The 19 Carnival Ships Sold During the Cruise Industry Shutdown

When the cruise industry shut down in 2020, Carnival Corporation announced that at least 13 older ships across several of its cruise brands would be sold or scrapped.

The number grew over the coming months, and to date, 18 ships have left the fleets of Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and P&O Cruises, and the line has said one additional ship, for a total of 19, will be sold in the near future.

Some found new homes in Europe and Asia, though many met a sad fate in the scrapyards on the shores of India and Turkey. Here’s a look at the 18 ships that are no longer with Carnival Corporation.

Carnival Cruise Line is Carnival Corporation’s namesake cruise line and by far the company’s most popular brand. Its ships cater mostly to families with kids and teens and younger adults, boasting lots of top-deck attractions like ropes courses, water parks, and sports courts. The line has a robust youth program, as well as a variety of bars and both complimentary and specialty restaurants to suit everyone’s taste buds.

1. Carnival Fantasy

Carnival Fantasy

  • Class: Fantasy
  • Entered Service for Carnival: 1990
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Guest Capacity: 2,044
  • Buyer: Scrapped

Carnival Fantasy broke the mold for Carnival Cruise Line ships when she debuted in 1990. 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. Thanks to regular refurbishments, the ship attracted many fans over her 30 years of service.

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

RELATED: Last Look: Remembering Carnival Fantasy [PHOTOS]

2. Carnival Fascination

carnival fantasy cruise line
(Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)
  • Class: Fantasy
  • Entered Service for Carnival: 1994
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Guest Capacity: 2,040
  • Buyer: Century Harmony Cruise Ltd. (renamed Century Harmony)

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 ship was chartered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a floating hotel, docked in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, to house relief workers following Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

3. Carnival Imagination

carnival imagination exterior aerial

  • Class: Fantasy
  • Entered Service for Carnival: 1995
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Guest Capacity: 2,040
  • Buyer: Scrapped

Legendary Carnival 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.

4. Carnival Inspiration

carnival inspiration's maiden departure from los angeles

  • Class: Fantasy
  • Entered Service for Carnival: 1996
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Guest Capacity: 2,040
  • Buyer: Scrapped

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 and profitable, but less visually engaging Atrium Bar later in the ship’s lifespan.

Princess Cruises is often known as Carnival Cruise Line’s premium counterpart. Given its more elegant atmosphere as opposed to colorful and action-packed, Princess attracts more middle-aged and older couples.

However, all ages (including kids) are well taken care of with a variety of programming, including destination and science-focused programs from Discovery which include themed excursions, games, experiments, crafts, activities, and lectures. The line is known for its well-established presence in Alaska, as well as unique itineraries around the world that visit lesser-known destinations.

5. Pacific Princess

pacific princess exterior aerial
(Photo courtesy: Princess Cruises)
  • Class: R-Ship
  • Entered Service for Princess: 2002
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 30,000
  • Guest Capacity: 688

Buyer: Sycamore Partners (will sail for Azamara)

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.

6. Sun Princess

sun princess
(Photo courtesy: Princess Cruises)
  • Class: Sun
  • Entered Service for Princess: 1995
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 77,000
  • Guest Capacity: 2,010
  • Buyer: Peace Boat (renamed Pacific World)

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, in Australia and New Zealand.

The ship was scheduled to serve as a floating hotel for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. She will now sail global education and awareness cruises for Peace Boat.

7. Sea Princess

sea princess

  • Class: Sun
  • Entered Service for Princess: 1998 and 2005
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 77,000
  • Guest Capacity: 2,000
  • Buyer: Sanya International Cruise Development (renamed MS Charming)

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

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

Costa Cruises is one of Carnival Corp.’s European cruise lines, sailing mostly in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. It also operate voyages in Asia and the Caribbean. Some of Costa’s ships are named after — and reminiscent of — Italian towns or regions such as Venice and Tuscany.

As can be expected, the line’s ships are very Italian and very glamorous. And as with the aforementioned cruise lines, Costa also has a well-rounded kids’ program filled with activities both inside and outside of the youth clubs.

8. Costa Atlantica

(Photo Courtesy: Costa Cruises)
  • Class: Spirit
  • Entered Service for Costa: 2000
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 85,000
  • Guest Capacity: 2,114
  • Buyer: CSSC Carnival Shipping (Carnival joint-venture with Chinese equity firm)

The first modern cruise ship to be purpose-built for Costa, Costa Atlantica entered service in 2000. It’s a sister-ship to Carnival Spirit, built on the popular Spirit-class platform.

The vessel’s future will be in Asia, as the first ship to sail under the new Carnival Corporation joint venture with a Chinese equity-firm. The ship will be marketed to and the onboard experience designed for Chinese passengers.

9. Costa Mediterranea

costa mediterranea
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
  • Class: Spirit
  • Entered Service for Costa: 2003
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 85,000
  • Guest Capacity: 2,114
  • Buyer: CSSC Carnival Shipping (Carnival joint-venture with Chinese equity firm)

Like Costa Atlantica, Costa Mediterranea has Carnival’s Spirit-class platform in her DNA, and after 17 years sailing for Costa, will transition to the CSSC Carnival Shipping fleet when cruises resume from China. She will offer a domestic cruise vacation customized for Chinese passengers.

