Cruise industry shake-up

Carnival sells 13 cruise ships

Black Watch Cruise Ship in Funchal

Thanks to Jaime for another nautical story with Madeira connections – Carnival subsidury Holland America line have sold the Rotterdam and Amsterdam to Fred Olsen.

Jaime is of the opinion that the post-pandemic cruise industry could see the end of the line for the two Funchal faithfuls Black Watch (photo) and Boudicca which at the grand old age of 48 and 47 years respectively seem destined to join many younger ships in the COVID-19 scrap yard.

Carnival Corporation has announced plans to sell a total of 13 ships from its fleet this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, Carnival announced it will sell six of its ships to deal with a $4.4bn loss in the second quarter of the year.

The company had previously announced that it intends to “accelerate the removal of ships in fiscal 2020, which were previously expected to be sold over the ensuing years”.

Cruise industry shake-up 1

Carnival Corporation sold one ship during June 2020 and said it has agreements for the disposal of five ships and preliminary agreements for an additional three ships, all of which are expected to leave the fleet in the next 90 days.

These agreements are in addition to the sale of four ships, which were announced prior to fiscal 2020. In total, the 13 ships expected to leave the fleet represent a nearly nine percent reduction in current capacity.

Carnival Corporation has not revealed the names of the 13 ships that it plans to sell.

New deliveries delayed

The company also said that only five of the nine ships that were scheduled to be acquired this year and next year will now be delivered before the end of the fiscal year 2021.

The ship deliveries scheduled for the fiscal year 2022 and 2023 will also be delayed.

Carnival Corporation president and CEO Arnold Donald said: “We have been transitioning the fleet into a prolonged pause and right-sizing our shoreside operations. We have already reduced operating costs by over $7bn on an annualised basis and reduced capital expenditures also by more than $5bn over the next 18 months.

“We have secured over $10bn of additional liquidity to sustain another full year with additional flexibility remaining. We have aggressively shed assets while actively deferring new ship deliveries.

“We are working hard to resume operations while serving the best interests of public health with our way forward informed through consultation with medical experts and scientists from around the world.”

Carnival Corporation owns nine cruise lines, which are Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (Australia), Seabourn, Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard.

Last week, P&O Cruises sold the Oceana cruise ship, which is one of the oldest ships in the fleet.

Carnival Cruise Line also announced that its new cruise ship Mardi Gras will begin operations in 2021 due to delay in delivery caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.    

CMV goes into administration

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Thanks to Maurice for a Comment on the last post flagging up that cruise line CMV has gone into administration. They have seven ships including Marco Polo and they operate out of Tilbury in Essex. Another victim of COVID-19

The Marco Polo is the smallest of the cruise ships pictured in Funchal opposite – photo from the excellent Sergio Cruises blog in 2016

Maurice included a link to the Daily Mail reporting that “the first major UK cruiseliner operator Cruise & Maritime Voyages goes under with 4,000 jobs lost leaving five empty vessels in dock


4 thoughts on “Cruise industry shake-up”

  1. A tough time for cruise lines that’s for sure. Having said that, Fred Olsen seems quite up-beat and looking forward to running six ships so, I think Black Watch & Boudicca are safe for the moment. Being smaller ships gives them advantages such as access to smaller ports, passing through the Corinth Canal(did that!) etc.

    • A key thing with Fred Olsen, unlike other cruise lines, is that they have their ferries and shipping businesses too. The income from them is keeping the, now 6, cruise ships running.

  2. Contrary to Maurice’s comments the ‘industry news’ has a different view:- the “money men” who have bankrolled the purchase of the 2 new ships – holding company Bonheur – have made a statement in which there is a line which suggests that two Fred. ships may be leaving the fleet after the two HAL ships join.
    It states: “Considering divestment ( accountanese for shedding assets) of two vessels within the current fleet,” — but does not offer any more detail. Fred. Olsen would not expand on the statement.
    However, the demise of CMV, who had a similar trading pattern to Fred’s may just provide a “life line” for the two ‘old girls’ with the hope that they may pick up CMV’s loyal customers, but then again so would Saga Cruises.

    Secondly shipping companies, like most corporate bodies, do not cross subsidise operations, in fact they go the extra mile to limit liability by “not owning” ships hence the Fred Olsen group only operate their “assets” and the registered owners of the 2 ships in question are Black Watch Cruise Ltd and Boudicca Cruise Ltd.

    Personally I would be pleased to see them survive to grace Funchal once again with their presence as they are far more pleasing on the eye than their modern day counterparts.


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