Seabourn will continue to operate Odyssey’s published voyages through August 22, 2024 under a charter agreement.
Terms have not been disclosed. The ship was built for a reported $250 million.
Not part of Carnival’s December reveal
In December, Carnival Corp. & plc that three older, less efficient ships, two of the Costa group, would leave the fleet.
Update: Seabourn Odyssey is a new development and is not part of the December reveal.
Costa Magica and AIDAvita were named in December, with AIDAaura subsequently announcing their departure in September this year.
(Also in December, Costa Fortuna was expected to leave the fleet in 2023; based, however for business needs, the company opened up Fortuna routes for an additional year.)
So the removal of 26 ships from the fleet has been announced since before the pandemic – 24 had already been removed, plus the imminent departures of AIDAura and Seabourn Odyssey.
Addition of Mitsui’s new construction plans
In November, Mitsui, which operates the 1990-built, 22,472gt Nippon Maru, announced plans to build two 600 passenger 35,000 GT cruise shipswith the first for delivery around 2027. Further details on that have not come out.
However, the company said the Seabourn vessel will expand operations ahead of the launch of these two new ships and it aims to develop a “high-quality international service based on a new concept that will enrich people’s lives and enhance the culture of Japan.’
Before the Seabourn Odyssey enters the waters around Japan at the end of 2024, it will be renovated and given a new name. Mitsui said it plans to develop itineraries of varying lengths, from short trips to world cruises.
“We are proud that Seabourn Odyssey has been transporting our guests around the world for the past 14 years and are thrilled to see her join a great company, MOL,” said Seabourn President Natalya Leahy. “As we prepare to part ways with Odyssey in September 2024, I am excited to continue optimizing our fleet as we grow our forwarding business. With the addition of Seabourn Pursuit this summer, Seabourn will have one of the most modern fleets in the ultra-luxury segment with an average age of just seven years.”
With the new deployment, Seabourn forecasts higher passenger capacity compared to 2019, even after the departure of Seabourn Odyssey.
Odyssey was the first of a new series of 32,000 GT ships, followed by Seabourn Sojourn (2010) and Seabourn Quest (2011), all from T. Mariotti. Then came the slightly larger, 40,350 gt Seabourn Encore (2016) and Seabourn Ovation (2018) from Fincantieri.
The 23,000 gt expedition newbuild Seabourn Venture was delivered last year by T. Mariotti, with sister Pursuit soon to follow.
See also ‘Tony Kaufman advises as Mitsui OSK strengthens cruise business’