Cruise Ship Sale & Purchase – Other Cruise News: The World Cruise Market – China Check-Up

by Kevin Griffin

While several older, less efficient cruise ships have gone for disposal recently and it is to be surmised that newer more cost-efficient ships wiill be replacing them. Last year, 30 million cruisers took to the seas. With the latest Covid pandemic having wrecked this year’s cruise market, how many intending travellers will actually end up saililng in 2020? With full seasons cancelled in many cases – Alaska, the Great Lakes, Canada and New England and elsewhere – will cruise travel fall by more than half? And how quickly will it pick up again? And we take a quick China check with Royal Caribbean.


Cruise Ship Sale & Purchase

For the past few weeks there has been a spate of cruise ship sales, some for scrapping and some for further employment.

The Monarch - Pulmmantur Cruceros (Courtesy Pullmantur)

The Monarch – Pulmmantur Cruceros (Courtesy Pullmantur)

Two of the first to be named were Pullmantur Cruises’ 2,306-berth Sovereign, largest cruise ship in the world when she was built in 1988, and sister ship Monarch, both of which were in Naples recently, de-storing and being stripped of art, electronics and other valuables.

The Monarch arrived off the scrapyards at Aliaga, Turkey, last week while the Sovereign is reported in the Aegean.

Pullmantur third ship, the 1,442-berth Horizon, the first ship built by Celebrity cruises, is today reported off Piraeus, with word that all three are likely to be scrapped.

The Costa Victoria

The Costa Victoria

Over at Carnival Corporation, the 1,928-berth Costa Victoria has been sold to Italian buyers, supposedly for use as an accommodation ship while cruise ships are undergoing refit.

The buyers are the new ship dismantling and repair facilities in the port of Piombino, where the vessel has already arrived.

Another Costa ship, the 1,578-berth Costa neoRomantica, has been sold to Celestyal Cruises.

The Costa neoRomantica

The Costa neoRomantica

Across the Atlantic, one of the Carnival Cruise Line ships, the 2,056-berth Carnival Fantasy has been stripped out and de-stored at Curacao, and is now en route to Izmir in Turkey. Sister ship Carnival Imagination, is now en route from Long Beach to Curacao via Panama to undergo the same process. Both are thought to be bound for scrapping at Aliaga.

Meanwhile, still with Carnival Corporation, Holland America Line have sold four of their order ships in two pairs.

The first pair to be handled over will be the 1,246-berth Maasdam and Veendam, popular in the Canada and Bermuda trades, which will be delivered in August.

The Maasdam in this image leaving Montreal

The Maasdam in this image leaving Montreal

In Septemberr, however,1,380-berth sister ships Amsterdam and Rotterdam will be delivered to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in the UK, where they will in future trade as Bolette and Borealis.

Finally, for today, at Carnival Corporation, the Golden Princess and Star Princess, will be delivered to P&O Cruises Australia, where they will add 2,400 berths to P&O’s Down Under business.


The World Cruise Market

Thirty million cruise passengers were to have put to sea this year before the onset of the Clovis pandemic. Based on 2019 traffic, these would have been distributed as follows by source:

With the loss of as much as 70% of 2020’s traffic we must now ask ourselves could the world total drop below 15 million, or even more than that this year? Then, when the recovery comes, are there any bets of whether 2021 might even come above 20 million. Many have rebooked but average load may be much lower next year.

China Check-Up

Over two months from December 2021 to January 2022, Royal Caribbean’s 4,180-berth Spectrum of the Seas will be based in Hong Kong, operating 4- to 9-night cruises to Vietnam, Japan and other ports.

Spectrum of the Seas

Spectrum of the Seas

Returning for its ninth season in Asia, the 3,114-berth Voyager of the Seas will be based in Tianjin, from May to October.

The 22-year-old cruise ship will offer 4- to 7-night cruises to ten different destinations in Japan. Royal Caribbean called the ship an “old friend” of the market, highlighting a recent $100 million refit.

Together, the Spectrum and Voyager will offer a total of 111 cruises from Chinese ports in 2021. With cruises ranging from 4 to 9 nights, the two ships will offer thirty-five different itineraries, visiting twenty-six Asian destinations.

(Kevin Griffin is managing director of The Cruise People Ltd in London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)

(See the last columns)