Most modern cruise ships spend 40 years or more sailing the world’s seas. While it is not uncommon to see cruise ships built in the 1970s and 1980s go to the breakers due to breakdowns or changing SOLAS (Safety Of Live At Sea regulations), older vessels are usually transferred first to another, smaller cruise operator — a market that is often referred to as “secondhand tonnage.” That trend is changing, though.
Nothing about the last few years has been normal as the world continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
And in that time, we’ve seen relatively young ships head to the breakers with no chance for a farewell cruise or proper send-off.
The youngest to be scrapped as of this writing is the 1996-built Costa Victoria, while the oldest vessel to head to the breakers was the beautiful 1965-built Marco Polo (the famed ex-ocean liner previously known as Aleksandr Pushkin).