Scrapped Cruise Ships

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Review of Scrapped Cruise Ships

This is CruiseMapper's most unusual theme-section that groups scrapped cruise liners - passenger vessels (including ferries) that exist no more. Mapper's "Scrapped Cruise Ships" is not a cruise line/company or brand name, but just a hub for all these old-timers on which millions of travelers have spent so precious vacation times and still remember their special voyages. Here you will also find a list of now-defunct cruise lines (companies and brands that went bankrupt).

Scrapped Cruise Ships - CruiseMapper

Cruise vessels' lifespan is ~30-40 years. Eventually, the old ships become either unseaworthy (especially following some major accident) or too expensive for operation as they require more complicated drydock refit and refurbishment projects to be somehow competitive with all the newbuild vessels. Generally, such older vessels are first sold from the cruise line company to a smaller company that continues to use them for passenger shipping in less novelties-demanding and more budget-oriented markets, like India, China, Korea, Russia, Australia, South America, Caribbean, Southern Europe (Iberia, Mediterranean, Black Sea). Some ships are even converted to overnight cruiseferries carrying both passengers and cars.

Old cruise vessels are either scrapped (dismantled), scuttled (deliberately sunk) or decommissioned from cruising service, permanently berthed and turned into luxury dockside hotels or ship-museums.

Scuttling (deliberate ship sinking) is conducted by allowing seawater to flow into the vessel's hull. This can be done by opening vessel's hatches to the water, by creating holes into the hull or by using explosives (in some cases even bombing the vessel or gunning it from distance, using it as shooting target by military ships). Scuttling is usually performed on abandoned or captured vessels, and mainly to prevent them to become a navigation hazard. Some ships are scuttled to become an artificial reef (habitat for marine life) thus serving scuba diving activities.

For detailed information on the shipbreaking process (technologies, largest shipbreakers and shipbreaking yards worldwide, industry policies and new regulations, pollution issues) you can read CruiseMapper's dedicated article Ship Breaking and 40+ Year-Old Cruise Ships. World's largest shipbreaking yards are n India (Alang), Bangladesh (Chittagong) and Pakistan (Gadani). There, the doomed vessels are first run aground (by beaching at low tide) then dismantled by underpaid workers. Once the ship is on land, yard workers first strip everything useful (furniture, equipment, plastics, glass, etc), dismantle the superstructure, then cut the hull up and collect and recycle everything (from hull's steel plates to the engines and other machinery), discarding only the hazardous materials.

Shipbreaking - CruiseMapper

An example for an abandoned cruiser is MV World Discoverer - which struck a reef off Florida Islands (Solomon Islands) in 2000. All passengers and most crew were evacuated. The vessel under its own power arrived at Roderick Bay where was abandoned near the beach.

Roderick Bay (MS World Discoverer) cruise ship wreckage

Due to the industry's strict regulations, highest safety standards, innovative marine design and implemented modern technologies, cruise vessels usually don't sink. One of the few/best-known exceptions is MS Costa Concordia, which by human error/stupidity ran aground and partially sunk in 2012 off Giglio Island, Italy. The vessel was refloated (at the staggering cost of ~EUR 225 million / ~USD 300 million) and dismantled in Genoa Italy.

Best-known cases of cruise vessels repurposed into floating (dockside moored) hotels are Cunard Line's classic ocean liners RMS Queen Mary (1934-built, 1967-retired, since then operated as ship-hotel in Long Beach CA USA) and RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (1969-built, 2008-retired, since 2018 operated as ship-hotel in Dubai UAE).

The idea for our scrapped cruise liners hub was given by Gerald Sutton. We created it following his passioned email (received on August 25, 2019) in which he wrote: "I want to say how much I love your website and thank you for sharing the life of all of these wonderful ships. I want to help if I may. I noticed that there are many ships still in the Small Cruise Lines section that are scrapped. I wanted to ask if you have room or time to add a "Scrapped" section to your cruise ship list. This way great ships of the past can be saved for all to see and remember and it cleans up the active cruise ship sections. Your website has an amazing history and information about ships that thousands of people enjoyed. Your website is like a historical library for cruise ships. so a section dedicated for scrapped ships would be great."

