13 Former Carnival Ships – Where Are They Now?

Carnival Cruise Line, formed in 1972, is known today as the most popular cruise line in the world.

Since its conception, the cruise line has had eleven ships that are no longer sailing with them, five of them added to the list after the cruise industry shut down in 2020.

ShipEntered ServiceYear Scrapped
Mardi Gras19722003
Carnival Fantasy19902020
Carnival Ecstasy19912022
Carnival Sensation19932022
Carnival Fascination19942021
Carnival Imagination19952020
Carnival Inspiration19962020

Some have been scrapped, and some continue to sail under other cruise lines today.

Check out a bit of history behind the twelve former ships and see where they are now.

1. Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras cruise ship

Mardi Gras was sold to Carnival from Canadian Pacific in 1972 and was just over 18,000 gross registered tons. She sailed under the Carnival flag until 1993 and was then sold to Epirotiki.

Many names and a few cruise lines later, the ship was laid up and ultimately sold for scrap in 2003. She was in service for a total of 42 years.

In 2021, Carnival will debut the new Mardi Gras, the largest ship in the fleet. It will feature BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, as well as a variety of new dining and bar venues.

2. Carnivale

exterior view of Carnivale
photo: Wikipedia

Before being sold to Carnival in 1976, Carnivale was called Queen Ann Maria for the operator Greek Line. In 1993, Carnival transferred her over to a subsidiary cruise line, Fiesta Marina Cruises.

After a few other cruise lines and the ultimate name of Topaz sailing under the Peace Boat Organization, she was retired and laid up in April 2008.

The ship was beached in India to be scrapped that summer, and the process was completed in 2009.

3. Festivale

Festivale - Carnival Cruise Line by By Krdort - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25044568
photo: Wikipedia

Carnival acquired Festivale in 1977 from the South African Marine Corporation. She was originally a mail service ocean liner, but when Carnival bought her, they refit her into a cruise ship in Japan for $30 million.

A few cruise lines later, she ended up with Premier Cruise Line, sailing under the name Big Red Boat III. When Premier went bankrupt in 2000, the ship was seized, and Big Red Boat III was ultimately scrapped in 2003.

4. Tropicale

Tropicale as Ocean Dream for Pullmantur - photo: Wikipedia
Tropicale as Ocean Dream for Pullmantur – photo: Wikipedia

Tropicale was a monumental ship for Carnival, as she was their very first new build. She began sailing in 1982, mainly in the Caribbean.

The ship was then transferred to Costa as Costa Tropicale, then to P&O Australia as the Pacific Star.

After that, she was sold to Pullmantur Cruises, refurbished, and sailed as Ocean Dream. As of 2012, Ocean Dream left Pullmantur and was chartered to Peace Boat.

In January 2021, the ship was scrapped.

5. Holiday

Exterior of Holiday Cruise Ship
photo: Wikipedia

Holiday was Carnival’s second purpose-built cruise ship. Constructed in Denmark, Holiday entered service in 1985. In 2003, she was refurbished, and in 2005, during Hurricane Katrina, she was used as temporary housing for victims of the storm.

She sailed from Alabama to the western Caribbean until 2009, when she was transferred to the fleet of Iberocruceros, another cruise line owned by Carnival Corp. and renamed Grand Holiday.

After that, she was transferred to the Ibero Cruises fleet and was transformed into a floating hotel for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. In 2014, she was sold to the British cruise line Cruise & Maritime Voyages and sailed for them under the name Magellan.

After CMV ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy in July 2020, Greek ferry operator SeaJets purchased Magellan at auction in October 2020 for $3.4 million.

Seajets is planning to turn the ship into a floating hotel in Liverpool for the 2021 Grand National, but she was resold for scrap due to high operating costs. She was renamed Mages and sailed to Alang, India, for scrapping in January 2021.

6. Celebration

Aerial View of Celebration cruise ship
(Photo courtesy of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line)

Celebration was built for Carnival in 1986 in Sweden. She sailed for them until 2008, when she underwent a refurbishment and began sailing for Iberocruceros as the Grand Celebration.

In May 2014, she was transferred to Costa, and after a very short-lived run (she was actually sold the day before her first Costa cruise), she was acquired by the newly formed Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to begin sailing in February 2015.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line sold the ship in November 2020, and she was beached in Alang, Turkey, on January 14, 2021, for scrapping.

7. Jubilee

Jubilee as Pacific Sun for P&O - photo: Wikipedia
Jubilee as Pacific Sun for P&O Cruises (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons)

Jubilee was built in Sweden in 1986 for Carnival Cruise Line, and Celebration and Holiday were her near-sister ships. In 2004, she was transferred to P&O Cruises Australia and renamed Pacific Sun.

