MS Sovereign

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Sovereign of the Seas in Nassau, Bahamas, 2004
  • Sovereign of the Seas (1988–2008)
  • Sovereign (2008-2020)
OwnerRoyal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (1988–2020)
Port of registry
Yard numberA29[2]
Laid downJune 10, 1986[1]
LaunchedApril 4, 1987[1]
Sponsored byRosalynn Carter[3]
ChristenedJanuary 15, 1988
CompletedDecember 18, 1987[1]
Maiden voyage
  • January 16, 1988 as Sovereign of the Seas
  • March 23, 2009 as Sovereign
In service1988–2020
Out of service2020
FateScrapped in Aliağa in 2020
General characteristics
Class and typeSovereign-class cruise ship
Length268.32 m (880 ft 4 in)[1]
Beam32.2 m (105 ft 8 in)[1]
Draft7.8 m (25 ft 7 in)[1]
Installed power
  • Four 9-cylinder Pielstick-Alsthom diesel engines
  • 21,844 kW (combined)
Speed21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph)
Capacity2,850 passengers

MS Sovereign (formerly Sovereign of the Seas) was one of three large cruise ships of the Sovereign class operated by Pullmantur Cruises and formerly by Royal Caribbean International. When she was completed in 1987, Sovereign of the Seas was the world's largest passenger ship.[4] On 24 June 2020, due to economic losses caused by COVID-19 pandemic, Sovereign arrived and was beached at Aliağa, Turkey, where she was dismantled.


Sovereign docked at Ajaccio, Corsica in 2008 with her original Pullmantur livery

She sailed on her maiden voyage on January 16, 1988, and was initially based at the Port of Miami.

In 1998 and 1999, the Royal Caribbean International cruise company was fined US$9 million because Sovereign of the Seas had repeatedly dumped oily waste into the ocean and tried to hide this using false records, including fake piping diagrams given to the US Coast Guard. Because the company was and is incorporated in Liberia, Royal Caribbean argued that this case was not in the jurisdiction of US courts.[5]

Her refurbishment in November 2004 was the subject of the Travel Channel mini-series Dry-Dock, A Cruise Ship Reborn.[6] Throughout her time with Royal Caribbean she sailed cruises to the Bahamas and the Caribbean out of Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida. These cruises visited Coco Cay, one of RCI's privately owned islands, in the Berry Islands group.

In November 2008 Sovereign of the Seas was transferred to the fleet of Pullmantur Cruises, a Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd subsidiary, and renamed MS Sovereign. Sovereign set sail on its first voyage with Pullmantur Cruises on March 23, 2009.[7] Similar to other ships in the same class, Sovereign had a multi-deck atrium lobby and a top-deck, funnel-mounted lounge with panoramic views of the sea. The ship's facilities included nine bars, five restaurants, four pools, a spa and a casino.[8]

In 2018, the ship was featured in the film Yucatán, filmed by Telecinco Cinema.[9]

Monarch (left) and Sovereign (right) beached for scrapping in Aliağa, Turkey in July 2020
Sovereign being scrapped in Aliaga, Turkey in October 2020

In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Sovereign and MS Monarch were placed into "cold lay-up" and Pullmantur Cruises filed for financial reorganization.[10] According to reports, the interiors of the ships were stripped of "everything of value."[11] On 23 July 2020 she was beached in Aliağa alongside her sistership Monarch, which was beached one day before. Scrapping began in August that year and was finished in February 2021.[12]

See also[edit]

  • Yucatán, a 2018 Spanish comedy film set on MS Sovereign.
  • Dil Dhadakne Do, a 2015 Indian family feature film was set on MS Sovereign.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Sovereign (G107405)". DNV Vessel Register. DNV. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "sovereign". Archived from the original on May 24, 2011.
  3. ^ Borcover, Alfred (January 17, 1988). "The Sovereign". Chicago Tribune. Miami. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  4. ^ Brian J. Cudahy (2001). Royal Caribbean International. Cornell Maritime Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-87033-529-7.
  5. ^ "U.S. keeps wary eye on cruise ships for more pollution". USA Today. November 8, 2002. Retrieved May 14, 2008.
  6. ^ "Royal Caribbean International - Dry-Dock, A Cruise Ship Reborn - Official Page". Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  7. ^ "Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Transfers Royal Caribbean International Ship to Pullmantur". Archived from the original on January 21, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
  8. ^ "SOVEREIGN Technical Data". Pullmantur. Archived from the original on July 7, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  9. ^ "El buque Sovereign de Pullmantur Cruceros, protagonista de 'Yucatán', la nueva película de Daniel Monzón". Portal de noticias de cruceros de CNMG (in Spanish). June 13, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2022.
  10. ^ "Pullmantur Ships Move to Cold Lay-up". Cruise Industry News. New York NY. June 11, 2020. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  11. ^ Walker, Jim (June 21, 2020). "Is Pullmantur Cruises Ending Operations?". Cruise Law News. South Miami FL: Walker & O'Neill Maritime Lawyers. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  12. ^ "Sovereign has been totally scrapped". February 14, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021.

External links[edit]

Media related to IMO 8512281 at Wikimedia Commons