The covid cruise ship graveyard: Passenger liners are stripped for scrap at Turkish dock


Cruise ships from Britain and the United States are being scrapped at a Turkish dock after the multi-billion pound industry was smashed by the coronavirus crisis.

The coronavirus cruise liner graveyard at the port in Aliaga, a town 30 miles north of Izmir on Turkey’s west coast, bustled with work again on Friday as scrapyard workers stripped walls, windows and railings from five vessels.  

Cruise ships were home to the some of the earliest clusters of COVID-19 as the pandemic spread globally early this year.

In March, U.S. authorities issued a no-sail order for all cruise ships that remains in place, and many other countries, including the United Kingdom, have issued specific advice against travelling on the vessels.

One of the five ships in the scrapyard is the Carnival Fantasy formerly operated by the American giant Carnival Cruise Line. The vessel took her maiden voyage in 1990 and had only just been refurbished last year. 

In July, Carnival Corporation’s CEO Arnold Donald revealed that it would remove 13 ships from its fleets in 2020. Donald insisted that the scrapping be referred to as ‘recycling.’

Five luxury cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port, 30 miles north of Izmir on Turkey’s west coast. On Friday, dozens of workers stripped walls, windows, floors and railings from several vessels in the dock

Crazy golf courses and drained swimming pools are seen in four cruise ships in the scrapyard in Turkey as the multi-billion pound industry languishes in the coronavirus pandemic

Crazy golf courses and drained swimming pools are seen in four cruise ships in the scrapyard in Turkey as the multi-billion pound industry languishes in the coronavirus pandemic

Five luxury cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port in Turkey. With the global coronavirus pandemic pushing the multi-billion dollar cruise industry into crisis, some cruise operators have been forced to cut losses and retire ships earlier than planned

Five luxury cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port in Turkey. With the global coronavirus pandemic pushing the multi-billion dollar cruise industry into crisis, some cruise operators have been forced to cut losses and retire ships earlier than planned

Five colossal cruise ships in the Turkish scrapyard on Friday. The cruise industry has been one of the hardest hit industries with public confidence in cruise holidays plummeting after a series of outbreaks occurred on cruise liners as the pandemic spread. The crisis however has bolstered the years intake of ships at the Aliaga ship recycling port with business up thirty percent on the previous year.

Five colossal cruise ships in the Turkish scrapyard on Friday. The cruise industry has been one of the hardest hit industries with public confidence in cruise holidays plummeting after a series of outbreaks occurred on cruise liners as the pandemic spread. The crisis however has bolstered the years intake of ships at the Aliaga ship recycling port with business up thirty percent on the previous year.

Five cruise ships in Turkey in varying stages of being scrapped. In March, U.S. authorities issued a no-sail order for all cruise ships that remains in place and many other countries have similar measures in place after a number of vessels became virus hotspots at the beginning of the pandemic

Five cruise ships in Turkey in varying stages of being scrapped. In March, U.S. authorities issued a no-sail order for all cruise ships that remains in place and many other countries have similar measures in place after a number of vessels became virus hotspots at the beginning of the pandemic

Before the pandemic, Turkey's ship-breaking yards typically handled cargo and container ships, Kamil Onal, chairman of a ship recycling industrialists' association said, but they have been inundated with cruise vessels

Before the pandemic, Turkey’s ship-breaking yards typically handled cargo and container ships, Kamil Onal, chairman of a ship recycling industrialists’ association said, but they have been inundated with cruise vessels

Decommissioned cruise ships are being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey

Decommissioned cruise ships are being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey

Business is booming for the ship recycling industry in Aliaga, a town 30 miles north of Izmir on Turkey's west coast

Business is booming for the ship recycling industry in Aliaga, a town 30 miles north of Izmir on Turkey’s west coast

Three more ships are set to join those already being dismantled.

Before the pandemic, Turkey’s ship-breaking yards typically handled cargo and container ships, Kamil Onal, chairman of a ship recycling industrialists’ association, told Reuters.

‘But after the pandemic, cruise ships changed course towards Aliaga in a very significant way,’ he said of the town.

‘There was growth in the sector due to the crisis. When the ships couldn’t find work, they turned to dismantling.’

