Ship Sell Off

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to keep cruise ships halted, many cruise companies have decided to sell off ships. A majority of these ships in question are older and less efficient than the modern mega-ships that the top cruise companies have and continue to build and operate.

Carnival Corporation:

The largest leisure travel company, Carnival Corporation, is set to reduce its global ship capacity by 29%, with 14 ships being sold off from its nine cruise lines. “To reduce our cash burn and have a more efficient fleet once we do resume cruising, we have aggressively shed less efficient ships,” said Arnold Donald. Carnival Corporation is currently burning $650 million per month and a reduction in fleet size will reduce that by nearly $250 million.

Courtesy of Fred Olson Cruise Line

Holland America Line:

HAL has announced that they will be selling off Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam, and Veendam with the ships being sold in pairs. The Amsterdam and Rotterdam will depart and sail for Fred Olson Cruise Line under Bolette and Borealis names. Maasdam and Veendam's buyer has yet to be disclosed.

Costa Cruises:

Costa was the first Carnival brand to confirm that ships were to be sold off. Costa Victoria was originally thought to have been sold to be used as an accommodation ship at the port. Upon arrival, the mayor of Piombino, Italy Francesco Ferrari, announced that it arrived to be dismantled.

Courtesy of Celestyal Cruises

Costa NeoRomantica has been purchased by the Greek cruise line, Celeyetal Cruises, which announced they would not sail ships again until March 2021.

Courtesy of P&O Cruises

P&O / P&O Australia

Pacific Dawn and Aria were sold prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. P&O Oceana has been sold off in an effort to reduce fleet size.

Carnival Cruise Line:

Carnival Fantasy and Inspiration have both been sold and will be sent to the scrapyard. Carnival Fantasy arrived at the scrap yard early July 28, 2020. Carnival Inspiration awaits the same fate as her sister at the scrapyard.

Additionally, Carnival Imagination and Fascination have both been confirmed to move into long term lay-up, which will allow Carnival to reduce costs. This "long term" lay-up has no specific timeline or guarantee for return.


No ships are yet confirmed to have been sold from Princess Cruises.

AIDA Cruises

Carnival Corporation,s German-based line, AIDA, has not confirmed any ship sell-offs just yet. AIDA will resume sailings in mid-august 2020.


One of Carnival's luxury brands, Seabourne, has not released any plan to reduce its fleet size.


As the smallest fleet in the Carnival Corporation company, Cunard will not sell or retire any ships.

Royal Caribbean Group

The second-largest cruise company, Royal Caribbean Group, has not been as quick to jump to ship sales or retirements, just yet. Royal Caribbean Group consists of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara, Silversea, HAPAG-LLOYD CRUISES, and TUI Cruises. Pullmantur is no longer listed as a brand on

Richard Fain, chairman of Royal Caribbean Group, said that the line does not have any plans to sell ships off at this time. Sadly one of Royal Caribbean's subsidiaries, Pullamtur, filed for reorganization and has confirmed that Sovereign and Monarch, former Royal Caribbean International ships, are heading to the scrapyard. The Royal Caribbean Group held a 49% stake in Pullmantur.

Ships Expected of Retirement: (No official Statement, Speculation Only)

The two most likely ships to be sold or retired, if Royal Caribbean takes those steps, are Majesty and Empress of the Seas. Majesty was saved from retirement by popular demand and to cover the Miami to Cuba itineraries, which ended abruptly. Empress of the Seas has had an interesting life at Royal Caribbean. Empress was bought from a shipyard after the company she was being built for went under, she then sailed for Royal under the "Nordic Empress" name. Eventually renamed to "Empress of the Seas, she then transferred to Pullmantur and sailed under the name "Empress." Finally, she was transferred back to Royal Caribbean International to sail from Miami to Cuba.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

NCLH has managed to remain out of the news during this shutdown. Many of its ships are safely docked at different cargo ports around the globe. NCLH is the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, and Oceania. The company has no confirmed plans to sell any ships.

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