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Royal Caribbean's Empress and Majesty of the Seas to exit

Empress of the Seas, left, was introduced in 1990, and the larger Majesty of the Seas, right, came in 1992
Royal Caribbean International announced Empress and Majesty of the Seas will depart its fleet later this month.

The ships have been sold to an undisclosed party, based in Asia-Pacific, that will release details for future sailings at a later time.

'Made indelible marks on the cruise industry'

'Empress and Majesty of the Seas made indelible marks on the cruise industry with their revolutionary design and size. Touted as the cruise industry’s most groundbreaking ships when they were introduced, they continued to make history throughout their more than three decades of service,' said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

'Saying goodbye to these two beloved ships is a major moment in Royal Caribbean’s history — one that is difficult but necessary,' he continued. 'With plans for new, innovative ships to join our fleet in the upcoming years, we look forward to our guests and crew continuing to make new memories with us.'

Short cruise market and, later, Cuba

Empress was the first Royal Caribbean ship designed for three- and four-night cruises when introduced in 1990, with initial sailings visiting the Bahamas from Miami. Empress also became the first cruise ship to sail from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, when Royal Caribbean opened the terminal in 2004. In 2017, the ship took center stage again for the line's inaugural Cuba cruise.

Majesty capped the Sovereign class

Majesty also played a crucial role. The third ship to round out Royal Caribbean's Sovereign class and the brand's largest at the time, was more than twice the size of the average cruise ship upon its 1992 debut. Deployment began with seven-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami.