Five Ships to Leave Costa Fleet by May 2021

Costa Mediterranea  (Photo: JD Schwartz)

Working to reduce capacity growth in Southern Europe, five ships will leave the Costa Cruises fleet by May 2021, according to Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, speaking on the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Donald said that two Europe-based ships will leave the Costa fleet in 2020, and he added that two ships will leave the Costa fleet in Asia in 2020.

In addition, he confirmed the Costa Mediterranea will leave the fleet in May 2021. 

The ships will be replaced with more efficient capacity in the new Costa Smeralda, Donald underscored. 

Carnival’s CEO did not mention what other ships would leave the fleet, but based on other Carnival Corp. vessel transfers, these would most likely be the line’s older and less efficient vessels. 

“Some are being sent to China; some are being sent to other markets where we have strength,” Donald said, noting some would also leave the fleet. “When we sell them, we don’t sell them into competing markets.”

The Atlantica and Mediterranea are expected to transfer to Carnival’s joint venture in China with China State Shipbuilding Corporation, but the timeline is behind previously announced goals. 

Recent Carnival Corporation secondhand vessel transactions include not only Costa vessels, but the P&O Oriana, which was sold to Chinese owners and just transferred to the new Astro Ocean brand.

In addition, the Pacific Jewel was sold to Jalesh Cruises, the Pacific Eden moved to Cruise & Maritime Voyages, and the Prinsendam is now the Amera for Phoenix Reisen.

Piano Land to Debut from Xiamen This Fall

P&O Oriana

The P&O Oriana will become the Piano Land this fall and debut in her new China Travel Services and COSCO role from the port of Xiamen.

China Travel Group and COSCO have come together to form Well Star Travel Cruise, a joint venture that will operate and market the 1995-built ship.

P&O UK announced last June that the vessel would be leaving its fleet in August 2019, not naming a buyer. It was later revealed the 1,822-guest ship was heading for a new life in China.

The ship will conclude its P&O program with an 18-day sailing roundtrip from Southampton to Norway and Svalbard; ending on August 9. The first cruise from Xiamen could happen as soon as mid-October.

The transfer of the Oriana to a new Chinese brand marks the second phase of home-grown brands in China. Following the demise of SkySea, only two local one-ship brands remain in Bohai Ferry and Diamond Cruise, which each operate a single 838-guest vessel.

The Piano Land will thus be the largest local vessel in the market.

Later this year, China State Shipbuilding Corporation will take delivery of the Costa Atlantica for its joint venture domestic brand aligned with Carnival Corporation.

Costa Atlantica and Mediterranea Sold to New Chinese Brand

CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping has announced an agreement to purchase two existing ships from Carnival Corporation’s Costa Group.

The first of these ships, the 85,861-ton, 2,210-passenger Costa Atlantica, is scheduled to be transferred to the new Chinese cruise line by the end of 2019. The new line is part of a joint venture between China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and Carnival Corporation.

Costa Atlantica’s sister ship, the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea, will be transferred at a date still to be announced but is expected to be at the end of 2020, according to CSSC.

The new China-based cruise company plans to operate its own fleet to serve Chinese cruise guests by the end of 2019, according to a press release.