Carnival Corporation Makes Surprise Ship Sale to CMV
CMV Group, a British-based cruise operator, has announced the acquisition of its sixth ship, the Pacific Eden acquired from Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises Australia. While the announcement came as a bit of a surprise to the industry, it is in keeping with Carnival Corporation’s stated philosophy of measured capacity growth replacing older ships throughout its global fleet with newer, more efficient never vessels.
Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald previously told the investment community that the company would continue to upgrade operations continuing its historic average of removing one to ships per year. In 2017, Carnival had announced that it had, “taken a write-off on assets currently deployed in Australia, which are less efficient with the intention of replacing those assets with more efficient vessels over time.”
In 2017, Carnival removed two older ships from its fleet. In April the Pacific Pearl, also of P&O Cruises Australia was delivered to Cruise & Maritime Voyages becoming their Columbus. The 63,786 gross ton ship, with accommodations for 1,550 passengers was introduced in 1988 as the Star Princess for Princess Cruises. She had been deployed between Princess Cruises and as the Arcadia for P&O in the U.K. before being transferred to Australia in 2010.
Last year Carnival also entered into an agreement with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line for the 52,900 gross ton Costa neoClassic. The 1,680 passenger ship is being delivered this spring and refitted as the Grand Classica to enter service offering two-night cruises between the Port of Palm Beach and Freeport in the Bahamas.
In recent weeks that had been speculation that P&O Cruises Australia would be selling additional ships. A Singapore-based group had announced plans to launch a new Cartoon Network cruise ship using an image of P&O’s Pacific Jewel. P&O, however, had denied the pending sale of the vessel.
The Pacific Eden, however had only recently joined P&O Cruises Australia receiving an extensive refit before her introduction in November 2015. The 55,280 gross ton ship had been built in 1994 as the Statendam for Holland America Line. She will be delivered to CMV in Singapore in early April 2019 where she will be drydocked in preparation for her new deployment. While a name has not been announced for the ship, CMV said it was planning to continue its explorer theme with possibly names including Vasco da Gama, Pytheas, Henry Hudson and Amerigo Vespucci.
After the refit, the ship will be moved to Northern Europe via the Suez Canal and will commence service sailing for CMV’s German brand, TransOcean Kreuzfahrten between May and October 2019. The plan is that she will return to Australia for their summer season between December and March 2020.
While Carnival Corporation has not confirmed any additional ship sales it is widely anticipated that additional ships will depart the fleet in 2018. Carnival is scheduled to take delivery of new ships for its AIDA, Carnival, Holland America and Seabourn brands this year. Carnival currently has a total of 22 new ships on order and also has announced plans to redeploy ships including moving newer vessels to Australia in the future.