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5 Latest Cruise Ship Moves – September Update

While the cruise operations restart is dominating the headlines, the cruise ship secondhand market is seeing significant action too.

With opportunistic transfers and sales continuing to take place, five significant transactions have occurred in September so far.

Here’s a detailed summary of the five latest moves:

Celestyal Experience
Capacity: 1,356
Tonnage: 54,000
Year built: 1993
Fate: Sold to an undisclosed buyer
Date: September 3, 2021

Just a year after acquiring the former Costa neoRomantica, Celestyal Cruises announced the sale of the 1993-built ship to undisclosed buyers.

Bought by the Louis Group – which controls Celestyal – in July 2020 the vessel received the company’s colors and was renamed Celestyal Experience but never operated with passengers aboard.

According to a statement from Louis, the sale took place on a commercial basis and generated an accounting profit of approximately $3.6 million.

Crystal Esprit
Capacity: 62
Tonnage: 3,000
Year built: 1989
Fate: Sold to Lindblad Expeditions
Date: September 9, 2021

On Sept. 9, Lindblad Expeditions announced an agreement to purchase the Crystal Esprit. The 62-passenger ship is leaving Crystal Cruises as the company stated it’s shifting its focus to other products.

Following Genting’s acquisition of Crystal Cruises in 2015, the Esprit underwent a major refurbishment before joining the luxury brand’s fleet. Built in the early 1990s, the vessel was previously available on a charter basis from Genting Hong Kong and Star Cruises.

Carnival Glory
Capacity: 2,974
Tonnage: 110,000
Year built: 2003
Fate: Chartered to FEMA as part of Hurricane Ida relief efforts
Date: September 7, 2021

After an agreement with the city of New Orleans and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Carnival Glory is providing housing to first responders through Sept. 18.

The charter agreement was announced by Carnival Cruise Line on Sept. 7 and resulted in the cancellation of one cruise. Based in New Orleans, the Carnival Glory had already had a sailing cancelled due to the Hurricane Ida. 

The ship will now stay in the Port of New Orleans and serve as emergency housing for frontline workers directly involved in the city’s infrastructure recovery and healthcare needs.

Grand Classica
Capacity: 1,308
Tonnage: 53,000
Year built: 1991
Fate: Chartered to Entergy Corporation as part of Hurricane Ida relief efforts
Date: September 3, 2021  

On Sept. 3, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line announced an agreement to charter the Grand Classica to Entergy Corporation. The 1,308-guest vessel is being used to house frontline workers in New Orleans.

“We entered into an agreement to deploy the Grand Classica to New Orleans, where it will house 1,500+ frontline workers as they push to restore power to the region for hundreds of thousands of people left without electricity,” the company said in an email sent to booked passengers.

Entergy is a New Orleans-based energy company supplying power to much of the affected area.

Capacity: 1,607

Tonnage: 48,563
Year built: 1990
Fate: Entering service for new operator
Date: September 18, 2021

Sold by Royal Caribbean International in December 2020, the former Empress of the Seas is about to enter service for a new operator in India-based Cordelia Cruises.

The vessel is expected to welcome its first Cordelia guests on Sept. 16 at the Port of Mumbai.

During its inaugural season for the brand, the Empress is offering cruises to Goa, Lakshadweep, Diu, Kochi, and Sri Lanka.

Before arriving in India, the 1990-built ship spent time in a drydock in Dubai, UAE, receiving various updates and a new livery.

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