Major Drydocks Return As Cruise Lines Announce New Refits

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

As the cruise industry returns to pre-pandemic levels, major drydock projects are also bouncing back.

While several cruise ships are seeing major investments ahead of their debuts for new operators, other vessels are undergoing major modernization projects.

Oceania Cruises, for instance, has just announced plans to transform two of its ships, with “all new suites and staterooms and updated public spaces.”

Other major projects include SeaDream’s modernization efforts and the transformation of the Costa Magica into a Carnival Cruise Line vessel.

Cruise Industry News summarized some of the key drydock projects that have just been completed or are about to take place.

Learn more about the global drydock market and opportunities and trends in the 2022 Drydock and Refurbishment Report by Cruise Industry News.

SeaDream Yacht Club
Ships: SeaDream I and SeaDream II
Capacity: 110 guests each
Tonnage: 4,000 each
Year built: 1984 and 1985
Shipyard: Navalrocha (Lisbon, Portugal)
Date: January 2022 and May 2022

After celebrating 20 years in 2021, SeaDream Yacht Club has been investing in the modernization of its cruise ships. While the SeaDream II underwent a major refit in January, the SeaDream II recently completed its drydock.

Said to represent a $10 million investment, the project includes the complete renovation of all the ships’ staterooms, in addition to electrical upgrades and the modernization of public areas and suites.

Margaritaville at Sea
Ship: Margaritaville at Sea Paradise
Capacity: 1,300
Tonnage: 53,000
Year built: 1991
Shipyard: Grand Bahama (Freeport, Bahamas)
Date: April/May 2022

The former Grand Classica was transformed into the first Margaritaville at Sea cruise ship with a major refit at the Grand Bahama Shipyard.

Previously operated by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise saw all its cabins and staterooms modernized, while all soft furnishing, bars and carpets onboard were also replaced or renovated.

Oceania Cruises
Ships: Marina and Riviera
Capacity: 1,260 guests each
Tonnage: 65,000 each
Year built: 2011 and 2012
Shipyard: TBA
Date: November 2023 and December 2022

In April, Oceania Cruises announced major refit plans for the Marina and the Riviera. The refits will take place in Europe, in November 2023 and December 2022, respectively.

The sister ships will become better-than-new ships, the company said, with all new suites and staterooms and updated public spaces.

Marella Cruises
Ship: Marella Voyager
Capacity: 1,850
Tonnage: 77,713
Year built: 1997
Shipyard: TBD
Date: April 2023

Currently sailing as the Mein Schiff Herz, the Marella Voyager is set to undergo an extensive refurbishment before entering service for Marella Cruises.

Set to debut in June 2023, the vessel will receive the company’s signature spots, including Surf and Turf, Nonna’s and Snack Shack, in addition to a brand-new Mexican eatery and the Secret Speakeasy bar.

Ambassador Cruise Line
Ships: Ambition
Capacity: 1,428
Tonnage: 48,200
Year built: 1999
Shipyard: TBD
Date: 2023

Acquired by Ambassador Cruise Line in January, the Ambition will be subjected to a major refit before debuting for its new operator in 2023.

According to the company, the former AIDAmira will undergo extensive upgrades, including the installation of the latest emission reduction technologies to secure IMO Tier III compliance.

Carnival Cruise Line
Ship: Costa Magica
Capacity: 2,720
Tonnage: 103,000
Year built: 2004
Shipyard: TBD
Date: TBD

While not many details of the project have been shared by Carnival Cruise Line so far, the Costa Magica is expected to undergo a major transformation before debuting for the U.S.-based cruise line later this year.  

Currently sitting idle in Italy, the former Costa Cruises vessel will be adapted to its new role, receiving upgraded public areas and cabins, in addition to Carnival’s livery and a new name.

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