Carnival Corp is shedding a 17-year-old cruise ship to Greek buyers.
Shipping market sources in Piraeus are linking Marios Iliopoulos company Seajets to a deal for the 102,700-gt Costa Magica (built 2004).
No information has transpired on the price at which the Fincantieri-built vessel changed hands, but Carnival confirmed the sale on Wednesday.
“We confirm that Costa Magica has been sold and the ship has been delivered to the new buyer,” spokeswoman Jody Venturoni told TradeWinds. “We are unable to provide any additional details at this time.”
It is no secret, however, that the New York-listed cruise ship giant had no longer any use for the vessel.
In its latest annual report filed on 27 January, Carnival excluded the Costa Magica from its fleet summary, commenting that it would “not resume guest cruise operations”.
In June 2022, TradeWinds reported the Costa Magica as one of five ships in Carnival’s Costa Cruises brand that was still idling after the Coronavirus upheaval.
Carnival was earlier considering redeploying the vessel from Costa, which mainly operates in Europe, to its Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) brand which mostly operates in the Americas.
That plan, however, was dropped and Carnival sent the smaller and younger 92,700-gt Costa Luminosa (built 2009) to join CCL instead.
A Greek powerhouse
The Costa Magica has 1,359 cabins that accommodate up to 4,000 passengers and about 1,000 crew members.
Under Seajets’ management, the Costa Magica is likely to return in grand style to Mediterranean waters.
According to available data, it becomes the biggest and youngest ship ever in the cruise ship fleet of Marios Iliopoulos-led Seajets.
The Greek company, which proved an adept asset player during the coronavirus crisis that rocked the industry, currently owns five cruise ships acquired during the pandemic.
The Costa Magica’s addition comes to cement Seajets’ fledgling role as a leading cruise ship owner in Greece.
A tourism heavyweight that comes back roaring after the coronavirus crisis, Greece attracted 27.3 million travellers between January and end-November last year.
That was almost three times the number of the country’s own population, nearly twice the number of incoming tourists in the same period of 2022 and close to the pre-Corona record of 30 million tourists in 2019.
Seajets sets out to capture that growth not just through its cruise ships, but also with a fleet of about 20 short-distance passenger ships servicing the country’s numerous islands.
That includes a dozen high-speed ferries which, according to the company, represents the largest such fleet in the world.
Michael Juliano contributed to this report.