21 Carnival Ships Sold During the Cruise Industry Shutdown

Carnival Fantasy funnel

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Carnival fantasy cruise ship
(DOUG PARKER/CRUISE RADIO)

There were 21 Carnival ships sold as part of the cruise industry shutdown.

During the first few months of the shutdown, Carnival Corporation announced that at least 13 older ships across several cruise brands would be sold or scrapped. This was part of slimming down and eliminating its least efficient ships.

But that number kept growing. The number of ships leaving Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, AIDA, and P&O Cruises fleets eventually increased to 21.

While some ships found new homes in Europe and Asia, many met a sad fate in scrapyards on the shores of India and Turkey.

Here’s a look at the 21 ships no longer part of Carnival Corporation’s fleet.

Carnival Fantasy

Carnival Fantasy cruise ship
Carnival Fantasy (CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Scrapyard
  • Guest Capacity: 2,044
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Entered Service for Carnival: 1990

Carnival Fantasy broke the mold for Carnival Cruise Line ships when she debuted in 1990, a first in the Fantasy class.

From the newly redesigned atrium (featuring 15 miles of neon — yes, miles) to VCRs in every stateroom, everything about Carnival Fantasy was designed to wow guests from the minute they boarded the ship. The ship attracted many fans over her 30 years of service thanks to regular refurbishments.

The eight-member fleet that Fantasy kicked off was considered the world’s most extensive peacetime shipbuilding program, lasting from 1989 through 1998.

RELATED: Last Look: Remembering Carnival Fantasy [PHOTOS]

Carnival Fascination

carnival fascination cruise line
Carnival Fascination (CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Century Harmony Cruise Ltd. (renamed Century Harmony), scrapped in February 2022
  • Guest Capacity: 2,040
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Entered Service for Carnival: 1994

The fourth Fantasy-class ship to debut, Carnival Fascination, was much loved by cruisers who prefer a smaller ship experience. From late 2017 through early 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency chartered the ship as a floating hotel, docked in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, to house relief workers following Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

Carnival Imagination

carnival imagination exterior aerial
Carnival Imagination (CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Scrapped
  • Guest Capacity: 2,040
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Entered Service for Carnival: 1995

Legendary Carnival Cruise Line architect Joe Farcus applied a “classical and mythological” concept to Imagination’s public areas — and while slightly more restrained than the four Fantasy-class sisters that preceded her, she was still quite an eye-popper.

Carnival Inspiration

carnival inspiration's maiden departure from los angeles
Carnival Inspiration (CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Scrapped
  • Guest Capacity: 2,040
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Entered Service for Carnival: 1996

The sixth of what would ultimately be eight Fantasy-class ships, Carnival Inspiration was far from a trendsetter. But thanks to dramatic lighting and an imposing 50-foot centerpiece sculpture entitled Bird of Paradise by Norwegian artist Leon Bronstein, the Inspiration’s Art Nouveau-inspired Grand Atrium Plaza was still impressive.

Unfortunately, the sculpture was removed and replaced with the more practical, profitable, but less visually engaging Atrium Bar later in the ship’s lifespan.

Carnival Ecstasy 

carnival ecstasy final sailing
(DOUG PARKER/CRUISE RADIO)
  • Year Sold: 2022 
  • Buyer: Scrapped 
  • Guest Capacity: 2,056
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Entered Service for Carnival: 1991

Carnival Ecstasy was one of the oldest ships in Carnival Corporation’s fleet following the departure of Fantasy in 2020. 

This Fantasy-class ship had undergone several refurbishments over the years but still needed significant investment to maintain and upgrade. 

Carnival Ecstasy’s last revenue voyage was out of Mobile, Alabama, in October 2022. From there, it sailed to Miami to drop off equipment and non-essential crew before departing on its last voyage bound for the scrapyard. 

Carnival Sensation

carnival sensation
Carnival Sensation (CARNIVAL)
  • Year Sold: 2022 
  • Buyer: Scrapped 
  • Guest Capacity: 2,056
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Entered Service for Carnival: 1993

Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Sensation, the third ship in the line’s popular Fantasy class, was retired in early 2022 after nearly 30 years of service. The ship was a favorite among cruisers for its fun and casual atmosphere and played an important role in the company’s history.

After being sold to a scrapyard in Turkey in February 2022, Carnival Sensation met its fate on the beaches of the breaking yard the following month.

Pacific Princess

pacific princess exterior aerial
Pacific Princess (PRINCESS CRUISES)
  • Year Sold: 2021
  • Buyer: Sycamore Partners (renamed Azamara Onward)
  • Guest Capacity: 688
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 30,000
  • Entered Service for Princess: 2002

Christened R3 as a part of Renaissance Cruises’ fleet of well-regarded R-Ships, Pacific Princess was the second ship to bear her name for Princess Cruises.

The ship, acquired by Princess in 2002 after Renaissance Cruises’ demise, followed in the wake of the ship that brought worldwide attention to the still-nascent cruise industry in the late 1970s thanks to a weekly hour of prime-time TV known as The Love Boat.

