Carnival Corp. — the parent company of nine cruise brands, including Princess, Costa and Carnival — announced in a third-quarter earnings filing that it plans to sell 18 cruise ships in 2020.
That amounts to 17 percent of the company’s ships.
The decision comes during a halt in cruising since March, when the lines stopped sailing the day before a no-sail order went into effect in the United States.
Carnival already has sold eight older-model cruise ships.
It has not disclosed which cruise lines the ships are from or to whom they are being sold.
The company also will delay delivery of new ships scheduled for 2021 as a cost-saving measure.
“We are in the process of removing 18 ships from our global fleet with several ships already removed,” said Carnival’s chief communications officer, Roger Frizzell, in an email.
“Given our pause in cruising, we recently moved up the timetable to remove our older, less efficient ships from our fleet.
“We have already sold several ships and we (are) currently in negotiations on others.”
Carnival lines account for 45 percent of the world’s cruise industry, according to the travel-focused site the Points Guy.
Fifty-five passengers died of COVID-19 on Carnival-operated ships during the early days of the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has implemented a ban through September and is expected to extend it, preventing cruise ships with a capacity of 250 passengers or more from operating in U.S. waters.
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Carnival CEO Arnold Donald said in the filing that the sales “will generate a 12 percent reduction in capacity and a structurally lower cost base, while retaining the most cash-generative assets in our portfolio.”
Ships that are retired from cruising typically get sold to other lines, according to cruising website Cruise Critic — or they can be sent to junkyards for scrapping.