Report: Three more classic cruise ships may be headed to the scrappers
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Make that four classic cruise ships that soon could be on the way to the scrappers.
The report comes just days after Spain-based Pullmantur announced that it was insolvent and had filed for reorganization under Spanish insolvency laws. The line blamed headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic that were “too strong … to overcome.”
For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter
Already, one other ship is on its way to the scrappers. Just this week, Carnival Corporation-owned Costa Cruises confirmed that its 1,928-passenger Costa Victoria had been transferred to a shipyard company that dismantles ships. It was the first ship to be sold for scrap in the wake of the coronavirus-caused cruising shutdown.
Cruise executives including Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald have been hinting in recent weeks that quite a few ships could be scrapped in the coming months as the cruise industry navigates an unprecedented shutdown of operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While Pullmantur is little known to most Americans, its three ships are well-known to cruise fans. They include the former Celebrity Cruises ship Horizon and former Royal Caribbean vessels Monarch of the Seas and Sovereign of the Seas. The ships have sailed for Pullmantur under the names Horizon, Monarch and Sovereign.
Pullmantur removed a fourth ship from its fleet, Zenith, in January. The vessel was the former Celebrity ship Zenith.
The 2,282-passenger Sovereign is a particularly notable vessel that was much-beloved by Royal Caribbean fans when it sailed as Sovereign of the Seas. Unveiled in 1988, it was billed as the world’s first “mega-ship,” and it offered such then-revolutionary features as a five-deck Centrum with glass elevators, sweeping staircases and fountains in marble pools.
At around 73,000 tons, Sovereign of the Seas was the biggest purpose-built cruise ship ever when it launched, though it has been eclipsed in size many times over during the past three decades.
Sovereign of the Seas sailed for Royal Caribbean until 2008 when it was transferred to Pullmantur and renamed Sovereign.
Unveiled in 1991, Monarch sailed for Royal Caribbean as Monarch of the Seas until 2013, when it was transferred to the Pullmantur fleet. Unveiled in 1990, Horizon sailed for Celebrity until 2005.
The parent company of Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, Royal Caribbean Cruises, owns 49% of Pullmantur through a joint venture with Cruise Investment Holding.
Royal Caribbean Cruises also is the parent company of Azamara and Silversea. It also is a part owner of German brand TUI Cruises through a joint venture.
A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean Cruises did not immediately respond to questions about the future of the Pullmantur vessels.
Royal Caribbean Cruises has said all its assets related to Pullmantur were included in a non-cash asset impairment charge reported in its first-quarter results. In part due to the write-down of Pullmantur assets, Royal Caribbean Cruises reported a $1.4 billion loss, or $6.91 per share, for the first quarter. That compares to a profit of $249.7 million, or $1.19 per share, during the same period a year earlier.
The insolvency filing for Pullmantur does not affect Royal Caribbean Cruises’ fully-owned brands such as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Wall Street analysts in recent weeks have suggested that a recent bond sale by Royal Caribbean Cruises should allow the company to remain solvent for well over a year even if cruising doesn’t resume.
Both Sovereign and Monarch were among the 23 vessels that TPG recently highlighted as the most likely to be laid-up, sold or scrapped in the coming months as the cruise industry cuts capacity. Costa Victoria was on the list, too.
Additional resources for cruisers during the coronavirus outbreak:
- When will cruising resume? A line-by-line guide
- Why you shouldn’t expect bargain-basement cruise deals anytime soon
- How to cancel or postpone a cruise due to coronavirus
- Expecting a refund for a canceled cruise? Here’s how long it will take
- Some of the year’s hottest new ships could be delayed
- Stream these 13 movies, television shows to get your cruise ship fix
Feature image of Pullmantur’s recently retired Zenith by Val Traveller/Adobe Stock.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees