del Porto in Genoa, Italy. Unfortunately, parent company Carnival Corporation needs funds to help ride out these difficult times so Costa Victoria was sold and now to be scrapped.

The Costa cruise ship is over 75,000 gross tons with a guest capacity of over 1,900 at double occupancy along with 766 crew members.

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