Carnival Cruise Line canceled more of its 2021 voyages on Wednesday and announced the sale of two older ships as the coronavirus pandemic continues to calm travel around the world.
The company said it sold Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination, both launched in the mid-1990s, as it moved to remove “less efficient ships from its fleet”. The cruise line had already sold two more ships, the Carnival Fantasy and the Carnival Inspiration, in July.
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“While we are sad to see Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination leave our fleet, it is a necessary move as it allows us to focus on ships that offer the greatest variety of features and cabin accommodations for our guests,” Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line chairman said in a written statement.
Carnival said it will continue to operate four upgraded Fantasy-class ships when travel resumes: Ecstasy, Sensation, Elation and Paradise. Each of these ships features new dining and entertainment options as well as additional balcony staterooms.
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Coronavirus safety precautions have forced cruise lines as well as Carnival around the world to cancel their trips. And Disney Cruise Line said this week that its new ship’s debut would be delayed by a shipyard problem.
Carnival also announced further cancellations for four of its ships as they will undergo improvements in the dry dock. Carnival Magic trips from Miami will be canceled until March 13, 2021; Carnival Paradise trips from Tampa will be canceled until March 19, 2021; Carnival Valor trips from New Orleans, including the transatlantic cruise and return from Barcelona, will be canceled until April 29, 2021; and Carnival Spirit trips from Brisbane will be canceled until May 16, 2021.
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Duffy said the prolonged lull in cruise operations impacted the shipyard’s availability and forced the cruise company to reschedule required dry docks.
“As we continue to work on issues related to our eventual return to operations, we are committed to providing our guests and travel agency partners with the certainty where we can, although we regret disappointing our guests,” Duffy said. “We appreciate the continued support and understanding of our guests and look forward to welcoming them back on board soon.”