In 2012, Pacific Sun left P&O and was sold to HNA Cruises, who named her Henna. She sailed for them until November 2015, when HNA shut down operations after three years of losing money.

The ship was sold and scrapped at the Alang, India yard in 2017.

Read More: Former Carnival Cruise Ship Getting Scrapped

8. Carnival Fantasy

pool area of Carnival Fantasy

Fantasy was the first ship in Carnival’s new Fantasy class when she entered service in March 1990. Built at Kavaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Finland, the ship initially sailed Caribbean cruises from Miami.

In 2007, the ship was re-christened Carnival Fantasy and refurbished in 2008, 2016, and 2019. She sailed for Carnival for 30 years until the cruise industry shutdown in March 2020.

In July 2020, Carnival sold the ship, and it was scrapped in Aliaga, Turkey.

LAST LOOK: Remembering Carnival Fantasy [PHOTOS]

9. Carnival Ecstasy

carnival ecstasy cruise ship

Carnival Ecstasy debuted in 1991, and it is the second ship in the Fantasy Class.

As one of the most versatile and popular vessels in the “Fun Ship” fleet, her over-the-top Joe Farcus-designed interiors became a fan-favorite, including the iconic 1934 Rolls-Royce Saloon, which was later relocated to the Gateway on Carnival Celebration.

In February 2022, Carnival announced the retirement of Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Sensation from the fleet. Unlike Sensation, Ecstasy resumed its regular service in Mobile, Alabama, from March to October 2022.

It is the only ship out of the six other retired Fantasy-class ships that offered a farewell cruise season to its guests.

The last voyage happened from October 10 to 15, 2022. In November 2022, the ship arrived at the Aliağa scrapyards in Turkey for scrapping.

10. Carnival Sensation

carnival sensation
Carnival Sensation (Photo courtesy of Carnival)

Launched in 1993, the Carnival Sensation was one of the early stars of Carnival Cruise Line’s Fantasy-class ships. Built in Finland, she joined her sisters Fantasy, Ecstasy, and Imagination in bringing a more casual and fun-focused approach to cruising.

Back then, she was considered quite the modern marvel, boasting features like the seven-deck-high neon-splashed atrium, a tiered lido deck, and even a 24-hour pizzeria. Her inaugural season saw her setting sail from Miami, whisking passengers away to the Bahamas and the Caribbean on sunny escapes.

Over the years, the Sensation saw several renovations and updates, adding balconies to cabins and sprucing up public spaces. She also switched home ports a few times, spending stints in Tampa and Port Canaveral before returning to Miami.

In 2022, the Sensation’s time came to an end. After nearly 30 years of service, she was sold for scrap.

11. Carnival Fascination

loungers at Carnival Fascination

Fascination entered service in 1994 as the fourth member of Carnival Cruise Line’s Fantasy class. The ship was built, like her sisters, in the Kavaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Finland. She was re-christened Carnival Fascination in 2007.

In her 26 years of operating for Carnival, she received refurbishments and upgrades in 2006, 2010, and 2013. Fascination cruised from New York, San Juan, and Jacksonville.

In July 2020, Fascination entered long-term layup status and was sold to a disclosed buyer, later revealed to be an Asian company, for use as a floating hotel. In November, she underwent a name change from Carnival Fascination to Century Harmony.

However, due to strict Chinese policy, the ship wasn’t able to sail. In October 2021, she was sold for scrap and arrived at Gadani, Pakistan, in February 2022 as Y Harmony.

12. Carnival Imagination

Aerial view of Carnival Imagination

Like her Fantasy-class sisters, Imagination was built at Kavaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Finland. The ship entered service in 1995 and most recently sailed Mexican Riviera itineraries from Long Beach, California.

The ship was renamed Carnival Imagination in 2007 and was refurbished most recently in 2016.

The vessel entered long-term layup status in July 2020; Carnival announced the ship had been sold for scrap in August 2020 and was sent to the scrapyard in Aliaga, Turkey.

Last Look: Remembering Carnival Imagination [PHOTOS]

13. Carnival Inspiration

exterior of carnival inspiration

Built in 1996 at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Finland, Inspiration was the fifth entry in the Fantasy class. Renamed Carnival Inspiration in 2007, the ship was most recently refurbished in 2010.

The ship sailed Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach, California. After the cruise industry shut down in March 2020, Carnival announced in July that the ship and Carnival Fantasy had been sold for scrap and sent to the shipbreakers in Aliaga, Turkey.

Last Look: Remembering Carnival Inspiration [PHOTOS]

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