One of the ships is the Carnival Fantasy, a vessel which took her maiden voyage in 1990, and was operated by Carnival Cruise Line. In July, Carnival Corporation's CEO revealed that it would remove 13 ships from its fleets in 2020

One of the ships is the Carnival Fantasy, a vessel which took her maiden voyage in 1990, and was operated by Carnival Cruise Line. In July, Carnival Corporation’s CEO revealed that it would remove 13 ships from its fleets in 2020

A photograph taken from a drone showing five luxury cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port

A photograph taken from a drone showing five luxury cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port

The multi-million pound vessels are lined up at the docks during the scrap operations. At least one of them, the Carnival Fantasy, had only just been refitted in 2019

The multi-million pound vessels are lined up at the docks during the scrap operations. At least one of them, the Carnival Fantasy, had only just been refitted in 2019

Workers on the colossal vessels on Friday as they dismantle them for parts. The cruise industry crisis has bolstered the years intake of ships at the Aliaga ship recycling port with business up thirty percent on the previous year.

Workers on the colossal vessels on Friday as they dismantle them for parts. The cruise industry crisis has bolstered the years intake of ships at the Aliaga ship recycling port with business up thirty percent on the previous year.

Decommissioned cruise ships are being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, October 2, 2020

Decommissioned cruise ships are being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, October 2, 2020

A drone image shows decommissioned cruise ships being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, October 2

A drone image shows decommissioned cruise ships being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, October 2

A drone image shows decommissioned cruise ships being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, October 2

A drone image shows decommissioned cruise ships being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, October 2

Luxury cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port on Friday in Izmir, Turkey. With the global coronavirus pandemic pushing the multi-billion dollar cruise industry into crisis, some cruise operators have been forced to cut losses and retire ships earlier than planned. The cruise industry has been one of the hardest hit industries with public confidence in cruise holidays plummeting after a series of outbreaks occurred on cruise liners as the pandemic spread. The crisis however has bolstered the years intake of ships at the Aliaga ship recycling port with business up thirty percent on the previous year.

Luxury cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port on Friday in Izmir, Turkey. With the global coronavirus pandemic pushing the multi-billion dollar cruise industry into crisis, some cruise operators have been forced to cut losses and retire ships earlier than planned. The cruise industry has been one of the hardest hit industries with public confidence in cruise holidays plummeting after a series of outbreaks occurred on cruise liners as the pandemic spread. The crisis however has bolstered the years intake of ships at the Aliaga ship recycling port with business up thirty percent on the previous year.

Onal said some 2,500 people worked at the yard in teams that take around six months to dismantle a full passenger ship.

The vessels arrived from Britain, Italy and the United States.

The shipyard aims to increase the volume of dismantled steel to 1.1 million tonnes by the end of the year, from 700,000 tonnes in January, he said.

‘We are trying to change the crisis into an opportunity,’ he said.

Even the ships’ non-metal fittings do not go to waste as hotel operators have come to the yard to buy useful materials, he added. 

It takes some 2,500 people working at the yard around around six months to dismantle a full passenger ship. The vessels arrived from Britain, Italy and the United States.

It takes some 2,500 people working at the yard around around six months to dismantle a full passenger ship. The vessels arrived from Britain, Italy and the United States.

A man works at a ship recycling yard in front of five luxury cruise ships that are being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port

A man works at a ship recycling yard in front of five luxury cruise ships that are being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port

Five cruise ships lined up for scrapping in Turkey. The shipyard aims to increase the volume of dismantled steel to 1.1 million tonnes by the end of the year, from 700,000 tonnes in January. Even the ships' non-metal fittings do not go to waste as hotel operators have come to the yard to buy useful materials

Five cruise ships lined up for scrapping in Turkey. The shipyard aims to increase the volume of dismantled steel to 1.1 million tonnes by the end of the year, from 700,000 tonnes in January. Even the ships’ non-metal fittings do not go to waste as hotel operators have come to the yard to buy useful materials

A drone image shows decommissioned cruise ships being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey

A drone image shows decommissioned cruise ships being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey

A drone image shows decommissioned cruise ships being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, October 2, 2020

A drone image shows decommissioned cruise ships being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, October 2, 2020

A drone image shows decommissioned cruise ships being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, October 2, 2020

A drone image shows decommissioned cruise ships being dismantled at Aliaga ship-breaking yard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, October 2, 2020

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk