P&O Cruises sells Oceana as owner enters choppy waters
P&O Cruises has sold off one of the oldest ships in its fleet as its parent company Carnival scrambles to shore up cash.
The group confirmed yesterday that it would offload the Oceana vessel, which has a market value of $164m (£131m) and a scrap value of $9.14m, according to data from online valuation firm VesselsValue.
The sale comes just weeks after Carnival racked up losses of $4.4bn between March and May as the coronavirus outbreak caused bookings to dry up and sales to slump to $700m from $4.8bn a year earlier.
It also suffered a number of severe cases of the virus on its ships, forcing many of its vessels to remain offshore for an extended period, with crew still on board.
Carnival said last month that it planned to sell off six ships. Shares in the company, which is due to update the market on its second quarter later this week, are down by more than 70pc this year.
P&O refused to reveal details of the transaction but industry trade publication TradeWinds reported that the ship had been acquired by Greek buyers.
Paul Ludlow, president of P&O Cruises, said all guests who had booked a holiday on Oceana would be offered a 125pc future cruise credit or a refund.
“While we and many of our guests will miss Oceana, her departure will allow us to focus on our remaining ships in the fleet, as capacity expands with the delivery of Iona later this year followed by her sister ship, scheduled for 2022,” he said.
“During this pause in our operations, we need to fit the fleet for the future and ensure we have the right mix of ships once we resume sailing.
“I am so sorry to disappoint those guests who were booked on Oceana but I hope they will be able to find a similar alternative holiday, whether that is ex-UK from Southampton or a fly/cruise itinerary.”
Oceana, one of the oldest ships in the P&O Cruises fleet, has been sold as parent company Carnival aims to raise cash after losses