Costa sells NeoRomantica to Celestyal

Celestyal Cruises announced that it has acquired the 53,000 gt Costa NeoRomantica cruise ship from Carnival Corp’s Costa Cruises. It becomes the seventh of 13 ships that Carnival Corporation is planning to dispose of form its 104-strong fleet. Carnival has stated that it will be accelerating the offloading of older ships from the fleet during a global pause brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Carnival CEO Arnold Donald had previously announced that the company was proceeding with plans to remove ships from the fleet that previously had been expected to be sold in the next few years, replaced by newer and more efficient ships.

On July 10th Donald said that Carnival had agreements to sell five ships and preliminary agreements to sell three additional ships, all of which were expected to be delivered to their new owners by October 8th, 90 days hence.

Four additional ships that had previously been sold would also be delivered to their buyers.

Costa NeoRomantica, which in normal times accommodates 1,800 passengers, was one of several cruise ships deployed to Manila in the Philippines as part of crew repatriation efforts. It will be stated later when and where Celestyal will take delivery of the Costa NeoRomantica.

Introduced in 1993, the Romantica as it then was, was one of Fincantieri’s first new constructions for the modern cruise industry.

Celestyal Cruises, part of Cyprus-based Louis Group, has cancelled all of its 2020 cruises, which were scheduled for the Greek Islands and Eastern Mediterranean.

CEO Chris Theophilides said that the NeoRomantica was an investment as part of their strategic plan to increase the size of their cruise operations. Celestyal Cruises currently has two other similar-sized cruise ships.

Speculation still surrounded the fate of the final two ships to be sold by Carnival Corp. The Curacao Ports Authority has posted about the arrival of two of Carnival Cruise Lines’ oldest ships, Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration, at its container terminal in recent days. They said that the ships were offloading equipment, which led to the speculation that the 1990-built Carnival Fantasy and the 1996-built Carnival Inspiration had been sold.

Each of the ships is around 70,000 gross tons accommodating 2,000 passengers.

Carnival Fantasy departed Curacao on July 13th, apparently heading to Izmir, Turkey, where she is due to arrive on July 28th. Carnival Inspiration departed Curacao on July 17th and was due in Izmir on August 1st.

That would appear to be readying the two ships for ultimate arrival at breakers’ yards in Turkey. Circumstantial confirmation of this comes from the fact that Carnival has mostly completed its crew repatriations, so these trips are unlikely to be for transporting crew home to Europe.

It was already known that the company had sold Pacific Aria and Pacific Dawn to CMV for delivery in 2021 (however, see lead story today re CMV falling into receivership, which casts into uncertainty how this will resolve). Costa Atlantica and Costa Mediterranea were heading for its joint venture in China.

Costa Victoria and Oceana had already been announced as sold, the Victoria for breaking and the Oceana for further service.

Amsterdam to Fred Olsen

Costa Victoria to scrap, Italy

Maasdam sold for further service

Oceana sold for further service

Rotterdam to Fred Olsen

Veendam sold for further service

Although prices for the sales have not been publicly announced Bonheur Group’s announcement regarding the Amsterdam and Rotterdam for its Fred Olsen Cruise Lines subsidiary, suggested a price of about $18,000,000, a number that would have been considered lowball last year. In addition, there are reports that the in the case of the Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Carnival was supporting the sale by providing credit to the buyer.