Last week, brokers reported that the 1988-built ‘SuperStar Libra’ (pictured) had been sold to Turkish breakers.
She follows a plethora of veteran cruise ships, elderly island passenger/cargo vessels, plus 1970s and 1980s-vintage ro-ros and ferries, sold for recycling, as the pandemic hit cruise company revenues, resulting in some going to the wall.
For example, several cruise ships have arrived on the beaches of Alang, India since November, 2020 and others have been beached at Aliaga, near Izmir, Turkey, including Carnival and former Pullmantur operated vessels.
More are expected in the coming months as the companies try to cut their losses.
“One or two passenger ships get beached at Alang each year,” Capt Rakesh Mishra, a port officer at Alang explained to the Indian Express news outlet and reproduced by Maritime Executive. “However, cruise ships came in large numbers during the last 12 months.”
Some 14 passenger ships were beached at Alang in the past 12 months, with port officials expecting at least one more possibly by mid-November. Capt Mishra reported said that this was a record.
Capt Mishra also said that passenger ships accounted for nearly 10%t of the around 150 ships sent to the breaker yards in India in the past 12 months. These passenger have totalled over two million light displacement tonnes during the period.
According to the article, .the largest to arrive at Alang was the ’Karnika’, which was the only cruise ship to be operated by an Indian start-up that failed during the pandemic. Built by Fincantieri, the 69,845 gt cruise ship was introduced in 1990 as the ’Crown Princess’. She spent the last decade cruising for P&O Australia as the ’Pacific Jewel’ before being sold in 2019 to Jalesh Cruises.
The pandemic caused the collapse of Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), resulting in three of the chartered ships ending up on an Alang beach.
There are several more candidates which are currently laid up with a question mark hanging over them.