Princess Cruises has announced the departure of two of its most-loved cruise ships, Sun Princess and Sea Princess.

The Carnival Corporation-owned cruise line announced the vessels had been sold today (22 September) by undisclosed buyers, and will be leaving the fleet imminently.

The sale of the two ships is in line with Carnival Corporation’s plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet, with Holland America Line and P&O Cruises also having had ships depart.

Following on from the two ships departures, Princess Cruises will focus on its newest ships and the upcoming delivery of Enchanted Princess.

Sun Princess and Sea Princess contributed to significant growth in Australian cruising,” said Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz.

“Both ships defined the premium cruise experience with Australians and New Zealanders spending close to 14 million nights aboard these ships.

“While it is never easy to say goodbye to any ship in our fleet, this will allow us to deploy newer ships enhancing our offerings for Australia cruisers and focus on bringing into service exciting newbuilds like the upcoming delivery of Enchanted Princess.”

Sun Princess has been in the Princess fleet for 25 years, having made its debut in 1995 as the first Sun Class ship. At the time, she was one of the biggest cruise ships in the world carrying 2,000 passengers and made her debut in the Caribbean. The ship also sailed in Alaska and the Panama Canal, before being homeported in Australia in 2007.

Sun Princess also operated in the Japanese market, helping Princess Cruises enter the sector. In 2013 she became the first foreign-flagged cruise ship in 2013 to offer cruises specifically for the Japanese.

While Sun Princess operated shorter cruises, Sea Princess – also homeported in Australia – was the master of world cruises, completing six full round-the-world adventures since 2013.

Following the sale of the two ships, Princess has cancelled sailings on both vessels, affecting sailings from December 2020 until November 2021.

Sun Princess cruises are cancelled from 28 December 2021 through to 14 August 2021, while Sea Princess sailings are cancelled from 23 December 2020 to 9 November 2021.

All guests booked onto these sailings will be notified, and can either rebook onto another Princess Cruises sailing when operations resume or receive a full refund.