Carnival Cruise Line has today confirmed the sale of its Fantasy Class ships Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination.
The company said the sale of Carnival Fascination, launched in 1994, and Carnival Imagination, introduced in 1995, was in line with parent company Carnival Corporation’s plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet.
“While we are sad to see Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination leave our fleet, it is a necessary move as it allows us to focus on ships that offer the greatest variety of features and stateroom accommodations for our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
After reporting a massive net loss of $2.9 billion for the third quarter yesterday, Carnival Corporation said that it would increase the number of ships exiting its global fleet from 13 to 18.
“In total, the 18 ships represent approximately 12 percent of pre-pause capacity and only three percent of operating income in 2019,” Carnival said, in an SEC filing.
“We continue to take aggressive action to emerge a leaner, more efficient company. We are accelerating the exit of 18 less efficient ships from our fleet. This will generate a 12% reduction in capacity and a structurally lower cost base while retaining the most cash generative assets in our portfolio,” said Carnival CEO, Arnold Donald.
Carnival Imagination joins Carnival Fascination at Turkish scrapyard
As Carnival confirmed the sale of the Carnival Imagination, reports emerged that she had arrived in Aliaga, Turkey to be scrapped. Another Fantasy Class ship, the Carnival Fantasy was also scrapped at the Turkish shipyard.
There had been speculation as to the fate of the remaining four ships in the Carnival Fantasy class, following Carnival Corp’s earlier announcement that it was downsizing its fleet by 13 ships, however the world’s largest cruise operator now says that upon return to operations, it will operate four upgraded Fantasy-class ships – Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Elation, and Carnival Paradise.
The Carnival Imagination was built at the Helsinki New Shipyard in Finland and floated out in July, 1995. 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.
Until the suspension of global cruise operations, the Carnival Fascination had sailed out of San Juan, Puerto Rico on southern Caribbean cruises. The fourth in the Fantasy Class series, the Fascination, like the Imagination built in Finland and was identical in size and capacity. She floated out in July 1994.
Carnival delaying return to operation of four ships
Carnival has also advised guests and travel agents that it is delaying the return to operations for four ships until after scheduled dry dock enhancements are completed in the first half of 2021.
The four impacted ships and resulting cancelled itineraries include:
- Carnival Magic itineraries operating from Miami will be cancelled until Mar. 13, 2021
- Carnival Paradise itineraries operating from Tampa will be cancelled until Mar. 19, 2021
- Carnival Valor itineraries operating from New Orleans will be cancelled until Apr. 29, 2021 (including the transatlantic cruise from New Orleans on Jan. 25, 2021 and the return from Barcelona on Feb. 26, 2021)
- Carnival Spirit itineraries operating from Brisbane will be cancelled through May 16, 2021, with the first sailing being the Singapore to Brisbane voyage embarking on June 12, 2021.
“This extended pause in our operations has also impacted shipyard availability, and we’ve had to reschedule required dry docks. As we continue to work through issues related to our eventual return to operations, we are committed to providing our guests and travel agent partners with certainty where we can, although we regret disappointing our guests. We appreciate the continued support and understanding of our guests and hope to welcome them back on board soon,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.