These ships are currently worth more for their parts than they are as luxury voyages.
As the cruise ship industry continues to be battered by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, boats once considered to be opulent, top-of-the-line vessels are now being sold for scraps.
This month, a drone captured aerial photos of five decommissioned ocean liners being broken down for scrap metal in Izmir, Turkey. The images, taken on Oct. 2 at the Aliaga ship recycling port, are a visual illustration of the desecration caused to the once-profitable, multibillion-dollar cruise industry as a result of the coronavirus.
Although the proliferation of COVID-19 has caused widespread economic fallout, the cruise industry has been among the hardest-hit industries. As a result of the pandemic, some cruise operators have been forced to put ships into early retirement as they cut their losses.
The Aliaga port has been significantly busier than usual as a result, with a 30 percent increase in business this year compared to 2019.
The travel and hospitality industries have been hard hit by the pandemic as a result of people wary to travel for fear of both contracting the virus and having to deal with closed borders. The cruise industry, additionally, is reeling from its reputational fallout after staff complained of egregiously mishandled quarantine protocols that left them stranded at sea for months.
Last month saw a bright moment when the first giant cruise ship since the coronavirus swept the globe set sail with new safety rules in place, including mandatory antigen and temperature tests for all passengers, freshly instituted onboard cleaning methods involving hospital-grade disinfectant and UV-C light technology and a 70 percent maximum capacity rule to ensure social distancing. The rules have proved successful in reassuring at least some passengers.
“I think cruises could be the safest holiday, right now,” Valeria Belardi, a passenger on the cruise who owns a travel company, told CNN last month.