Pacific Princess fans will still be able to enjoy the ship when it joins three of her R-Ship sisters sailing for Azamara.

The small cruise line Azamara Cruises was sold to Sycamore Partners in 2021 after Royal Caribbean Group liquidated assets. Sycamore Partners was the purchaser of the ship.

Sun Princess

sun princess cruise ship carnival ships sold
Sun Princess (PRINCESS CRUISES)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Peace Boat (renamed Pacific World)
  • Guest Capacity: 2,010
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 77,000
  • Entered Service for Princess: 1995

While far less famous than the original Pacific Princess, Sun Princess had her moment of prime-time TV glory in 1998 and 1999 during the 27-episode run of Love Boat: The Next Wave.

When not carrying Robert Urich as Captain Jim Kennedy and the rest of the Love Boat crew, Sun Princess sailed to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale and, most recently, to Australia and New Zealand.

The sun-class ship was scheduled as a floating hotel for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. She now sails global education and awareness cruises for Peace Boat.

Sea Princess

sea princess cruise ship
Sea Princess (PRINCESS CRUISES)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Sanya International Cruise Development (renamed MS Charming), then sold to
    Tianjin Orient International Cruise Line (renamed Dream)
  • Guest Capacity: 2,000
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 77,000
  • Entered Service for Princess: 1998 and 2005

The sister ship to Sun Princess was the second ship to bear the name of the Sea Princess. It was a loyal workhorse for Princess Cruises and from 2002 to 2005 for P&O Cruises (named the Adonia during that period).

The sun-class vessel rejoined the Princess fleet in 2005 and most recently sailed in Australia. Renamed MS Charming, the ship was the second-largest cruise ship acquired by Chinese interests and will sail domestically in China.

The ship was sold and received a makeover, debuting in 2021. Then in 2023, it was resold to Tianjin Orient International Cruise Line for an undisclosed amount. In September 2023, she started sailing as Dream.

Costa Victoria

COSTA CRUISES VICTORIA
Costa Victoria (COSTA CRUISES)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: San Giorgio del Porto Spa, Piombino Industrie Maritime (renamed St. Victoria), subsequently scrapped
  • Guest Capacity: 1,928
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 75,000
  • Entered Service for Costa: 1996

Among the first ships to be marked for sale by Carnival Corporation as the COVID-19 pandemic continued into its fourth month, Costa Victoria was thought to have found a second life as a floating hotel at an Italian shipyard. Still, it was not to be, and the Victoria-class ship is bound for her fate at a scrapyard in Turkey.

Costa neoRomantica

costa romantica cruise ship
Costa neoRomantica (COSTA CRUISES)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Celestyal Cruises (renamed Celestyal Experience)
  • Guest Capacity: 1,578
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 53,000
  • Entered Service for Costa: 1993

This ship launched as the Costa Romantica in 1993. It was renamed the Costa neoRomantica in 2012 after an aft-to-stern $110 million renovation that added two half-decks, balcony cabins, and suites.

Those very balconies and suites attracted Celestyal Cruises to the ship, as demand for premium accommodations is high on the line’s Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries.

Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
Rotterdam (HOLLAND AMERICA LINE)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Fred. Olsen Cruises (renamed MS Borealis)
  • Guest Capacity: 1,404
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 61,000
  • Entered Service for Holland America: 1997

The sixth Holland America Line ship to bear the name Rotterdam, launched in 1997, was named after the city in the Netherlands. Home to a multi-million dollar art collection, the ship was most often found in Europe in the summer months and plying the warm waters near South America during the winter.

Renamed MS Borealis, she joined the fleet of UK-line Fred. Olsen Cruises.

Amsterdam

holland america amsterdam exterior aerial
Amsterdam (HOLLAND AMERICA LINE)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Fred. Olsen Cruises (renamed MS Bolette)
  • Guest Capacity: 1,380
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 62,000
  • Entered Service for Holland America: 2000

Amsterdam is a sister ship to Rotterdam in many regards. She was named after a city in the Netherlands and had a multi-million dollar art collection (including a large, and at one time functional, Astrolabe). She continues her life in the fleet of the UK’s Fred. Olsen Cruises.

Maasdam

holland america maasdam exterior aerial
Maasdam (HOLLAND AMERICA LINE)
  • Class: 2020
  • Buyer: Seajets (renamed MS Aegan Myth), resold in 2022 to Compagnie Française de Croisières (renamed Renaissance)
  • Guest Capacity: 1,258
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 55,000
  • Entered Service for Holland America: 1992

Maasdam began sailing for Holland America Line in 1992 based on the Costa Classica design. For much of her 29 years of service to Holland America, the S-class ship sailed primarily from North America, but in later years, she cruised around New Zealand, the South Pacific, and other areas.

She’ll continue sailing as MS Aegan Myth for Greek ferry operator Seajets.

