Carnival Corp. may say goodbye to Costa Europa.
Carnival Corp. is lending out Costa Europa with an option to buy. The 1,488-passenger ship will join British travel company Thomson Cruises under a 10-year bareboat charter beginning in April 2010. Under the agreement, Thomson has an option to purchase the ship any time after five years.
Costa Europa, which joined the Costa Cruises' fleet in 2002, was one of the first ships to operate on regular cruises in the Arabian Gulf, with departures from Dubai, and the Indian Ocean out of Mauritius.
The move isn't a big surprise as the cruise industry continues to suffer from a sluggish economy that has dampened consumer confidence. Chartering or selling older ships is another revenue stream.
"While we continue to grow our business with new and exciting vessels, we are also divesting of older tonnage which allows us to offer one of the most modern, technologically advanced fleets in the cruise industry," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO. Over the next three years, Carnival Corp. will welcome 13 vessels for seven different brands.