Carnival Corporation will retire six cruise ships within the next 90 days, according to the company’s second quarter earnings results released on June 18th.
In the filing, Carnival Corporation said the move was part of a long-standing fleet consolidation plan that was accelerated by the worldwide suspension of operations for the entire industry.
“The company intends to accelerate the removal of ships in fiscal 2020 which were previously expected to be sold over the ensuing years,” reads Carnival’s second-quarter regulatory filing.
“The company already has preliminary agreements for the disposal of six ships which are expected to leave the fleet in the next 90 days and is currently working toward additional agreements,” it added.
It’s unclear which cruise ships will be leaving the group’s cumulative fleet of nine cruise lines, but it’s likely to be the oldest ships, such as Princess Cruises’ Sun-class and Grand-class cruise ships, and Costa Cruises’ neoRomantica.
Costa Cruises had previously announced that it was selling or retiring five cruise ships from its fleet, but it’s unclear whether those vessels form part of the six announced by Carnival Corporation.
With new mega-ships being built for AIDA, Costa, P&O, Princess, and Carnival Cruise Lines, the group needs to remove older tonnage to make space for the new capacity, especially in a post-COVID cruise environment where demand may be constricted (although early indications suggest otherwise).
Due to a severely depressed second-hand market, it’s unlikely that many of the ships being retired will be sold. They will likely be sent directly to the breakers.
Carnival further stated that more cruise ships will be retired in the coming months, but didn’t provide a timeframe or the names of any of the vessels.
In the same filing, Carnival Corporation revealed a net loss of US $4.4 billion and revenues of just US $0.7 billion, down from US $4.8 billion during the same period in 2019.
Carnival Corporation also confirmed that four of its newbuilds have been delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing global lockdown, including the long-awaited Carnival Mardi Gras, but didn’t provide an updated timeframe.
“The company previously had four ships scheduled to be delivered between May and October of 2020,” reads the filing. “The company believes COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays of the ships this year and is working with the shipyards on revised timing.”
At least two of the newbuilds, Carnival Mardi Gras and P&O’s Iona, have already been confirmed as being delayed, the other two ships that were due to be delivered for Carnival Corp this year were Enchanted Princess and Costa Firenze.