10. Costa Victoria

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Макс Круглый)
  • Class: Victoria
  • Entered Service for Costa: 1996
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 75,000
  • Guest Capacity: 1,928
  • Buyer: San Giorgio del Porto Spa, Piombino Industrie Maritime (renamed St. Victoria), subsequently scrapped

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 find a second life as a floating hotel at an Italian shipyard, but it was not to be, and the ship is bound for her fate at a scrapyard in Turkey.

11. Costa neoRomantica

costa romantica

  • Class: N/A
  • Entered Service for Costa: 1993
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 53,000
  • Guest Capacity: 1,578
  • Buyer: Celestyal Cruises (renamed Celestyal Experience)

This ship launched as the Costa Romantica in 1993, and was renamed the Costa neoRomantica in 2012 after an aft-to-stern $110 million renovation that added two half-decks, balcony cabins, and suites. It was those very balconies and suites that attracted Celestyal Cruises to the ship, as demand for premium accommodations are high on the line’s Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries.

READ MORE: 9 Cruise Ships Scrapped in 2020

Holland America Line is another one of Carnival Corporation’s premium brands, known for its very destination-centric onboard programming and cruise itineraries. Though Princess has a strong presence in Alaska, Holland America arguably surpasses it as the most rooted and beloved cruise line to ply the shoreline of the 49th state. But no matter what region your Holland America ship is in, you can expect to dive deep into learning about the destinations you’re visiting, and have fun while doing it.

12. Rotterdam

(Photo: Holland America Line)
  • Class: Rotterdam
  • Entered Service for Holland America: 1997
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 61,000
  • Guest Capacity: 1,404
  • Buyer: Fred. Olsen Cruises (renamed MS Borealis)

The sixth Holland America Line ship to bear the name Rotterdam, the vessel 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’ll be joining the fleet of UK-line Fred. Olsen Cruises.

13. Amsterdam

holland america amsterdam exterior aerial

  • Class: Rotterdam
  • Entered Service for Holland America: 2000
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 62,000
  • Guest Capacity: 1,380
  • Buyer: Fred. Olsen Cruises (renamed MS Bolette)

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

14. Maasdam

holland america maasdam exterior aerial

  • Class: S-Class
  • Entered Service for Holland America: 1992
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 55,000
  • Guest Capacity: 1,258
  • Buyer: Seajets (renamed MS Aegan Myth)

Based on the Costa Classica design, Maasdam began sailing for Holland America Line in 1992. For much of her 29 years of service to Holland America, the 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.

15. Veendam

Holland America Line veendam
(Photo: Holland America Line)
  • Class: S-Class
  • Entered Service for Holland America: 1996
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 57,000
  • Guest Capacity: 1,350
  • Buyer: Seajets (renamed MS Aegan Majesty)

Like her younger sibling Maasdam, Veendam 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 primarily 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 Cruises is the company’s British-based line, which actually has a sister-line called P&O Cruises Australia. Evidently, that means that P&O’s presence can mostly be found throughout Europe and in the Australia and New Zealand region.

Passengers can expect a very British, but very comfortable experience onboard, with lots of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. It’s also a very family-friendly line, as evidenced by its well-rounded youth programs.

16. P&O Oceana

P&O oceana exterior aerial
(Photo: P&O Cruises)
  • Class: Sun
  • Entered Service for P&O: 2002
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 77,000
  • Guest Capacity: 2.016
  • Buyer: Seajets (renamed Queen of the Ocean)

P&O Oceana first started sailing for Princess Cruises in 2000 as Ocean Princess. Her atrium was certain to have been an inspiration for  Princess Cruises’ new Piazza atrium design, as the space bears striking resemblance to 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, she was acquired by Seajets and renamed Queen of the Ocean.

17. Pacific Dawn

scrapped pacific dawn p&o cruises

  • Class: N/A
  • Entered Service for P&O: 2002
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 70,000
  • Guest Capacity: 2,020
  • Buyer: Ocean Builders (renamed Satoshi), subsequently scrapped

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 destined to have an interesting post-pandemic life when sold in mid-2020 with the intention of being turned into a permanent residence for “digital nomads, YouTube influencers, and crypto-currency enthusiasts” anchored off the coast of Panama.

READ: You Can Live on This Ship For $25,000

Cabins in the sea-based community aboard the newly-renamed Satoshi would be auctioned off starting at $25,000, and Bitcoin would be the onboard currency. Lack of sales and insurance issues prevented the plan from going forward, and the ship was scrapped in December 2020.

18. Pacific Aria

pacific aria exterior aerial

  • Class: Statendam
  • Entered Service for P&O: 2015
  • Gross Registered Tonnage: 55,000
  • Guest Capacity: 1,258
  • Buyer: Seajets (renamed Aegan Goddess)

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.

19. To Be Announced

Carnival Corporation has stated that one additional ship will be sold or scrapped in the near future. No further details have been released. We’ll update this article once Carnival Corp. announces which ship it is.

MORE: Lost Year Means Many Cruise Ships Will Debut In 2021

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