The Former Fantasy-class vessel Carnival Fascination is set to become a floating hotel in Asia after being sold to Chinese cruise operator Century Cruises under the new name of Century Harmony. The ship is reportedly going to be operating in the Chinese market as a hotel ship and the new owner has already been recruiting.
At the beginning of 2020, Carnival announced that Carnival Fascination would be scheduled out of Mobile, Alabama. However, due to the rejuvenation efforts, Carnival Corporation has gone through lately, she is now heading for a new home.
The fact the vessel is not being scrapped is excellent news as previously Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, and Carnival Fantasy ended up at the scrapyard in Izmir, Turkey.
Renamed Century Harmony
She has recently been in a cold layup, looking a little worse for wear, in Cadiz, Spain. From Cadiz, the new owners are sailing the vessel towards her new home.
She is currently docked in Gibraltar but will eventually be in Asia for some technical changes. She will be converted as a hotel ship for her new owners also registered as Century Harmony Cruise Limited.
Tony Davis has captured the ship while in Gibraltar and the vessel is looking in need of a fresh look. Work has also been carried out on changing the name at the aft of the newly named Century Harmony. He’s given Cruise Hive permission to use these photos.
Century Cruises is a relatively unknown player in the Mainstream ocean cruise market. The company is mostly involved in cruises on the Chinese Yangtze River system. The company operates six separate river vessels, while Century Harmony is the company’s first ocean-going vessel.
As mentioned before, it is unlikely the Fantasy-class vessel will see the ocean again as reportedly plans are for the vessel to be converted to be a hotel ship. A Bulgarian manning agency has already started to post job vacancies for Century Harmony, as she will be called from now on.
Carnival Wrapping Up Rejuvenation Efforts
It seems more than likely that the sale of Carnival Fascination will be one of the last vessels to leave Carnival Corporation. The company has been going full steam ahead with selling off ships as scrap, or to other cruise lines as it attempts to make the fleet more profitable.
After the terrible financial year Carnival Corporation has had, there really is no other option than to sell off ships that are not as profitable as they once were.
The ships that Carnival has sold so far this year represented 12% of operating capacity, but only 3% of operating income. The company expects that the average age of the fleet will drop to only 12 years old by the end of 2022.
Four Fantasy Class Vessels Now Gone
Carnival Fascination will be the fourth Fantasy-class vessel that has left the fleet. Built-in 1994 by Kvaerner Masa-Yards, in Helsinki, Finland, she was also the fourth in line to be built, after Carnival Fantasy in 1990, Carnival Ecstasy in 1991, and Carnival Sensation in 1993.
As recently as 2018, Carnival Fascination went through the fun 2.0 program, on which Carnival spent 250 million dollars to upgrade the entire fantasy class to modern standards.
We will certainly keep an eye on what happens to yet another former Carnival cruise ship, and although it is sad to see her go, unlike her cousins, she at least has a new destination for the future.
Main Photo Credit: Tony Davis (Flickr)