Veendam

Holland America Line veendam
Veendam (HOLLAND AMERICA LINE)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Seajets (renamed MS Aegan Majesty)
  • Guest Capacity: 1,350
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 57,000
  • Entered Service for Holland America: 1996

Like her younger sibling Maasdam, Veendam, an S-class ship, had her fans — specifically, cruisers who loved a smaller ship with a classic ocean-liner vibe. Like all Holland America Line ships, Veendam’s crew hailed from the Philippines and Indonesia and had a reputation for friendliness and good service that many cruise lines would love to duplicate.

The forward observation lounge, the Crow’s Nest. is a beloved Holland America staple on the Veendam. Like Maasdam, Veendam was acquired by Seajets and is expected to have a future in the Greek Isles sailing under the name MS Aegan Majesty.

P&O Oceana

P&O oceana exterior aerial
P&O Oceana (P&O CRUISES)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Seajets (renamed Queen of the Ocean). As of 2023, the vessel is still laid up in Greece
  • Guest Capacity: 2,016
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 77,000
  • Entered Service for P&O: 2002

P&O Oceana first started sailing for Princess Cruises in 2000 as Ocean Princess. Her atrium was certain to have inspired Princess Cruises’ new Piazza atrium design, as the space resembles the concept introduced across the entire fleet in the late 2000s.

In 2002, she was transferred to P&O Cruises, renamed the P&O Oceana, and sailed to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades. In mid-2020, the sun-class ship was acquired by Seajets and renamed Queen of the Ocean.

Pacific Dawn

scrapped pacific dawn p&o cruises
Pacific Dawn (P&O CRUISES)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Ocean Builders (renamed Satoshi), then Ambassador Cruise Line (renamed Ambiance)
  • Guest Capacity: 2,020
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Entered Service for P&O: 2002

Built in 1991 as the original Regal Princess for Princess Cruises, the ship was transferred to P&O Cruises in 2002 and renamed Pacific Dawn, sailing primarily from Australia. 

Pacific Dawn was sold in mid-2020 to become a permanent residence for “digital nomads, YouTube influencers, and crypto-currency enthusiasts” anchored off the coast of Panama, promising an exciting post-pandemic life.

Cabins in the sea-based community aboard the newly-renamed Satoshi would be auctioned off at $25,000, and Bitcoin would be the onboard currency. The lack of sales and insurance prevented the plan from going forward.

The ship was on its way to the scrapyard when it was purchased by an entity in the USVI. It later became Ambassador Cruise Line and entered service as the Ambiance in 2022. 

Pacific Aria

pacific aria exterior aerial
Pacific Aria (P&O CRUISES)
  • Year Sold: 2020
  • Buyer: Seajets (renamed Aegan Goddess), 2023 to Celestyal Cruises (renamed Celestyal Journey)
  • Guest Capacity: 1,258
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 55,000
  • Entered Service for P&O: 2015

Built in 1994 as the Ryndam for Holland America Line, the ship was transferred to P&O Cruises in 2015 and renamed Pacific Aria. In late 2019, it was announced Pacific Aria would be acquired by Cruise & Maritime Voyages in 2021, destined to be named Ida Pfeiffer.

However, CMW filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2020, and the ship was ultimately sold to Greek ferry operator Seajets and renamed Aegan Goddess.

In 2023, Seajets sold the Statendam-class ship to Greek cruise operator Celestyal Cruises and renamed Celestyal Journey.

AIDAvita

AIDAVITA AERIAL
(AIDA CRUISES)
  • Year Sold: 2022
  • Buyer: Beta Marine (renamed Avitak)
  • Guest Capacity: 1,266
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 42,289
  • Entered Service for AIDA: 2002

This is another Carnival Corporation ship that docked during the cruise industry shutdown and never returned to service.

One of the oldest ships in AIDA Cruises’ fleet is the AIDAvita, constructed in 1989. Maintaining and upgrading the vessel would have required significant investment in the upcoming years. 

During the pandemic, AIDA Cruises, like other cruise lines, experienced a significant decline in revenue, resulting in billions of dollars in losses. To reduce expenses, selling older and less efficient ships was one solution.

An Estonia-based business eventually purchased the AIDAvita, though details are limited. The company intends to use the vessel to expand its operations in the Baltic Sea.

AIDAcara

aidacara cruise ship
(MEYER WERFT)
  • Year Sold: 2021
  • Buyer: Aquilon Shipping Co. (renamed Astoria Grande)
  • Guest Capacity: 1,186
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 38,600
  • Entered Service: 2002

Built in 1996, this vessel marked the inaugural build for AIDA Cruises. Spanning nearly 600 feet, AIDAcare offered an intimate setting for over 1,100 passengers. Guests enjoyed its spa, sauna, and pool throughout life, while sports enthusiasts can practice golf and jog on its track.

In 2005, it received an upgrade with extra cabins. By 2021, and in the middle of the cruise industry shutdown, it found a new home with Russia’s Aquilon Shipping Co., adopting its new identity as the Astoria Grande.

GO DEEPER: Carnival Sells Six Ships, More to Come

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