Pullmantur Sovereign

Former names: MS Sovereign, Sovereign of the Seas

Specifications of Pullmantur Sovereign

Year of build1987  /  Age: 33
BuilderChantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, STX France)
Building costUSD 185 million
Speed22 kn / 41 km/h / 25 mph
Length (LOA)268 m / 879 ft
Beam (width)32 m / 105 ft
Gross Tonnage73529 gt
Passengers2733 - 2852
Passengers-to-space ratio31
Decks with cabins12
Last Refurbishment2015, Aliaga-scrapped in 2020
Sister-shipsPullmantur Monarch, Majesty Of The Seas
Former namesMS Sovereign, Sovereign of the Seas
Christened byEleanor Rosalynn Carter (USA's First Lady / 1977-81)
OwnerRoyal Caribbean Cruises Ltd & Springwater Capital

Pullmantur Sovereign Review

Review of Pullmantur Sovereign

Launched in 1987 as the world's biggest cruise ship "Sovereign of the Seas", Pullmantur Sovereign was operated by Royal Caribbean until November 2008. Until the scrapping, Sovereign was one of the Pullmantur ships - together with Horizon, Monarch (sistership) and Zenith.

On July 13, 2020, the cruise liner Sovereign was docked in Malta Freeport (Birżebbuġa). There were speculations that it could be scrapped at Aliaga Turkey (approx 50 km / 30 mi north of Port Izmir). In mid-June, Pullmantur Cruceros filed for a supervised reorganization/bankruptcy under Spain's insolvency laws' terms. On July 17 (at 00:21 UTC) the vessel left Malta en-route to Port Aliaga (destination port's UN/locode specified by the Captain was TRALI / Turkey Aliaga). On July 21, the ship anchored in Aliaga Bay (north of the port). On July 23, MS Sovereign was beached at Aliaga Ship Recycling Facility, next to MS Monarch. Sovereign's AIS went silent on July 29, at 14:33 UTC.

MS Sovereign was planned to restart passenger shipping operations on August 7, 2020. A total of 97x Pullmantur Sovereign cruises were cancelled (departures between Aug 7, 2020, and Nov 13, 2021).

During its Pullmantur service, the vessel (IMO number 8512281) was Malta-flagged (MMSI number 249539000) and registered in Valletta. The ship's last drydock refurbishment was in 2015 (Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport  Bahamas).

History - construction and ownership

Pullmantur Cruises is a Spanish company (headquartered in Madrid) founded in 1988 as a subsidiary of the travel agency "Pullmantur" (1971-founded). In 2006, Pullmantur Cruises was acquired by RCCL-Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd - the world's 2nd largest passenger shipping company (after Carnival Corporation). Currently, RCCL owns 49% as 51% were sold in 2016 to Springwater Capital LLC (2002-founded investment firm). Pullmantur offers high-quality product mainly to Spanish-speaking source market. The company operates mainly in Mediterranean-Canaries regions and by fleet capacity is ranked the largest cruise brand in Spain.

Pullmantur Sovereign cruise ship

The 73,529-ton, 2,278-passenger cruise ship Pullmantur Sovereign is one of three Sovereign-class vessels - the operated by Pullmantur Cruises MS Monarch and Majesty of the Seas. When she was built, ms Sovereign of the Seas was the largest ship to be built since Cunard's Queen Elizabeth.

Sovereign of the Seas was transferred to Pullmantur Cruises in November 2008 after serving for RCI for 20 years and renamed ms Sovereign. Similar to the other Sovereign-class vessels, ms Sovereign cruise ship has a unique multi-deck atrium lobby, the Centrum, and a funnel-mounted top-deck Viking Crown Lounge. The ship features 5 restaurants, 9 bars, spa, 4 pools and casino.

In early-December 2018, Pullmantur Cruceros introduced "Pullmantur Visa" card via a partnership with Bankinter Consumer Finance (specializing in credit cards and consumer loans). Pullmantur Visa allows easier booking and financing over a period up to 18 months. Pullmantur's credit card is for the Spanish market only (Spanish nationals and residents in Spain) and without maintenance fees. All cruise customers who make payments via Pullmantur Visa receive a return up to 6% of the deferred purchases, plus EUR 20 gift voucher when making non-Pullmantur related purchases.

Cruise itineraries

Pullmantur Sovereign itinerary program was based on Mediterranean roundtrips from Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Civitavecchia-Rome. During the winter season (December through February-March), the ship was homeported in Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil) for short breaks to Rio de Janeiro (also an alternative homeport for embarkation).

Pullmantur's Brazilian tour agency was CVC (handling all bookings). Season 2019-2020 was MS Sovereign's 11th consecutive in South America - since 2008 when the liner was transferred from RCI-Royal Caribbean International to Pullmantur.

Next tables show MS Sovereign's last itineraries planned for 2020-2021 - before Pullmantur's bankruptcy and the vessel's scrapping in Turkey.

