Limbo Fleet: These Cruise Ships Are Looking For New Owners

Costa Magica

While almost all of the global cruise ship fleet is back in service coming out of the pandemic, some vessels continue to sit in limbo around the world. From coastal and expedition vessels to large contemporary cruise ships, Cruise Industry News gathered the latest on some of these vessels.

Last Operator: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Year Built: 1993
Capacity: 977 guests
Tonnage: 25,000
Location: Rosyth, Scotland

The Braemar continues to look for a new operator after recently completing 30 years. Out of the plans of Fred. Olsen Cruise Line, the 977-guest cruise ship has been out of service since 2020 and is currently laid-up in Rosyth, Scotland.

Ocean Atlantic
Last Operator: Albatros Expeditions
Year Built: 1985
Capacity: 198 guests
Tonnage: 12,798
Location: Las Palmas, Spain

Part of the SunStone Ships’ fleet, the Ocean Atlantic is looking for a new operator. Out of service since mid-2022, the expedition ship was more recently operated by Albatros Expeditions as part of a long-term charter contract.

Ocean Diamond
Last Operator: Quark Expeditions
Year Built: 1986
Capacity: 189 guests
Tonnage: 8,282
Location: Las Palmas, Spain

In a similar situation, the Ocean Diamond is currently anchored off Las Palmas, in Gran Canaria. Last operated by Quark Expeditions, the expedition vessel – which is owned by SunStone Ships – is waiting for a new operator after the conclusion of all of its previous charter contracts.

Dream Goddess (Ex-Berlin)
Last Operator: FTI Cruises
Year Built: 1980
Capacity: 352 guests
Tonnage: 9,570
Location: Perama, Greece

Sold after the closure of FTI Cruises in 2020, the former Berlin continues to sit in limbo. While the owners planned to convert it into a private yacht, the 352-guest vessel remained docked in a Greek shipyard, with no further plans or updates on its future known at press time.

Celestyal Crystal
Last Operator: Celestyal Cruises
Year Built: 1992
Capacity: 950 guests
Tonnage: 25,600
Location: Eastern Mediterranean

Currently in service in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Celestyal Crystal is currently facing an uncertain future. Set to be replaced by the new Celestyal Journey, the vessel has no schedule beyond next September and appears to be out of Celestyal Cruises’ plans.

Last Operator: Swan Hellenic Cruises
Year Built: 1996
Capacity: 350 guests
Tonnage: 12,892
Location: Elefsis, Greece

In service for the original Swan Hellenic Cruises when the company collapsed, the Minerva was sold for a new owner in 2017. While the new proprietor reportedly planned a private yacht conversion, the 350-guest ship remained out of service in Greece to this day.

Golden Horizon
Last Operator: Tradewind Voyages
Year Built: 2021
Capacity: 300 guests
Tonnage: 8,770
Location: Split, Croatia

After seeing its entire future schedule cancelled due to sanctions related to the Russia/Ukraine war, the Golden Horizon has been docked in Croatia since mid-2021. With Tradewind Voyages also facing sanctions, the sailing vessel currently faces uncertain times.

Aegean Odyssey
Last Operator: Road Scholar
Year Built: 1973
Capacity: 350 guests
Tonnage: 11,500
Location: Lavrio, Greece

One of the oldest active cruise ships, the Aegean Odyssey appears to be looking for a new operator. Laid up in Greece since late 2022, the 1973-built vessel spent the last few years sailing for Road Scholar as part of a three-year charter agreement.

Blue Sapphire
Last Operator: Selectum Blu Cruises
Year Built: 1981
Capacity: 750 guests
Tonnage: 37,000
Location: Antalya, Turkey

With its program for 2023 now cancelled, the Blue Sapphire is facing an uncertain future. Originally in service for Hapag-Lloyd as the Europa, the 1981-built is currently docked in Turkey and recently saw its flag changed to St. Kitts and Nevis.

National Geographic Islander
Last Operator: Lindblad Expeditions
Year Built: 1995
Capacity: 46 guests
Tonnage: 1,065
Location: La Libertad, Ecuador

Replaced by the former Crystal Esprit, the National Geographic Islander is currently laid up in South America. With capacity to just 46 guests, the coastal cruise ship had been sailing for Lindblad Expeditions in the Galapagos since 2005.

Last Operator: Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Year Built: 1948/1994
Capacity: 520 guests
Tonnage: 16,100
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Contrary to several scrapping rumors, the Astoria remains docked in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. One of the oldest cruise ships in service when the pandemic broke, the 1948-built remains out of service since early 2020.

Pacific Venus
Last Operator: Venus Cruise
Year Built: 1998
Capacity: 696 guests
Tonnage: 26,518
Location: Aioi, Japan

After seeing its operator shutting down earlier this year, the 1998-built Pacific Venus is currently sitting in limbo. With no plans announced for its future, the Japanese-flagged cruise ship is laid up near Kobe, one of its former homeports in Japan.

Mykonos Magic (ex-Costa Magica)
Last Operator: Costa Cruises
Year Built: 2004
Capacity: 2,720 guests
Tonnage: 103,000
Location: Astakos, Greece

Out of service since 2020, the former Costa Magica is currently laid up in Astakos, Greece. Now named Mykonos Magic, the 2004-built vessel joined the Seajets fleet after being sold by Costa Cruises earlier this year.

Queen of the Oceans (ex-Oceana)
Last Operator: P&O Cruises
Year Built: 1999
Capacity: 2,000 guests
Tonnage: 90,000
Location: Patra, Greece

The former Oceana is also laid up after being acquired by Seajets. The Greek ferry operator bought the 1999-built ship from P&O Cruises in 2020, renaming it Queen of the Oceans.

Aegean Majesty (ex-Veendam)
Last Operator: Holland America Line
Year Built: 1996
Capacity: 1,350 guests
Tonnage: 55,819
Location: Aigio, Greece

In a similar situation, the former Veendam was also bought by Seajets in 2020. Renamed Aegean Majesty, the 1,350-guest vessel has been docked in Greece ever since the transaction.

Majesty (ex-Majesty of the Seas)
Last Operator: Royal Caribbean International
Year Built: 1992
Capacity: 2,354 guests
Tonnage: 73,941
Location: Piraeus, Greece

Completing Seajets’ fleet of cruise ships, the ex-Majesty of the Seas is also laid up in Greece. Formerly operated by Royal Caribbean International, the 1992-built vessel is presently docked in Piraeus since 2021, with no plans for its future known at press time.

Other cruise ships currently for sale include:

  • Grande Caribe (formerly operated by Blount)
  • Grande Mariner (formerly operated by Blount)
  • Ocean Navigator (currently in service for American Queen Voyages)
  • Ocean Voyager (currently in service for American Queen Voyages)

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