Former Marella Celebration Departs on Final Journey to Scrapyard

The Celebration is heading to the scrapyard (photo: Petros Psarras )

After two years laid-up in the Elefsis Bay, the former Marella Celebration will be dismantled at the Aliaga Ship Breaking Yard.

Like its former fleet mate Marella Dream, the 1984-built vessel left Greece under tow to be beached at the Turkish ship recycling facility.

During its scrapping process, the veteran vessel will see its building materials, fixtures, engines and systems, being removed to be repurposed or sold off.

Last operated by Marella Cruises, the ship was one of the first to be retired during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April 2020, the British operator announced the decision to withdraw the vessel from its fleet as part of a “capacity adjustment.”

"The Marella Celebration is one of the longest standing and most loved ships in the Marella Cruises fleet. She’s sailed with the cruise line for 15 years, carrying almost half a million passengers,” the company said in a statement issued at the time.

A few months after the announcement, the 1,250-guest vessel sailed to Greece’s Elefsis Bay, where it remained anchored until its final voyage.

Before joining Marella Cruises, the 33,930-ton vessel spent over two decades cruising for Holland America Line.

A sister to the 1982-built Nieuw Amsterdam - which ended up scrapped in 2018 - the ship was built in 1984 by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France and originally sailed as the Noordam.

As part of a charter agreement, it was renamed Thomson Celebration before being transferred to Thomson Holidays in late 2004.

The brand, which became Marella Cruises in 2017, later acquired full ownership of the ship. 

With the former Marella Celebration now joining the list, a total of 14 cruise vessels have been beached for scrapping in 2022.

During the last two months, four ships have completed their final journeys, including Pullmantur’s former Horizon and Star Cruises’ former Star Pisces.

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