As reported by Seatrade earlier this week, the Seajets ferry owner’s 55,600gt cruise ship Aegean Myth (ex-Maasdam), built in 1993, has been sold to a French start-up company at a price that indicates values for older, mid-sized cruise ships are finally on a steep upward trajectory after languishing at close to scrap value since Covid-19 brought the cruise industry to an abrupt halt in 2020.
The ongoing revival of the cruise industry is giving the Greek ferry and cruise ship owner Iliopoulos an opportunity to cash in cruise ships he acquired at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and had them in lay-up off Piraeus.
Two ships scrapped
Two of the seven ships Iliopoulos purchased have since been sold for scrap in India, 63,800gt Columbus, and 46,000gt Magellan, (re-named Mage) built 1985, both former CMV cruise ships acquired at auction, for $5.3m and $3.4m respectively. London-based broker VesselsValue estimated Columbus had a scrap value of $13.5m.
Four out of five left
The remaining five are: Majesty of the Seas, built 1992, and renamed Majesty, purchased from Royal Caribbean; plus four from Carnival Corp - 55,900gt Pacific Aria, built 1994, became Aegean Goddess after being acquired from Carnival subsidiary P&O Cruises Australia for a reported $8m; Oceana, 77,500gt built 2000 was purchased for a reported $21m and is now the Queen of the Seas; while no price has been disclosed for Holland America Line’s Veendam, 57,100gt, built 1996, and re-named Aegean Majesty and Maasdam, renamed Aegean Myth.
No trading plans were ever announced for the five cruise ships. Piraeus-based cruise shipbroker Denis Vernardakis-led Masters Shipping acted as broker for the purchases as well as the recent sale of Maasdam.
Vernardakis said the Greek owner is willing to listen to prospective buyers regarding the other four cruise ships he has.