Got a few million to spare? You now can own your very own Carnival cruise ship

Sep 11, 2020

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Call it the ultimate gift for the Carnival Cruise Line fan.

One of the iconic vessels from Carnival’s early years, the former Holiday, is coming up for auction next month in the U.K. and, in theory, anyone can make a bid.

London-based CW Kellock & Co, a ship auctioneer and broker, is handling the auction, which will be by sealed tender.

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The auction is taking place in the wake of the July collapse of British line Cruise & Maritime Voyages, which has been operating the vessel since 2015 under the name Magellan.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages is one of several cruise lines that have shut down for good amid the coronavirus-caused halt to most cruises around the world.

Unveiled in 1985 when Carnival was barely a decade old, the 1,452-passenger Holiday was only the second vessel custom-built for the line. It arrived at a time when Carnival only was operating four ships and still was a relatively small company.

Magellan cruise ship
Even when sailing for Cruise & Maritime Voyages, the former Carnival Cruise Line ship Holiday still featured its original signature Carnival winged funnel. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos/Corbis/Getty Images)

At 46,052 tons, Holiday is significantly smaller than many of Carnival’s current vessels. But it shares some of the same basic design elements found on newer Carnival ships — particularly when it comes to its exterior profile. Perhaps most notably, it features the iconic Carnival winged funnel that is perhaps the best-known marker of a Carnival ship.

Holiday was only the second Carnival ship to feature one of the funnels — a design flourish dreamed up by the noted ship designer Joe Farcus. Holiday’s signature Carnival funnel is now painted with the Cruise & Maritime Voyages logo but is otherwise unchanged.

Carnival Holiday
The Carnival Cruise Line ship Holiday as it looked when it was still in the Carnival fleet. (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Holiday sailed for Carnival for 24 years. In 2010, it was transferred to Iberocruceros, a now-defunct, Spain-based line that was owned by Carnival’s parent company, Carnival Corporation. It sailed for Iberocruceros as the Grand Holiday through 2014.

Carnival Corporation sold the vessel to Cruise & Maritime Voyages in 2015.

Holiday is the second oldest former Carnival ship still in existence. The oldest former Carnival ship that still exists is the former Tropicale, which now sails as the Peace Boat. Three earlier Carnival vessels — Mardi Gras, Carnivale and Festivale — have been scrapped.

Holiday isn’t the only Cruise & Maritime Voyages ship coming up for auction. CW Kellock & Co also is handling the auctions of four more of the line’s ships. They include Vasco da Gama, which long sailed as Holland America’s Statendam, and Columbus, which once sailed as Princess Cruises’ Star Princess.

Related: The ultimate guide to Carnival Cruise Line ships and itineraries 

The other two Cruise & Maritime Voyages ships up for auction are Marco Polo and Astor.

Holiday currently is docked at the Port of Tilbury near London and can be inspected by would-be buyers by arrangement with CW Kellock & Co.

CW Kellock & Co says bids for Holiday are due by 19 October. They should be submitted by sealed envelopes marked with the vessel’s current name (Magellan) to CW Kellock & Co Ltd, 5th Floor, 2 London Wall Buildings, London EC2M 5PP, U.K. Bids also can be emailed to

CW Kellock & Co has not posted a pre-auction price estimate for the ship. But the final selling price is likely to be in the millions of pounds. That said, a former One Ocean Expeditions vessel sold at auction for just $600,000 (about £460,000) in June. It was, notably, a much smaller ship.

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Featured image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

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