(2020) 7-day "Five Wonders Of The Mediterranean Marseille"

Date / TimePort
07 Aug 17:00Departing from Marseille, France
08 Aug 08:00 - 18:00Barcelona, Spain
10 Aug 08:00 - 19:00Naples, Italy
11 Aug 08:00 - 19:00Civitavecchia-Rome, Italy
12 Aug 08:00 - 20:00Livorno-Florence, Italy
13 Aug 08:00 - 17:00Villefranche-sur-Mer, Nice, France
14 Aug 08:00Arriving in Marseille

(2021) 7-day "Five Wonders Of The Mediterranean"

Date / TimePort
13 Nov 18:00Departing from Barcelona, Spain
15 Nov 08:00 - 19:00Naples, Italy
16 Nov 08:00 - 19:00Civitavecchia-Rome, Italy
17 Nov 08:00 - 20:00Livorno-Florence, Italy
18 Nov 08:00 - 17:00Villefranche-sur-Mer, Nice, France
19 Nov 08:00 - 17:00Marseille, France
20 Nov 08:00Arriving in Barcelona


Pullmantur Sovereign offers a total of 1162 staterooms in 16 categories, of which 418 Inside, 67 Balcony and 67 Suites. MS Sovereign cabins are quite small, the bathrooms are tiny, and the storage space is limited. Suites are large, with a separate sleeping and living area.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The El Guadiana and El Duero dining rooms offer attentive service and reasonable food. There is also Grill on deck 12. Alternative dining is available at Wu Fusion Restaurant, Panorama Buffet, and Cafe San Marco. Panorama Buffet Restaurant is the spot to enjoy a more casual evening meal with a wide selection of international dishes. No seating times are applied and meals have a more relaxed feeling.

Pullmantur Sovereign cruise ship

Follows the complete list of Pullmantur Sovereign restaurants and food bars.

  • El Guadiana Restaurant
  • El Duero Restaurant
  • Panorama Buffet Restaurant
  • Wú Fusion Restaurant & Lounge Bar
  • The Grill Restaurant
  • Pizzeria
  • Ice Cream Parlour

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Sports facilities include a fitness centre, two swimming pools, a basketball court, a climbing wall. There are also a sauna and Spa del Mar. Musical stage productions are offered in the Broadway Showroom, and Zoom Discotheque features live music, dancing and cabaret. This ship boasts a Monte Carlo casino and twin cinema.

Pullmantur Sovereign cruise ship

Sovereign cruise ship's guests tend to be mixed ages, Spanish and European. When all staterooms have double occupancy, the vessel secures a space ratio of 32.13 tons per guest and a crew to passenger ratio of one for every 2.8 passengers.

Follows the complete list of Pullmantur Sovereign lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • Centrum (multi-deck atrium)
  • Broadway Show Lounge
  • Cafe San Marco Cafe Plaza
  • Spinnaker Piano Bar & Lounge
  • Bar Panorama; 360-degree Bar Lounge
  • The Waves Yacht Club
  • Photo Gallery; Video Arcade; Boutique
  • Rendez-Vous Lounge
  • Internet Center; Conference Room
  • Casino Del Mar
  • Zoom Disco
  • Card Room; Reading Room; Library
  • Teen's Club; Tibu / Grumetes Club (for kids 3-5 years); Guppys Capi Club (for kids 6-8 years)
  • Spa del Mar Beauty & Fitness
  • Bar Marina (Pool Bar)
  • 2 Swimming Pools; 2 Jacuzzis; 2 Solariums; Jogging Track
  • Fitness Center; Rock Climbing Wall; Sports Court.

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MS Sovereign cruise ship was built in St Nazaire France (originally for RCI-Royal Caribbean International) as "Sovereign of the Seas". The vessel's construction officially started with the keel-laying ceremony (yard number A-29) held on June 10, 1986. Sea trials (along France's Atlantic coast / Bay of Biscay) were conducted on September 5-6, 1987. The ship's christening ceremony was on January 15, 1988, held in PortMiami FL. The naming ceremony was attended by the USA's former President Jimmy Carter (in office 1977-81), his wife (Rosalynn / cruise ship's godmother) and Egil Abrahamsen (RCCL's Chairman).

For RCI-Royal Caribbean, Sovereign of the Seas operated on 7-day Miami roundtrips to Caribbean island destinations. In 2008, Sovereign was transferred to Pullmantur to help promoting the RCCL's Spanish brand.

The ship was one of the 3x Sovereign-class vessels operated by Pullmantur (shipowner's / RCCL's trade brand in Spain). The other two in this series are Monarch of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas. At the time of its maiden voyage (January 16, 1988), Sovereign was the largest cruise ship built since Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth (link to the new 2010-built liner).

Fun fact is, that during its November 2004 refurbishment, the vessel was featured in the Travel Channel's "A Cruise Ship Reborn" series. During its RCI service, the ship operated on short (3- and 4-night) Bahamas cruises leaving from Florida (Miami and Port Canaveral-Orlando) to CocoCay (private island).