July Update: The Latest Cruise Ship Transactions

The market for secondhand cruise ships has been picking up again with several recent moves.

Cruise Industry News looks at five of the most recent key operations.

Crystal Endeavor
Capacity: 200
Tonnage: 19,800
Year built: 2021
Fate: Acquired by Silversea Cruises
Date: July 2022

After months of rumors, Silversea Cruises recently confirmed the acquisition of the former Crystal Endeavor for $275 million.

Renamed Silver Endeavour, the 200-guest expedition ship will launch service for the ultra-luxury company later this year in Antarctica.

Originally built for Crystal Cruises, the Endeavour entered service in 2021, just a few months before the collapse of the Genting-owned brand.

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony
Capacity: 922 and 1,070 guests
Tonnage: 50,000 and 68,870
Year built: 1995 and 2003
Fate: Acquired by A&K Travel Group
Date: June 2022

The Crystal Serenity and the Crystal Symphony were sold at auction in June. Following the liquidation of their former operator, the vessels were acquired by A&K Travel.

The new owners – who also bought the Crystal Cruises brand – now plan to add the ships back into service starting in 2023. Part of the Heritage Group, A&K Travel invested nearly $150 million in acquiring Crystal’s former assets.

Costa Luminosa
Capacity: 2,260 guests
Tonnage: 92,700
Year built: 2009
Fate: To be transferred to Carnival Cruise Line   
Date: June 2022

In June, Carnival Cruise Line announced plans to acquire the Costa Luminosa from the fleet of the Costa Cruises sister brand.

Set to be renamed Carnival Luminosa, the vessel will be transferred to the North American operator in September, kicking off a series of cruises in Australia later this year. As part of the transaction, Carnival also scrapped previous plans to receive the Costa Magica, which will now remain on the Costa Cruises fleet.  

Capacity: 1,270 guests
Tonnage: 42,200
Year built: 2002
Fate: Leaving the AIDA Cruises fleet
Date: June 2022

Also in June, AIDA Cruises revealed plans to retire yet another one of its smaller vessels, the AIDAvita.

At the time, the German brand said that the 1,270-guest cruise ship – which has been laid up since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – will not resume service. Instead, the vessel is expected to be sold to another operator, leaving the Carnival Corporation fleet.

Costa Venezia and Costa Firenze
Capacity: 4,232 guests each
Tonnage: 135,500 each
Year built: 2019 and 2020
Fate: To be transferred to the Costa by Carnival brand
Date: June 2022

The Costa Venezia and the Costa Firenze will debut in the North American market, respectively, in 2023 and 2024. Originally designed for the Chinese market, the 4,232-guest sister ships are currently cruising in Europe.

According to an announcement made by Carnival Cruise Line in June, the vessels will be operated by the new Costa by Carnival brand, offering Costa’s Italian design features and Carnival’s service, food and entertainment.

SH Vega
Capacity: 152 guests
Tonnage: 10,000
Year built: 2022
Fate: Acquired by Swan Hellenic
Date: June 2022

The SH Vega was acquired by Swan Hellenic following a public auction held by the Helsinki Shipyard in June. The expedition ship, which is set to enter service later this month, is a sister to the 2021-built SH Minerva.

According to a press release, the Helsinki Shipyard exercised the right to sell the SH Vega by tender after the original buyer – a Russian leasing company – failed to take delivery of it.

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