The Carnival Inspiration, one of three Long Beach-based cruise ships operated by the Carnival Corporation, could be en route to a scrapyard in Turkey, although the destination remains unconfirmed by the company.
Industry news website Cruise Radio was the first to report two days ago the Inspiration had filed a voyage plan for Izmir, Turkey, near the site of a major ship scrapyard and recycling facility. Online tracking website Vessel Finder shows the Inspiration is expected to arrive in Izmir on Aug. 3.
The ship was recently docked at the Caribbean island Curaçao, where the local port authority announced on Facebook the Inspiration and sister ship Carnival Fantasy were unloading heavy equipment—a possible sign both ships were being prepared for an end to service.
A few days ahead of Inspiration’s departure from Curaçao, the Fantasy had already left the island, also headed for Turkey.
Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration moored at the container terminal for unloading heavy equipment.
Long Beach is the largest West Coast base for Carnival, with three ships homeported in the city, including the Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Imagination and the Carnival Panorama.
Cruise ship operations are a significant source of revenue for the city and a major boost to the local economy, including fees collected for each passenger and tax revenue when passengers stay in local hotels, shop, or dine in restaurants before and after cruises.
Due to sustained, ongoing shutdowns from the Coronavirus pandemic, Carnival Corporation recently reported a multibillion quarterly loss, with cruise cancellations extending at least through the end of September.
Although not specifically confirming the Inspiration is headed for a scrapyard, the company recently announced plans to reduce the number of ships in its fleet, saying in a statement: “Our parent company, Carnival Corporation, said in its quarterly earnings call last Friday that the company was going to remove 13 ships across the corporate fleet. What ships, if any, from the Carnival Cruise Line fleet that may be involved in this capacity reduction, have not been publicly identified. We aren’t in a position to confirm, deny or comment on speculation or rumor.”
The Inspiration recently appeared on the website Global Ferry & Cruise Shipbrokers, listed for sale for $200 million.
“We have asked the company in question to remove our ship from the site as it is not correct and we have not announced which ships will be affected,” a Carnival spokesperson said in an email.
Meanwhile, the company’s two other Long Beach-based ships, the Carnival Panorama and the Carnival Imagination are currently near Singapore and the Panama Canal, respectively, after participating in a complex effort to return thousands of stranded crew members from dozens of ships back to their home countries.
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