So you want to buy a cruise ship?

Carnival Corp, the world's largest cruise line has put one of its most vaunted ships up for sale: the MS Magellan. Originally named the MS Holiday, in 1985 it was one of the first ships in a fleet that would soon number over 100.

But what do you do with a 1,452-passenger 600-crew super ship?

Following the collapse of the British cruise company Cruise & Maritime Voyages, the ship is going up for public auction in the UK with the ship brokers CW Kellock & Co.


As most of the world's pleasure cruises sit empty during the Coronavirus pandemic , the foreclosure company and ships going up for sale is a sign of the times. However few ships are as storied as the Magellan.

The second longest serving vessel in the Carnival fleet, it was built in 1985 as the MS Holiday.

One of the first ships ordered by the Carnival company – back when there were just four ships – the Holiday has seen the fleet grow to over 100 vessels. It was the first generation of ship to feature Carnivals' iconic gull wing funnel. It is a feature that would set their ships apart, and mark them out on the horizon in the Caribbean and Mediterranean instantly as Carnival cruise ships.

In 2005 she served as temporary housing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. For Russia's 2014 Winter Olympics she sailed to the Black sea to serve as a floating four-star hotel for the Sochi Olympics.

For sail: Auctioneers Eggar Forrester Ships have a cruise fleet for sale. Photo / Supplied
For sail: Auctioneers Eggar Forrester Ships have a cruise fleet for sale. Photo / Supplied

The Magellan goes up for sale though the London auctioneers next month alongside four other ships – the Vasco Da Gama, Columbus, Astor and the Marco Polo - but what does one do with a cruise ship in a pandemic? Let alone, five?

There are no pre-auction estimates or reserves listed by the sale house. It's hard to say how much it will sell for – as few ships of this size go up for public auction.

Most recently a ship belonging to One Ocean Expeditions the RCGS Resolute was sold for just under $900,000. A large sum of money but, considering the book value reported by was $35m, the Resolute was a steal.

While US's current pandemic "no sail" order for cruise ships extends until 30 September – and has been extended twice already.


Elsewhere passengerless cruise ships without passengers are being repurposed for a variety of uses, such as a floating film studio in Norway. Last week Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten revealed their ships were being used to house the production crew of Mission Impossible 7, as the film is underway in Norway.