Carnival Corp accelerates fleet sell-off, 13 ships to be retired representing 9% of capacity

Carnival Corporation will “aggressively shed less efficient ships”, retiring around 9% of its capacity across all nine cruise brands by the end of the year, according to CEO Arnold Donald.

Speaking on Carnival’s business update call on Friday, Donald said that all the ships marked for early retirement were due to be phased out in the coming years anyway, and that many of them will be sold rather than scrapped.

Costa Mediterranea (pictured) and Costa Atlantica are among the ships confirmed to be leaving the fleet

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Donald did not list the ships that will be retired, but provided some details that give clues as to some of the ships involved.

He said one ship had been sold in June, which is presumed to be the Costa Victoria, while agreements have been put in place for the retirement of five additional ships. Preliminary plans are being made for the retirement of three more vessels as well.

All will leave the Carnival Corporation fleet within the next 90 days, according to Donald. P&O Cruises’ popular cruise ship Oceana will of course be among them, she was also sold earlier this week and is leaving the fleet in July.

Pacific Dawn has been confirmed to be leaving the fleet and joining CMV

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These nine vessels join the four whose retirement was announced earlier this year. These four ships are presumed to be the Pacific Aria and Pacific Dawn, which will transfer to Cruise & Maritime Voyages, as well as the Costa Atlantica and Costa Mediterranea, which have been sold into Carnival’s joint venture with China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

Carnival Corporation had previously indicated that six ships might be removed from service during the ongoing global cruise shutdown from the Coronavirus pandemic, but had warned at the time that more ship retirements would be forthcoming.

The announcement of ships being retired came on the same day that Carnival Corporation revealed a US $4.4-billion loss for the second quarter of the year. Due to the shutdown, the cruise giant’s revenues have plummeted from US $4.8-billion during the same period last year to just US $740-million.

The company’s nine brands carried 426,000 passengers this year so far, compared to 3.1 million for the same period the year before. However, with its fleet in lay-up and much of its staff on unpaid leave or let go, operating costs were slashed from US $4.2-billion to US $2.5-billion.

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