Seabourn Odyssey sold to Japanese cruise line as Seabourn looks to slim down fleet

Seabourn has become the latest major cruise line to announce further downsizing of its fleet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The luxury cruise line has sold Seabourn Odyssey to a Japanese company, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd, that offers cruises aimed at the Japanese market.

Mitsui will charter the ship back to Seabourn for the next 17 months so that the cruise line can operate all the cruise itineraries currently scheduled for Seabourn Odyssey.

Seabourn Odyssey

According to Seabourn, the ship will be withdrawn from service in mid-2024, with Seabourn Odyssey sailing her final voyage on August 22nd of that year.

Seabourn Odyssey is the oldest ship in the Seabourn fleet, having been launched back in 2009. Her sale will represent a 16% reduction in capacity for Seabourn, which will see its fleet shrink to five ships until August when Seabourn Pursuit is due for delivery.

“We are proud that Seabourn Odyssey carried our guests across the world for the last 14 years and are happy to see her join a great company, MOL,” said Natalya Leahy, President, Seabourn.

The sale of Seabourn Odyssey brings the total number of ships sold or scrapped by Carnival Corporation to 23. The parent company of Seabourn announced during the pandemic that it would undertake a major fleet consolidation across all nine cruise brands as it seeks to cut operating costs.

Carnival Corporation has now sold 23 ships from across fleet

Carnival Corporation will use the increased operating profit from its larger, newer ships remaining in the fleet to pay for the debt it was forced to take on during the global shut down of the cruise industry in 2020.

As of December, the company’s total debt stood at US $34.55 billion, up from less than US $12 billion at the start of 2020, more than ten times its total net profit annually in a good year. In 2022, the group made a profit of just US $850 million, compared to more than US $3 billion prior to the pandemic.

By removing its least profitable ships from the fleet, Carnival Corporation is hoping to trim operating costs, while also benefiting from enhanced revenue as the newer ships in the fleet generate more onboard passenger spending.

Six ships have been sold out of the flagship Carnival Cruise Line fleet, while four ships were sold out of the Holland America Line fleet, with three sold by Costa Cruises, and ships also offloaded from P&O Australia and Princess Cruises.

Carnival Corporation has also announced a pause on new ship orders, while ships already under construction have seen their delivery dates pushed back.

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