Celestyal Cruises Sells Recently Acquired Celestyal Experience

Citing "current market conditions resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," Celestyal Cruises announced that it's sold Celestyal Experience, originally scheduled to begin service in March 2022 as the line's third ship. The buyer was not identified.

The cruise line had purchased that 56,800-ton ship, the former Costa neoRomantica, from Carnival Corporation just a year ago. It's never sailed for Celestyal with paying guests aboard. So why the sale?

In its press statement, Celestyal noted that it had "reviewed its forward-looking capacity requirements" and "after careful thought and consideration, the company has sold the Experience and will continue to operate the same-sized fleet that has served it well prior to the pandemic."

Travel Agent sailed on Celestyal Crystal, one of the line's other two ships, in July and, at that time, the line was looking forward to welcoming the third ship. Celestyal operates mostly eastern Mediterranean voyages, but has sailed elsewhere too.

That said, while Americans and Europeans were present aboard Celestyal Crystal during Travel Agent's sailing, there was a lack of guests from Japan, Australia and New Zealand, typically big markets for the line. Those nations' residents were not permitted to travel to Greece.

That had cut sizably into the "pool" of guests the line reasonably could expect to book in the coming months and year. In a previous press announcement, Celestyal had announced that it was temporarily suspending all ship operations through fall and winter and that it would restart cruising with guests in March.

Headquartered in Athens, Greece, and owned by Louis Cruise Group, based in Cyprus, Celestyal also said: "The decision to sell the Experience will also provide the company with enhanced liquidity, which in combination with zero, third-party debt forms the continued solid financial foundation to ensure a successful restart in March 2022..

The press statement about the sale of the third ship reiterated that Celestyal will continue to operate Celestyal Crystal and Celestyal Olympia"Both vessels have seen significant investments in recent years, which have not only improved the guest experience but have aligned the vessels with Celestyal’s brand vision," the statement said. 

It continued: "The move to defer the company’s capacity
growth allows the business to focus on regaining its momentum in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to explore opportunities for its fleet rejuvenation ambitions when the time
is right."

Guests currently holding bookings on Celestyal Experience are currently being contacted by Celestyal and will be reaccommodated on future sailings on Celestyal Crystal.

For information on Celestyal Cruises, visit www.celestyal.com/us/