GADANI: After languishing for months off the coast of Sri Lanka, another Carnival Cruise Line’s former cruise ships has arrived at the breakers.
The former Carnival Fascination, the fourth member of the Fantasy class, arrived off Gadani for breaking, The Maritime Executive reported.
Built by Kvaerner Masa-Yards at its Helsinki Shipyard in Finland, the 70,000 gross ton Fascination was introduced in 1994 and sailed for the line from San Juan to the Caribbean. She differed only in decor from the prior ships of the class and was part of the cruise line’s effort to move to larger ships as the industry was growing.
After many years in the Caribbean, she was repositioned later in her career, replaced by larger and newer ships. Renamed Carnival Fascination in a fleet-wide branding program, she operated for a time from Jacksonville and was expected to move to Mobile before the pandemic caused the industry to pause operations.
Carnival had also selected her as one of the ships of the class to undergo more extensive renovations including the addition of balconies where possible to enhance the staterooms. However, when the corporation decided to accelerate the disposal of older vessels during the pause in operations, the Carnival Fascination was one of the vessels sold in September 2020. Unlike three of her sister ships, which Carnival sold for recycling at scrap yards in Turkey, the Fascination instead found a buyer.
It was rumoured that the owners considered using the ship as a hotel ship, but instead in October 2021 sold her to a trading company, Nina Services Corp based in Singapore, and shortly after she departed, arriving off Sri Lanka in November. Her name later appeared on her AIS signal shortened to Y Harmony, typically an indicator that the vessel was being offered for scrap. Reports indicated that she was likely to go to India but instead she lingered until departing this week for Pakistan.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 20 large cruise ships, mostly all actively trading into 2020, have all been sold for recycling due to the impact on the cruise industry. In addition, there are a dozen additional large cruise ships laid up with their fate in limbo with most of them likely to also be sold for scrap.
Earlier, GMS, the world’s largest cash buyer of ships for recycling, said in a report that the coronavirus pandemic has hampered recycling capacities at Gadani Ship-Breaking Yard. As industrial oxygen was diverted for medical purposes, the shortage heavily affected the ship recycling district. However, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) had allowed Gadani industries to reopen after it eased Covid-19 restrictions across the country.