What a pity that she's going for scrap! She still looks so fresh! She is 40 years old though, and a steamship. The average merchant ship barely makes 25 years, so in that sense she has had a good career.
And xmtryanx: cruise ships usually make 35 years easily, just look at all the early 70s ships (SONG OF NORWAY, PACIFIC PRINCESS, Royal Viking trio), all still sailing!
So the SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS and HOLIDAY should easily make another 10-15 years...
Don't be so sure. With the new SOLAS rules coming into effect, it becomes a case of whether or not it's worth keeping a 30 - 35 year old ship going, and investing the large amounts of money needed to make them compliant. It comes down to money, and the amount needed to spend versus the profit they make.
That's why Saga is retiring the Ruby, and Olsen is retiring the Black Watch. I think you'll see more of the 1960 and 1970's era ships beaching in India or Bangladesh, partly due to SOLAS, and partly due to the over capacity in cruise ships these days, and the numbers of new ships coming in the nest 24 months.
oh, I agree that time is probably running out for anything built before, let's say, 1975, either because of SOLAS 2010 or because of the economic downturn. I would say we'll lose a ship or 10 during 2009/2010.
Personally, I reckon all the stuff built in the 80s is probably safe for the time being. It is nonsense to think that ships such as the OCEAN DREAM, BLEU DE FRANCE, BERLIN or ASTOR will be sold for scrap anytime soon, when lines like Louis, Saga and Fred. Olsen are still fighting over these kind of ships to replace their even older tonnage!
Remember that many lines running used ships are still having a very hard time finding suitable 2nd hand tonnage. For example, just think of the amount of money that Fred. Olsen has poured into BLACK WATCH and BOUDICCA!
SAGA RUBY is not the one being retired by the way, it's SAGA ROSE. Also, Fred. Olsen is retiring the BLACK PRINCE, not the BLACK WATCH.
Really, I think people are painting a far too grim picture of the future of older passenger ships. Back in 1997, a carnage was also expected amongst older ships (due to then new SOLAS rules) and it didn't happen either.
Though Ralph we will likely lose a few to be sure. Saga Rose, Maxim Gorkiy, Black Prince, likely Oceanic, Mona Lisa, Clipper Pearl, Ausonia, Regal Empress, maybe even Sky Wonder with her fuel hungry steam turbines.
Note! Error spelling - MAKSIM GORKIY or after international library translitering from Russian_ MAKSIM GOR'KIJ. The letter "Y" can never follow after a Russian "K" (GORKY or GORKYI is hence an error).