Holland America ships to join Fred Olsen, while Costa NeoRomantica sold to Celestyal

There have been a flurry of ship sales announced after Carnival Corporation confirmed that at least 13 ships would be leaving its fleet this year.

Holland America and Costa Cruises have both confirmed ship sales. Costa Cruises’ vintage cruise ship neoRomantica will be joining the Celestyal Cruises fleet, while Holland America Line will be letting go of its sister ships Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and the slightly smaller Maasdam and Veendam.

Amsterdam is a sister ship to Rotterdam (pictured in Dubai)

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Amsterdam and Rotterdam will be joining the Fred Olsen Cruise Line fleet, while the buyers of Maasdam and Veendam have not been disclosed. The British cruise line will be retiring two of its classic cruise ships to free up capacity for the two new ships.

Celestyal meanwhile, said neoRomantica would be a popular addition to its fleet.

“While COVID-19 has brought a temporary pause to our operations, it is important that we look to the future with optimism and continue to deliver on our strategic plan to grow the business and enhance the award winning Celestyal experience through investment,” said Celestyal Cruises’ CEO, Chris Theophilides.

neoRomantica in Celestyal Cruises livery

“I’m delighted with the addition of this mid-size cruise vessel to our fleet. She is ideally suited to our business model and is very well appointed following her significant transformation in 2012,” he added.

Holland America Line, in announcing the sale of its four ships, touched on the deep affection the four ships, the oldest in the fleet, have with cruise passengers.

Rotterdam with Zaandam in background

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“I recognize and appreciate the deep affection our guests have toward our company and the ships in our fleet,” said Gus Antorcha, President of Holland America Line. “While streamlined, our diverse fleet continues to offer exceptional options for cruisers looking for a mid-sized ship experience to destinations all around the world. I look forward to carrying on those beloved shipboard offerings while cultivating new ideas to bring to our guests.”

Guests booked on future sailings of the ships will be notified that the cruises will be cancelled or changed and can either opt for an alternative itinerary or a full refund.

Guests will receive information if the cruise will operate with a different ship or information and special offers on how to book another Holland America Line cruise when operations resume, according to a statement from Holland America Line.

“This acquisition forms part of an optimization of the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet composition and with a high yielding cabin mix and large public spaces, these vessels will enhance Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ earnings capabilities once operations can safely resume. Delivery is expected to take place in the UK during September 2020,” said Fred. Olsen in a statement.

Fred Olsen did not elaborate on which ships would exit its fleet to make way for Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

Carnival Inspiration appears to be bound for a ship breaking yard in Turkey

Carnival Cruise Line, meanwhile, appears to have scrapped its oldest cruise ship Carnival Inspiration, which is currently en-route to Izmir, Turkey, a major ship-scrapping hub, after spending several days docked at the Brion Wharf in Willemstad, Curacao.

Carnival Inspiration follows sister ship Carnival Fantasy which has also been sold for scrap. Carnival Fantasy is also currently heading across the Atlantic to Turkey.

The four ships leaving the Holland America Line fleet:

Maasdam joined the fleet in 1993 as the second of four S-Class ships. Carrying 1,258 guests, she is the fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the Maasdam name. Most recently, the 55,575-ton ship sailed longer South Pacific and Alaska voyages.

Veendam, the final S-Class ship, was delivered in 1996. The fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the name Veendam, the 57,092-ton vessel carries 1,350 guests.

Rotterdam was introduced in 1997 as the first ship in the first ship in the 61,849-ton R Class. Carrying 1,404 guests, she is the sixth Holland America Line ship to be named Rotterdam.

Amsterdam joined the fleet in 2000 as the final of four R-Class ships. Carrying 1,380 guests, it is the third Holland America Line ship to be named Amsterdam. Most recently, the 62,735-ton ship operated the line’s Grand World Voyage.

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