Carnival’s COVID-19 Fleet Moves Mean More Berths, Less Ships

Carnival Vista

As part of a recently announced fleet rebalancing plan for Carnival Corporation brands, Carnival Cruise Line is set to add another 8,000 berths to its fleet through 2023.

The move is the latest in a series of changes that the fleet has gone through since the pandemic started.

With four ships leaving on an accelerated basis due to COVID-19, and now the Costa Magica and an AIDA newbuild heading to the Carnival, the brand will regain berths lost due to the pandemic, while only adding two more ships.

Using data from the 2021 Cruise Industry News Annual Report, we break down the numbers.

First Ship Sales: Fantasy and Inspiration

Four months into the operational pause, in July 2020, Carnival decided to sell two ships, the Carnival Fantasy and the Carnival Inspiration. While a buyer was not initially named, the two vessels ended up beached for scrapping a few weeks later.

Two More Sales: Imagination and Fascination

After being moved to a long-term lay-up status, both the Carnival Imagination and Carnival Fascination ended up being sold in September 2020. The Imagination was the first to go, joining its former fleet mates in the scrapyard. After a period in Europe, the Fascination headed to an Asian startup.

The additions: Costa Magica and Excel 3

Carnival recently announced plans to grow its fleet with two additional ships by 2023. The company will now take delivery of an Excel-class ship that had previously been assigned to AIDA Cruises in late 2023, as well as take ownership of the 2004-built Costa Magica in mid-2022.

Previous Newbuild Schedule 

In the meantime, Carnival’s previous newbuild schedule has not suffered any significant changes. The company took delivery the new Mardi Gras from the Meyer Turku shipyard in December. A second Excel-class ship, the Carnival Celebration, is set to enter service in 2022.

By the numbers through 2023 - not considering the previous newbuild schedule:


  • Ships shed: 4
  • Ships added: 2

Result: -2 ships


  • Berths shed: 8,160
  • Berths added: 8,120

Result: -40 berths

By the numbers through 2023– including the previous newbuild schedule:


  • Ships shed: 4
  • Ships added: 4

Result: No change


  • Berths shed: 8,160
  • Berths added: 18,520

Result: +10,360 berths

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