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9 Cruise Ships Scrapped in 2020

Sarah Bretz

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The past ten months or so have been very sad for the cruise industry in every way — lost jobs, massive debt, canceled vacations, and the loss of ships.

Nassau, Bahamas

There’s no telling what this new year holds, but we have lots of hope that it will hold a brighter future for the traveling pastime we love so much.

To help alleviate expenses and debt, a lot of ships had to be sold off to new companies or sold for scrap as expenses nearly crippled some cruise lines, or shut them down altogether.

To honor the ships that have met their ultimate fate, here is some history on nine vessels that got scrapped in 2020.

1. Carnival Fantasy

carnival fantasy

Carnival Fantasy

  • Debut Date: March 1990
  • Sailed For: Carnival Cruise Line
  • Date Sold: July 2020

Carnival Fantasy was the first of Carnival Cruise Line’s revolutionary Fantasy class, and the first cruise ship to feature a tall glass-topped atrium. The ship’s bright lights and wild décor ended up being a trademark of the ship’s designer, Joe Farcus. Fantasy was Carnival’s first new build to sail shorter three and four-night cruises, when it was customary for new ships to start off with weeklong voyages.

Over the years the ship underwent many renovations, but perhaps the most notable was in 2016 when Fantasy was outfitted with popular venues that had been introduced on Carnival’s more recent ships, including Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, RedFrog Rum Bar, and BlueIguana Tequila Bar.

But due to the cruise shutdown, Carnival announced in July 2020 that the ship had been sold and she was beached in Turkey for scrap the same month.

RELATED: Last Look: Remembering Carnival Fantasy [PHOTOS]

2. Carnival Imagination

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Imagination (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

  • Debut Date: 1995
  • Sailed For: Carnival Cruise Line
  • Date Sold: Summer 2020

Carnival Imagination was the fifth ship in the Fantasy class, also designed by famed architect Joe Farcus. Imagination was one of the few Fantasy-class ships that was not refitted with more exterior balconies, which are commonplace wherever possible on modern cruise vessels.

Just like sister ship Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Imagination received her most notable refurbishment in 2016, where she also received venues like Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina.

Before the shutdown, Carnival Imagination had been sailing Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach, California.

In July 2020, Carnival Cruise Line announced that the ship would be put into a long-term layup. In September, the line confirmed the vessel sold for scrap and she arrived in Turkey to be broken up shortly after.

RELATED: Last Look: Remembering Carnival Imagination [PHOTOS]

3. Carnival Inspiration

CARNIVAL INSPIRATION CRUISE SHIP

  • Debut Date: March 1996
  • Sailed For: Carnival Cruise Line
  • Date Sold: July 2020

Carnival Inspiration was the sixth of the eight Fantasy-class ships, which the line dubbed “SuperLiners” thanks to their identical layouts and machinery. The vessels were really only set apart by Joe Farcus’ bright and eye-catching interior designs. And just like the other Fantasy-class ships, Inspiration boasted a sky-high atrium that let in plenty of natural light.

Like her two sister ships mentioned, Carnival Inspiration also underwent various refurbishments, including one to add the much-loved BlueIguana and RedFrog venues.

Most recently, Inspiration and Imagination were like two peas in a pod, as Inspiration also operated cruises on Mexico’s west coast from Long Beach. In July 2020, Carnival Cruise Line confirmed that Inspiration had been sold and she arrived at the same Turkish scrapyard not long afterward.

RELATED: Last Look: Remembering Carnival Inspiration

4. Sovereign (Former Sovereign of the Seas)

departing portmiami cruise ship

Sovereign of the Seas departs Miami in 1996.

  • Debut Date: January 1988
  • Sailed For: Royal Caribbean as Sovereign of the Seas and Pullmantur as Sovereign
  • Date Sold: July 2020

Sovereign was built in 1987 as Royal Caribbean’s Sovereign of the Seas, the first of three Sovereign-class vessels. At the time, she was the largest passenger ship in the world, coming in at 73,192 gross tons.

