All signs indicate that another of Carnival Cruise Line’s classic ships has become a casualty of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, The Points Guy (TPG) reported.
The 2,056-passenger ship, Carnival Inspiration, based in Long Beach, California, is reportedly bound for Izmir, Turkey, home to a notorious ship-scrapping operation that has become the final resting ground for many big-brand vessels. Carnival Inspiration embarked for Izmir by way of Curacao just days after another of the line’s Fantasy Class ships—Carnival Fantasy—departed the island, bound for the same destination and the same grim fate, Cruise Radio reported. Both ships were being stripped of their heavy equipment at Curacao’s container port, the island’s port authority disclosed—a telltale sign that they’re being prepared for removal from service.
On July 10, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald revealed that the company would be removing 13 ships from the fleets of its nine global brands over the coming months. He indicated that those being cut would be the various brands’ older vessels, but didn’t specify which ships those would be.
“To reduce our cash burn and have a more efficient fleet once we do resume cruising, we have aggressively shed less efficient ships,” Donald said during a quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts, according to TPG.
The strategy does explain the demise of Carnival Fantasy, which debuted in 1990 and is now Carnival Cruise Line’s oldest ship. Carnival Inspiration dates back to 1996, making it the fleet’s sixth-oldest vessel.
Carnival Corp’s brand, Holland America Line, also said Wednesday that four of its ships—Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam—were among those being sold off, though further plans for them were not specified. Other Carnival Corp brands, P&O Cruises in the U.K. and Costa Cruises in Europe, also announced that they’d be retiring one vessel apiece for their part.
Carnival appears to still be selling voyages that were scheduled to sail aboard Carnival Inspiration through April 2022, although there is a caveat displayed on the website in light of COVID-19’s ongoing impact on operations, which reads: “Our actual offerings may vary from what is displayed or described here.” So, perhaps another ship in the fleet will be taking over Inspiration’s routes.
Carnival Corp’s combined ship-count between its nine brands was 104 vessels prior to the onset of the pandemic, and its operations were accounting for around 45 percent of all of the world’s cruises.
Carnival Cruise Line didn’t immediately respond to TravelPulse’s request for comment on the Carnival Inspiration’s future.
For more information, visit carnival.com.
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