Scrapped Cruise Ships - CruiseMapper

Bankrupted (now defunct) cruise companies and ship-travel brands

  • American Classic Voyages (1993-2001), owner of the brands Delta Queen Steamboat Company, American Hawaii Cruises, United States Lines. Delta Queen Steamboat Company (1890-1973) in 1993 was acquired by American Classic Voyages, in 2006 was sold to Majestic America Line (2008 defunct).
  • Birka Cruises (1971-2020) was a Mariehamn (Aland Finland)-headquartered company fully-owned by Eckero Line Oy (Rederi Ab Eckero, 1995-founded, Helsinki-based cargo and passenger shipping company). Birka Cruises operated just one ship (Birka Stockholm) on the route Stockholm-Mariehamn. The company was shut down due to the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Bora Bora Cruises (2001-2011), owner of the megayachts Tu Moana and Tia Moana
  • CDF Croisieres de France (2007-2017), sister-brand of Pullmantur Cruises - both owned by RCCL-Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd
  • Celebration Cruise Line (2009-2014), owned the ship Bahamas Celebration (1981-2015 scrapped, IMO 7904891)
  • Cruise North Expeditions (2205-2011) - merged with Adventure Canada
  • Cruise West (1958-2010) - Alaska's largest small-ship cruise company with 9 fully-owned vessels plus 2 chartered
  • Carnival Fathom Cruise (2015-2017) owned by Carnival Corporation and specialized in cruises to Cuba and the Dominican Republic from the USA
  • Haimark Line (2014-2015), chartered for 5 years MS Saint Laurent (now MS Victory I).
  • Iberocruceros (2007-2014), owned by Carnival Corporation, in 2014 was merged with Costa Cruises
  • Imperial Majesty Cruise Line (1999-2009), operated mini-cruises from Port Everglades to Nassau Bahamas.
  • One Ocean Expeditions (2007-2020), OOE operated Arctic-Antarctica cruises with chartered ships (RCGS Resolute, plus 2x Russian icebreakers / research vessels - Akademik Ioffe and Akademik Vavilov). The now-defunct Canadian brand filed for bankruptcy on April 17, 2020, owning a total of CAD 29,5 million (~USD 21,15 M / ~EUR 19,52 M) in debts One Ocean unusefully tried restructuring after Russia cancelled the charter deals for its icebreakers in 2019. OOE's bankruptcy was also influenced by the 2020's Coronavirus pandemic resulting in a 3-month suspension of passenger shipping services worldwide. In a court filing in late-June 2020, Andrew Prossin (OOE's Managing Director) said that he is in negotiations to finance a new cruise ship charter. Prossin filed a USD 19 million judgement against Terragelida Ship Management Ltd (Limassol Cyprus-based company) which was contracted by OOE during the charter period of the two Russian icebreakers. OOE also collected an insurance payment and further reclaimed USD 3+ million in assets on RCGS Resolute. Prossin also added that he is negotiating with non-competitive parties to eventually sub-charter a new cruise vessel annually, for a substantial amount of days.
  • Orion Expedition Cruises (2004-2013), owned the ship MV Orion (now National Geographic Orion)
  • Peter Deilmann Cruises (1968-2015), had 2 fleets (ocean and river)
  • Premier Cruise Line (1983-2000), owned by The Walt Disney Company
  • Renaissance Cruises (1989-2001), owner of six R-class ships, now in the fleets of Azamara, Oceania and Princess brands.
  • Swan Hellenic (1954-2017), operated Eastern Mediterranean cruises, in 1983 sold to P&O Cruises (incorporated into Carnival Corporation in 2003)
  • Travel Dynamics (1959-2014), owned the ships Arethusa, Artemis, Corinthian, Road to Mandalay
  • Voyages to Antiquity (2010-2019), owned the ship Aegean Odyssey
  • Voyages of Discovery (2003-2016), in 2005 was acquired by All Leisure Group UK (bankrupted in January 2017), owned the ship MV Discovery (1971-2015 scrapped)

Our future plans include adding more (now-defunct) passenger shipping companies and travel brands, all of which are associated with older and already destroyed or scrapped vessels. In time we could also add here more ocean liners that for the multi-billion cruising industry are now only shadowy names - broken up and forgotten.

Scrapped Cruise Ships related cruise news

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