Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Imagination looks set to be the latest Fantasy Class ship headed to the scrapyard in Turkey where it will join the Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration.
The Carnival Imagination was reportedly sold on August 26 and according to AIS (Automatic Identification System) data, is now en route to the Turkish ship-scrapping hub of Aliaga.
The Imagination left Willemstad in the Dutch Antilles on August 26 headed for Aliaga where, according to AIS data, it is scheduled to arrive in mid-September.
Carnival has yet to confirm the reports that the Imagination has been sold for scrap and is headed to Aliaga.
In late July, Carnival said that as part of a move induced by the coronavirus crisis to reduce overall capacity and focus on ships with upgraded features, Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination would “move to a long term lay-up status, with no specific timeline identified for a return to operation.” It also confirmed that the Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration have been sold.
Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration were later confirmed to have arrived at the Aliaga scrapyard.
Carnival Imagination heads for scrapyard but Carnival Corporation would emerge
Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald said Carnival Corporation would emerge “a leaner, more efficient company” after the coronavirus crisis.
The Carnival Imagination was built at the Helsinki New Shipyard in Finland and floated out in July. With 14 decks, the 855 foot ship had a total capacity of 2,634 passengers and 920 crew.
Prior to the suspension of all cruise operations in mid-March and its subsequent entry into long-term lay-up, the Carnival Imagination sailed three- and four-day itineraries from Long Beach, California to Catalina Island, California, and to Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Remaining Fantasy Class ships safe for the moment
With the Carnival Imagination now becoming the fourth ship in the Fantasy Class to be removed from service,
TrvlTrend takes a look at what is in store for the remaining four ships in Carnival’s Fantasy Class.
There had been speculation that the Carnival Ecstacy and the Carnival Elation could also be sold, but in a press release in July , Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said that none of the remaining four ships would be sold.
“We will continue to invest in the four remaining Fantasy class ships that we are keeping in the fleet. We have many guests who prefer our Fantasy class ships which work so well for shorter itineraries from smaller ports that cannot accommodate our larger ships,” Duffy said.
For the moment at least, it seems that Carnival’s remaining Fantasy Class ships will continue to sail.
The Carnival Sensation, which has been in service since 1993, will move from Miami to Mobile, Alabama and take up itineraries previously assigned to Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination, with guests on those two ships being re-accommodated on Carnival Sensation.
The 2,000 passenger capacity Sensation underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2017 and prior to its relocation to Mobile, sailed year-round from Miami Cozumel, with a brief interlude in 2019 with sailings to Havana that were suspended due to a US government ban on Cuba.
The Carnival Sensation is scheduled to resume sailing from Mobile, November 5, 2020 on four-night itineraries to Cozumel.
The Carnival Elation recently had 30 staterooms on deck nine refitted as part of Carnival Cruise Line’s Fun Ship 2.0 ship enhancement program. In 2017, it had a multi-million-dollar makeover that included the addition of a new water park, 38 new cabins, and 98 balconies to existing staterooms.
Floated out in 1998, the 855 foot Carnival Elation has a capacity of 2,052 passengers and 920 crew. It was the first cruise ship to be fitted with the Azipod propulsion system.
The Carnival Elation currently sails on five-night itineraries to Nassau and Princess Cays in the Bahamas from its home port of Port Canaveral, Florida. It is scheduled to resume sailing on November 5, 2020.
The Carnival Ecstasy, floated out in January 1991, is the oldest ship in the Carnival fleet following the retirement of the Carnival Fantasy.
The Ecstacy has a capacity of 2,634 passengers and 920 crew. It underwent a multi-million dollar makeover in 2017 and a two-week dry-dock in 2019 at the Grand Bahama Shipyard that added a Bonsai Sushi Express eatery, a new video arcade, a new Dreams Studio photo venue and upgrades to the ship’s retail shops.
Currently due to resume sailing on November 2, 2020 out of Jacksonville, the Carnival Ecstacy sails five-night itineraries to Nassau and Princess Cay.
The Carnival Paradise is currently scheduled to resume sailing out of Tampa on November 2, 2020 with five-night itineraries to Cozumel and Grand Cayman.
Carnival Paradise was floated out in 1998 as the world’s first designated non-smoking cruise ship, however in 2003, Carnival discontinued the no-smoking policy as non-smokers were found to be less profitable as they didn’t drink and gamble as much as smokers.
The ship is the last of the original eight Fantasy Class ships built by Carnival and underwent an extensive, multi-million-dollar refurbishment in 2018 that added a water park, miniature golf course, 38 new cabins, and 98 balconies to existing staterooms.