Limbo Fleet: Several Cruise Ships Looking for New Operators


Several cruise ships continue to lie in limbo in 2024. While some sit in an unknown status, others are available for sale after being withdrawn from service.

The Ocean Navigator and the Ocean Voyager are part of the second group. Currently available for sale through QPS Marine Ships, the 202-guest coastal vessels were retired by American Queen Voyages in late 2023.

Designed to sail in the Great Lakes and North America, the U.S.-built vessels first entered service in the early 2000s and were extensively refurbished over the years.

In Europe, four large cruise ships continue laid up in Greece after being acquired by Seajets. The fleet includes the former Veendam, which was bought from Holland America Line in 2020.

Other ships owned by Seajets include the former Oceana, the former Majesty of the Seas and the former Costa Magica. The latter was built in 2003 and can accommodate up to 2,720 guests at double occupancy.

The Greek company previously bought and sold four cruise ships to different parties, including cruise lines and recycling businesses.

A number of vessels are also facing uncertain futures while sitting in an unknown status. The Blue Sapphire, remains out of service after seeing its operator ceasing operating in 2023.

Laid up in Turkey, the 1981-built cruise ship was originally ordered by Hapag-Lloyd and also sailed for Star Cruises, Pullmantur Cruceros and Saga Holidays before being acquired by its current owners, Russia-based Anex Tour.

After completing a charter contract with Road Scholar, the Aegean Odyssey is another ship laid up in Greece.

Formerly operated by Voyages to Antiquity, the 1973-built cruise ship has been out of service since 2022.

In Estonia, the former AIDAvita also faces an uncertain future. Sold by AIDA Cruises in 2023, the 1,270-guest vessel was renamed Avitak but remains laid up in Tallin.

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