Carnival Cruise Line has announced plans to retire two more of its Fantasy-class cruise ships, with Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Sensation set to leave the fleet this year.
Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Sensation, the two oldest and smallest cruise ships in the Carnival fleet, will be retired in the coming months, according to the cruise line.
Carnival Sensation, which is still in lay-up following the COVID-19 shut down of the global cruise industry in 2020, will be sold off and will never sail again for Carnival.
Carnival Ecstasy, which was brough back into service last year, will sail her final cruise with Carnival Cruise Line on October 10th, 2022, from Mobile, Alabama.
Carnival Ecstasy is currently cruising roundtrip from Jacksonville, Florida, operating 4- and 5-night cruises to the Caribbean, visiting Nassau and Princess Cays in the Bahamas.
The additional cruise ship retirements come after Carnival Cruise Line last year sold off several of its Fantasy-class cruise ships, part of a wider fleet consolidation program across the Carnival Corporation group, which owns nine cruise lines.
At the time, Carnival Cruise Line indicated that it would not be getting rid of all its Fantasy-class cruise ships, which retain a fiercely loyal following among many long-time guests of the line.
The retirement of Ecstasy and Sensation leaves just two such vessels in the Carnival fleet (Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise).
Elation and Paradise are slightly larger than Ecstasy and Sensation at 71,909 gross tons versus 70,367, while the two ships being retired are also older, having been built in 1991 and 1993 respectively.
The retirement of the two ships has also necessitated a number of itinerary changes. Carnival Ecstasy will reposition to Mobile for departures from March 5th through October 10th, 2022.
Cruises from Mobile that were planned for the Carnival Sensation from October 15th, 2022 through September 30th, 2023 have been cancelled.
Carnival has indicated it will be announcing a new operating plan for Mobile cruises in the coming months.
Carnival Spirit will replace Carnival Ecstasy in Jacksonville for departures from March 7th through April 9th, 2022. The next two cruises are being cancelled, and then a new ship will be assigned from the Carnival fleet to Jacksonville for the Ecstasy itineraries, effective April 23rd, 2022.
“Our guests have remained passionate and supportive throughout the restart and 2022 gives us plenty of reasons for enthusiasm and excitement as we reach full operations in the U.S., prepare for our 50th birthday celebration, and await the arrival of Carnival Celebration this fall,” said Christine Duffy, President, Carnival Cruise Line.
“Our very loyal guests, our vibrant homeport strategy and our fleet of popular ships are strengths to our advantage as we adapt to changing opportunities and circumstances,” she added.