Princess Cruises has announced the sale of Sea Princess and Sun Princess as it looks to retire older, less efficient ships in line with the announcement made by parent company Carnival Corporation of accelerated ship retirements.
Carnival Corp is looking to make its nine cruise lines more efficient ahead of an anticipated return to service where reduced capacity due to social distancing regulations will be a long-term concern.
It’s unclear whether the ships have been scrapped or sold to operational buyers. All four of the Fantasy-class cruise ships sold by Carnival Cruise Line thus far have been sold for scrap. These are the first two ships to be retired by Princess.
Carnival Imagination arrived in Turkey this week, where she was beached alongside her sister ships. P&O Cruises, another Carnival-owned line, has sold its own Sun-class cruise ship Oceana, but she was sold to a buyer in Asia that intends to operate the ship.
“We are writing to share the news that Sea Princess and Sun Princess have been sold and will be leaving our fleet,” Princess said in a letter to travel agents.
“While it is never easy to say goodbye to any ship in our fleet, the sale of these ships will allow us to deploy newer ships enhancing our offerings for Australia cruisers,” it added.
Sun Princess and Sea Princess, built in 1995 and 1998 respectively, were among the largest ships in the world at the time they were launched.
At 77,499 gross tons and carrying 2,000 passengers, they’re now considered mid-size, and because of their age are much less efficient than newer cruise ships such as the Royal-class vessels.
Sea Princess was most recently deployed to Australia and was scheduled to cruise from a range of cities across the country once the industry opened up again. Sun Princess was scheduled to offer cruised out of Australia, Vancouver, and Los Angeles once operations restarted.
“Since you have guests currently booked on this future sailing on Sun Princess, we regret that we must cancel the bookings of your clients,” the cruise line said in its letter.
Both ships are currently near Singapore. Sea Princess is anchored off the east coast of the island nation, while Sun Princess is at anchor with a range of other Princess and Royal Caribbean vessels off the east coast of Malaysia.