With the COVID-19 pandemic reeling through the cruise ship industry, a number of cruise lines have gone bust, leaving ships in limbo or with questionable futures. In addition, some lines have committed to long-term lay-ups.
The Unknown Fleet:
FTI Group announced it would shut down its cruise line earlier this week. The 420-guest Berlin will need to find a new home. While the ship is an optimal size at just over 400 guests, it is also more than 30 years old, having been built in 1980.
Pullmantur’s Monarch and Sovereign are being scrapped in Turkey. The Horizon, meanwhile, has yet to find the scrap yard. The 1990-built ship has capacity for just over 1,800 guests and originally launched as the Celebrity Horizon.
The Pacific Aria was to transfer to now-shut-down Cruise & Maritime Voyages in 2021 and join the TransOcean brand. The ship is currently operating under the P&O Australia brand for Carnival Corporation and was set to be replaced by more modern tonnage from Princess Cruises. The 1994-built Pacific Aria has capacity for 1,258 guests,
Just like the Pacific Aria, the Pacific Dawn was to transfer to Cruise & Maritime Voyages in 2021. It’s another P&O Australia ship that was set to be replaced by a newer and more modern Princess vessel. The 1991-built Pacific Dawn has capacity for 2,020 guests.
These Carnival Ships
The Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination will move to a long term lay-up status, with no specific timeline identified for a return to operation.
TUI Group was the first to make a fleet change due to COVID-19, retiring the Marella Celebration in April. Further details on the ship’s future are not known.
The ship was built in 1984 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique for Holland America Line as the MS Noordam.
The ship sailed under the Holland America Line brand through 2005, when she was moved to Thomson Cruises, which eventually became Marella.
Built in 1988, the Columbus was ordered by Sitmar Cruises as the Fair Majesty. While still under construction, the company was being sold to Princess Cruises, who took over its operation, renaming the ship the Star Princess.
After nearly a decade sailing for Princess, the vessel was transferred to P&O as the Arcadia in 1997. Before joining Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) in 2017, it also sailed for Ocean Village and P&O Australia.
Vasco Da Gama
Newest ship in the CMV fleet, the Vasco da Gama was introduced by CMV in 2019. Originally operated by Holland America, it was built in 1992.
The original S-Class ship, it sailed as the Statendam until 2015, when Carnival Corp. transferred it to P&O Australia. For that brand, it operated as the Pacific Eden, along with its sister ship, the Pacific Aria, the former Ryndam.
In service since 1987, the Astor was built in Germany to offer a five-star luxury soft adventure product in the British market. Only one year later, the vessel was sold to Soviet owners, becoming the FedorDostoyevskiy.
After years sailing chartered to European tour operators, the vessel got its original name back and was, in 1996, acquired by TransOcean Tours. In 2013, it was chartered to CMV for a new operation in Australia. The British cruise line later acquired TransOcean Tours, keeping it as an independent brand.
One of the oldest ships still in service, the Astoria was originally the ocean liner Stockholm. Built in 1948, it became famous in 1956 when it collided with the Andrea Doria in the North Atlantic. As a result, the Italian liner sunk, and the Stockholm’s bow was destroyed.
The vessel was later converted for cruising in the early 1990s, with public areas and cabins totally rebuilt for the new purpose. With the name Azores, it joined the CMV fleet in 2015, after several years sailing as the Athena for Classic International Cruises. In 2016, the name was changed to the Astoria.
In service since 1985, the Magellan was built for Carnival Cruise Line as the Holiday. Following a major refit in 2009, the ship was transferred to IberoCruceros to begin operating in the Spanish market as the Grand Holiday.
With the demise of Ibero in 2014 the ship was sold to CMV.
The Marco Polo was CMV’s original ship, sailing for the cruise line as it launched operations in 2010.
A former ocean liner, it was built in 1965 as the Aleksandr Pushkin for the Leningrad – Montreal route. After serving its original purpose until the 1970s, the vessel started to sail as a cruise ship under charter agreements.
In 1991, it was sold to Orient Lines and renamed Marco Polo. In Greece, the vessel was rebuilt as a true cruise ship, also receiving new engines. In 2008, it was sold to its current owners, Greece-based Global Maritime Group.