Carnival Cruise Line has announced more rationalisation plans for its fleet, across the brands.
Among these were the announcement of a firm date for the second Excel-class, LNG-powered ship, due to arrive in November, 2022; four ships either sold or put on long term lay-up and other ships re-deployed to new homeports.
- As part of Carnival’s 50th birthday in 2022, a November delivery date for the unnamed, second Excel-class ship has been confirmed from the Meyer Turku shipyard. The sister ship to ’Mardi Gras’ will showcase many of her features, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and will homeport in Miami.
- Following Carnival Corp’s recent announcement to reduce its overall capacity and focus on ships with upgraded features, ‘Carnival Fantasy’ and ‘Carnival Inspiration’ have been sold, while both ‘Carnival Fascination’ and ‘Carnival Imagination’ will move to into long term lay-up, with no specific timeline for a return to service.
- ‘Carnival Sensation’ will move from Miami to Mobile and take up itineraries previously assigned to ‘Carnival Fantasy’ and ‘Carnival Fascination’, with guests on those two ships being re-assigned to ‘Carnival Sensation’.
- ‘Carnival Sunrise’ will move from Port Everglades to PortMiami and assume the itineraries previously operated by ‘Carnival Sensation’, providing a larger, upgraded ship for short itineraries with new features installed during her $200 mill renovation completed in 2019.
- ‘Carnival Fascination’s’ itineraries from San Juan (PR) and Barbados have been cancelled for 2020-2021, as the cruise line focuses its return to operations on mainland drive markets in the US.
- Itineraries for ‘Carnival Imagination’ and ‘Carnival Inspiration’ from Long Beach have also been cancelled through 19th April, 2021. ‘Carnival Panorama’ will continue to operate seven-day cruises from Long Beach while ‘Carnival Miracle’ will operate shorter itineraries from San Diego to Baja Mexico.
- ‘Carnival Radiance’ will move directly from Europe after her $200 mill rebuild and homeport in Long Beach in April, 2021, where she will assume the short Baja Mexico itineraries previously served by ‘Carnival Imagination’ and ‘Carnival Inspiration’.
- In addition, Carnival has extended the pause in its Australian operations and has cancelled six cruises scheduled to operate between 25th September and 29th October, 2020.
“We have used this pause in operations to think carefully about our fleet and to build a plan that gives our guests new choices and upgrades to current ship offerings,” Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line’s President, explained (pictured). “We have a great variety of ships across the Carnival Cruise Line fleet and we are thrilled to have been able to confirm a delivery date ahead of what we had anticipated for our second Excel ship, which is exciting news for guests interested in sailing from PortMiami on the sister ship to ‘Mardi Gras’!
“At the same time, we will continue to invest in the four remaining Fantasy class ships that we are keeping in the fleet. We have many guests who prefer our Fantasy class ships, which work so well for shorter itineraries from smaller ports that cannot accommodate our larger ships.
“With a fleet that gives guests lots of choices in ships, homeports, destinations and features including a multitude of dining, entertainment and accommodation choices, we are very excited about the future for Carnival Cruise Line.
“With our future fleet plan resolved, we are focused on ensuring we are ready to return to operations once it is determined that the time is right to resume cruising in the US,” she concluded.
As for Carnival Corp’s other brands, Celestyal Cruises has announced the purchase of the ‘Costa NeoRomantica’ from Costa Cruises, bringing its fleet up to three.
Built in 1993 and extensively refurbished in 2012, the 53,000 gt, 1,800- pax ship has 789 cabins, 132 of which feature balconies.
Other ships to leave the brands include Holland America Line’s ‘Amsterdam’, ‘Maasdam’, ‘Rotterdam’ and ‘Veendam’.
‘Amsterdam’ and ‘Rotterdam’ were sold to Fred.Olsen’s holding company Bonheur for around $18 mill each.
P&O’s ‘Oceana’ has also been sold to undisclosed interests.