With two newbuilds entering service in 2021, the Costa Cruises fleet is undergoing major changes. Carnival Corporation’s Italian brand has seen several ship moves since 2019, with a total of four new vessels entering service and six older less efficient ships leaving.
According to the Global Cruise Ship Index by Cruise Industry News, as a result, the company’s fleet is emerging the pandemic newer, larger and more efficient.
While in 2019 the fleet’s average age was 13 years, it will drop to 9 years in 2022. The average guest capacity of the ships, on the other hand, is growing considerably, going from 2,742 to 3,330 guests.
According to Carnival Corporation’s CEO and president Arnold Donald, the newbuilds also offer a bigger range of balcony cabins, driving prices to a premium level and driving revenue. .
Other advantages of the modern ships include generating higher onboard revenue prices and commanding higher ticket prices.
Here are all the moves:
Background: Three Vessels Earmarked to Leave through 2021
In 2018, Costa announced plans to shed three vessels of its fleet in two separate transactions. While the Costa Atlantica and the Costa Mediterranea were sold to CSSC, the Costa neoRiviera was involved in an inter-company transfer with sister brand AIDA Cruises. All the three vessels exited the fleet in the following years, with the Costa Mediterranea being delivered last, in 2021. Pandemic Sales: Costa Victoria and Costa neoRomantica
During the pandemic, Costa sold two ships, as part of Carnival Corporation’s plan to optimize its brands’ fleets. The company’s oldest vessels, the 1996-built Costa Victoria and the 1993-built Costa neoRomantica were sold in June and July, to different buyers. While the first ended up scrapped in Turkey, the second was bought by Celestyal Cruises.
Additional Pandemic Move: Costa Magica to Carnival
More recently, Costa announced the transfer of the Costa Magica to Carnival Cruise Line. The 2004-built vessel will be handed over to the North American brand in mid-2022, becoming the sixth ship to exit the fleet since 2019.
Newbuild Schedule: Four New Ships
While several ships exited, Costa also welcomed previously ordered newbuilds. Two new vessels already entered service in 2019, the China-based Costa Venezia and the 5,200-guest Costa Smeralda. A third was delivered in 2020, the 4,232-guest Costa Firenze – a sister to the Costa Venezia. In December, the 180,000-ton Costa Toscana, completes the newbuild lineup as a sister to the Costa Smeralda.
By the numbers through 2021 – using data from the Global Cruise Ship Index by Cruise Industry News:
- Ships shed: 6
- Ships added: 4
Result: -2 ships
- Berths shed: 11,480
- Berths added: 18,912
Result: +7,432 berths