Amid much speculation over the past several months, Royal Caribbean has officially announced that their two longest serving ships will leave the fleet. Empress of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas have been sold to an undisclosed party in Asia and will leave the fleet by the end of the month.
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Empress was the first ship designed for 3- and 4-night cruises when she launched in 1990, with her initial sailings visiting The Bahamas from Miami. Empress also made history as the first cruise ship to sail out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey when Royal Caribbean opened the terminal in 2004. In 2017, the ship took center stage again when she set sail on the global cruise line’s inaugural cruise to Cuba.
Majesty also played a crucial role in Royal Caribbean’s commitment to continuously redefine the industry. The third ship to round out the impressive Sovereign Class was more than twice the size of the average cruise ship – and the largest in the vacation company’s fleet – when she debuted in 1992. Her adventures began with 7-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami.
Empress of the Seas (originally named Nordic Empress) has been the smallest ship in the fleet for decades. Majesty of the Seas was the last of the Sovereign class ships that also once comprised of Sovereign of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas. Both of those vessels that had been operating for Pullmantur Cruises were scrapped earlier this year.
Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International said:
“Empress and Majesty of the Seas made indelible marks on the cruise industry with their revolutionary design and size. Touted as the cruise industry’s most groundbreaking ships when they were introduced, they continued to make history throughout their more than three decades of service,”
“Saying goodbye to these two beloved ships is a major moment in Royal Caribbean’s history – one that is difficult but necessary. With plans for new, innovative ships to join our fleet in the upcoming years, we look forward to our guests and crew continuing to make new memories with us.”
Royal Caribbean has advised that guests and travel advisors with clients booked on Empress and Majesty will be contacted about their options.