If you’re a fan of Royal Caribbean’s older ships, the clock is officially ticking: not only will the line rid themselves of the venerable 1992-built Majesty of the Seas next spring, but now 1995’s Splendour of the Seas is also on her way out.

Splendour of the Seas emerging from her Spanish drydock in 2011. Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean.

For an undisclosed sum of money, Royal Caribbean has sold Splendour of the Seas to Germany’s TUI Cruises, which is jointly owned by Royal Caribbean and Hanover-based TUI AG. It is expected that the transfer will take place in Q2 2016, though the vessel’s new name hasn’t been decided upon at this time.
On April 29, 2016, Majesty of the Seas will leave the Port of Miami for the last time before she sails across the Atlantic to join Royal Caribbean’s Spanish subsidiary, Pullmantur. That the end was near for Majesty of the Seas was pretty well all but assumed; her transfer was preceeded by her sisters Sovereign of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas, which went on to become Pullmantur’s Sovereign and Monarch, respectively. Pullmantur has done a great job of keeping these vessels in tip-top condition, but they are now effectively out of reach of North American-based, English-speaking cruisers, as Pullmantur caters primarily to Spanish-speaking guests.

Along with her sisters, Majesty of the Seas arguably set off the newbuild race that dominated the next twenty years. Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean.

Along with her sisters, Majesty of the Seas arguably set off the newbuild race that dominated the next twenty years. She will leave the Royal Caribbean fleet in 2016 for Spanish-subsidiary Pullmantur. Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean.

The transfer of Splendour of the Seas, however, likely comes as a real surprise to many, particularly as Royal Caribbean just injected millions of dollars into the ship in 2011 in order to add new balcony staterooms, dining venues, and other stem-to-stern refurbishments.
But her transfer also sends a strong signal about the position the company is taking towards their older ships: with so many new, huge ships coming online (think Anthem of the Seas

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