Carnival Corp was quick to find a buyer for one of the two cruise ships it was to sell in early February.
Several cruise and ship recycling sources have reported that Carnival Cruise Lines flagship 70,500 gt Carnival Sensation (built in 1993) was sold to a European Union approved recycling facility.
According to Turkish recycling sources, Aliaga breakers offer between $350 and $380 per ldt for cruising tonnage on a delivered basis.
Taking the higher end of the price range, which TradeWinds has learned larger ships tend to fetch, that would equate to a price tag of around $11 million for the Carnival Sensation.
Carnival has a strict policy of selling directly only to EU-approved green recycling facilities, even though Turkish scrap prices are significantly lower than the $585 per ldt that Pakistani circuit breakers have offered for cruise tonnage at the moment. course of the last two months.
When Carnival announced plans to get rid of the Carnival Sensation, which has been on standby since the pandemic began, and the identical Carnival Ecstasy (built in 1991), observers thought that with the cruise industry back to life , the pair had a higher chance of finding trade buyers.
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However, the quick sale for recycling indicates that Carnival wanted a quick sale and was not interested in spending more money to keep the 2,050-seat Carnival Sensation on hold while waiting for potential commercial buyers to kick its tires.
Carnival insiders said the Fantasy Class ships, which include Carnival Sensation and Carnival Ecstasy, were fully paid for and on the company’s books years before the pandemic and remain popular despite their age, as they were used on secondary roads outside the margin. ports because they could be filled by offering deep discounts on the prices charged by new ships.
An industry executive described them as cash cows because all revenue, when offset by operating costs, was pure profit.
That lucrative operating environment has not returned, although Carnival Cruise Line returned its entire fleet to service by May, less than 10 months after resuming operations.
Discount cruise retailers are offering four-night cruises on the Carnival Ecstasy, which will operate from Mobile, Alabama, from March through October, for as low as $149 per person. This price, which is for the entire cruise, is unlikely to buy a night in a half-decent hotel in most major US cities.
Carnival built eight Fantasy-class ships between 1990 and 1998. As the oldest units in the fleet, they were the first to be shot down when Covid-19 brought the cruise industry to a screeching halt.
Four of the ships, mostly units that had yet to undergo a major mid-life upgrade including the installation of private balconies and other features to make them more compatible with new brand ships, were quickly sold in 2020 and then recycled.
Carnival Cruise Line will be left with two Fantasy-class ships built in 1998 once the Carnival Sensation and Carnival Ecstasy leave its fleet.