These are no rust-buckets or clunkers from another era. Cut down in their prime, the relics of five former glistening ships make a pitiful sight in their final port of call.
The death throes are heartbreaking. In the wheelhouse, frantic commands are hollered in polyglot tongues as the man at the helm points the bow towards a narrow channel at the Aliaga ship breakers yard. The ships are driven at five knots – about 5 miles per hour – onto the beach where they shudder to a halt, their steel frames groaning and grinding in futile protest. The engines are shut down and the anchor is dropped to make the ship steadfast in its last resting place.
Cruise ships normally have a lifespan of 40 years, but as the pandemic engulfed the globe, the cruise industry became paralysed. Putting a whole new meaning to “throwaway culture”, ships still in