The vessel was also the first to have a multi-story atrium with glass elevators, which the ship’s designer referred to as the “Centrum.” Carnival’s Fantasy class, which debuted later, was comparable in size to the Sovereign-class and also had atriums with glass elevators.

After sailing with Royal Caribbean International until 2008, the ship was transferred to Spanish cruise line Pullmantur, a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, and her name was shortened to just Sovereign.

In June 2020, Sovereign and sister ship Monarch were moved to cold layup while Pullmantur filed for financial reorganization. In July, the ship was beached at the scrapyard in Turkey.

LAST LOOK: Sovereign of the Seas [PHOTOS]

5. Monarch (Former Monarch of the Seas)

monarch pullmantur

(Photo courtesy of Pullmantur Cruises)

  • Debut Date: November 1991
  • Sailed For: Royal Caribbean as Monarch of the Seas and Pullmantur as Monarch
  • Date Sold: July 2020

Monarch was the second of Royal Caribbean’s three Sovereign-class ships, and debuted as Monarch of the Seas in 1991. At the time of her completion, Monarch of the Seas was one of the largest cruise ships ever.

In 2007, Monarch became the first major cruise ship in the world to be captained by a woman, Karin Stahre-Janson from Sweden. She remained the only one until 2010, when British captain Sarah Breton took the helm on P&O Cruises’ Artemis.

In 2013, Monarch of the Seas was transferred to Pullmantur and joined sister Sovereign, and her name became simply Monarch. As mentioned, Monarch and Sovereign were both moved to cold layup in June 2020, and in July they arrived at the scrapyard just one day apart from each other.

LAST LOOK: Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas [PHOTOS]

6. Ocean Dream (Former Carnival Tropicale)

carnival tropicale in los angeles california

The Tropicale in Los Angeles in 1986.

Debut Date: January 1982

Sailed For:

  • Carnival Cruise Line as Tropicale
  • Costa Cruises as Costa Tropicale
  • P&O Cruises Australia as Pacific Star
  • Pullmantur Cruises and Peace Boat as Ocean Dream

Date Sold: January 2021

Tropicale was Carnival Cruise Line’s fourth ship, and its first new-build ever. It was essentially Carnival’s test ship, and would be the basic pattern for future Carnival ships for over a decade.

Tropicale was a part of Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet until 2000, when she was transferred to Costa Cruises and Costa was added to the front of her name.

The vessel was transferred again in 2005 to P&O Cruises Australia and renamed Pacific Star, and then to Pullmantur in 2008 where she was called Ocean Dream.

In 2012, the ship left the Pullmantur fleet and was chartered to the Japanese organization Peace Boat, where she retained the Ocean Dream name. In late 2020 the ship was sold for scrap, and was beached in India in January 2021.

7. Pacific Dawn (Former Regal Princess)

scrapped pacific dawn p&o cruises

Pacific Dawn

Debut Date: August 1991

Sailed For:

  • Princess Cruises as Regal Princess
  • P&O Cruises Australia as Pacific Dawn
  • Ocean Builders as Satoshi (never sailed)

Date Sold: December 2020

The ship that would debut as Regal Princess was originally ordered by Sitmar Cruises, but was delivered to Princess Cruises when Sitmar was sold to the P&O Group, which Princess was a subsidiary of at the time. Regal Princess’ first several years were spent in the Caribbean in the winter, and in Alaska during the summer. She also spent time sailing in Australia and the Mediterranean.

In 2007, Regal Princess was transferred to P&O Cruises Australia, and renamed Pacific Dawn. In 2019, the cruise line announced that the ship would be retired in February 2021, and sold to Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

But due to the 2020 health crisis and its effect on the cruise industry, Cruise & Maritime Voyages shut down in July and P&O Cruises Australia retired the vessel early.

In November 2020, Pacific Dawn was sold to a company called Ocean Builders, which renamed the ship Satoshi and planned to use it to host a floating community of residences off the coast of Panama.

