Royal Caribbean International has announced Empress and Majesty of the Seas will depart its fleet later this month.

“Empress and Majesty of the Seas made indelible marks on the cruise industry with their revolutionary design and size.

“Touted as the cruise industry’s most ground-breaking ships when they were introduced, they continued to make history throughout their more than three decades of service,” said Michael Bayley, president and chief executive, Royal Caribbean International.

“Saying goodbye to these two beloved ships is a major moment in Royal Caribbean’s history – one that is difficult but necessary.

“With plans for new, innovative ships to join our fleet in the upcoming years, we look forward to our guests and crew continuing to make new memories with us.”

Empress was the first ship designed for three- and four-night cruises when she launched in 1990, with her initial sailings visiting the Bahamas from Miami.

Empress also made history as the first cruise ship to sail out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey when Royal Caribbean opened the terminal in 2004.

In 2017, the ship took centre stage again when she set sail on the global cruise line’s inaugural cruise to Cuba.

Majesty also played a crucial role in Royal Caribbean’s commitment to continuously redefine the industry.

The third ship to round out the impressive Sovereign Class was more than twice the size of the average cruise ship – and the largest in the vacation company’s fleet – when she debuted in 1992.

Her adventures began with seven-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami.

The ships have been sold to an undisclosed party, based in Asia-Pacific, that will release details for future sailings at a later time.

Guests and travel advisors with clients booked on Empress and Majesty will be contacted about their options.