The values of second-hand cruise vessels have staged a partial recovery after the industry started to resume operations, but older ships may never again command their pre-pandemic prices, according to Guy Cooper, cruise analyst at VesselsValue in the UK.
“The crash severely impacted the older, less desirable, and less efficient tonnage. In some cases, it even catalysed their journey to the scrapyards. Two cruise ships were scrapped in 2019, and this skyrocketed to 13 in 2020,” said Cooper.
Cruise ship demolition activity, despite being above the 10-year average of four demolitions per year, has begun to normalise in 2021, with only seven vessels sent to the scrapyard, substantially fewer than in the previous year.
“As more of the global fleet returns to service and stocks recover as a result of passenger confidence, it is likely that the asset valuations will continue their recovery. However, the return to pre-pandemic values for older tonnage is doubtful,” Cooper said.