But unable to secure insurance from Panama for the vessel, Ocean Builders ended up selling Satoshi to a scrapyard in India in December 2020.

8. Astor

astor cruise ship

The MS Astor in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/Cato Lien)

Debut Date: January 1987

Sailed For:

  • Marlan Corporation as Astor
  • Transocean Tours and Neckermann Seereisen as Fedor Dostoyevskiy
  • Aquamarin, Transocean Tours, and Cruise & Maritime Voyages as Astor

Date Sold: October 2020

Astor was originally ordered by the South African Safmarine for its restarted ocean liner service, but soon after they decided to abandon their passenger operations. After that, the ship’s construction contract was sold to the Mauritius-based Marlan Corporation.

In 1988, the ship was sold to the Soviet Union-based Black Sea Shipping Company, and renamed Fedor Dostoevskiy. It was then chartered to Transocean Tours two months later. She stayed with Transocean Tours until early 1990, when she was then chartered to Neckermann Seereisen.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the ship was transferred to the Bahamas-based Fedor Dostoevskiy Shipping Co. The transfer didn’t affect the ship’s operations.

Following the Neckermann Seereisen charter, the vessel was chartered to Aquamarin in 1995 and went back to her original name, Astor. In 1996, the vessel was sold to Astor Shipping Co. and again chartered to Transocean Tours. Sometime before 2008, Premicon bought the ship but Transocean Tours continued to charter it.

In February 2013, the ship was chartered for three years by Cruise & Maritime Voyages, and in 2014 they acquired it from the bankrupt Premicon. Due to the 2020 industry shutdown, Cruise & Maritime Voyages went bankrupt itself and the ship was sold for scrap in October 2020. Astor was beached in Turkey in November.

9. Karnika (Former Crown Princess)

pacific jewel

Pacific Jewel (Photo courtesy of Flickr/lee_gilbert)

Debut Date: July 1990

Sailed For:

  • Princess Cruises as Crown Princess
  • A’Rosa Cruises as A’Rosa Blu
  • AIDA Cruises as AIDAblu
  • Ocean Village as Ocean Village Two
  • P&O Cruises Australia as Pacific Jewel
  • Jalesh Cruises as Karnika

Date Sold: November 2020

Karnika has quite a storied past, as she sailed for six different cruise lines under six different names throughout her lifetime. Like Regal Princess, the ship was built by Fincantieri for Sitmar Cruises, but was handed over to P&O Princess Cruises to be operated by Princess Cruises after the company acquired Sitmar. Therefore, the ship debuted with the name Crown Princess.

In 2002, Crown Princess was transferred to a new German line that P&O had just launched called A’Rosa Cruises, where she was renamed A’Rosa Blu and became the line’s inaugural ship. In September 2003, P&O Princess merged with Carnival Corporation, and all A’Rosa assets besides A’Rosa Blu were sold. With that, A’Rosa Blu was transferred to AIDA Cruises as AIDAblu.

In 2007, Carnival moved AIDAblu to its UK-based brand, Ocean Village, where it was renamed Ocean Village Two. 18 months later, Carnival phased out the Ocean Village brand and its two ships were moved to P&O Cruises Australia — the vessel was then named Pacific Jewel.

In 2018, Pacific Jewel was sold to Zen Cruises, where she was to be the first ship at the company’s newly formed Jalesh Cruises, and renamed Karnika. After renovations, the ship debuted for Jalesh and sailed less than a year before the worldwide shutdown in 2020. In November 2020, it was announced that the ship was sold for scrap and she was subsequently beached in India.

In many ways, writing this cruise ship recap hurt — it’s never fun for us to report on ships whose time is up.

But we do know and hope that this “out with the old, in with the new” process means that there are many more new ships to come, and that the vessels on order can still be built.

We have high hopes for cruising, and hope you, the loyal cruisers, do too.

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9 cruise ships that were scrapped in 2020

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