(9 a.m. EDT) -- Royal Caribbean confirmed today that its oldest ship, Monarch of the Seas, will be leaving the fleet to sail for sister line Pullmantur.
Monarch, which sailed its maiden voyage in November 1991, will make the move to Pullmantur on April 1, 2013, according to a statement from Royal Caribbean.
Said Gonzalo Chico Barbier, president and CEO of Pullmantur: "The transfer of Monarch of the Seas will reinforce Pullmantur in our Latin American growth strategy, and help us become one of the most widely recognized brands."
The 2,390-passenger, 73,941-ton ship will enter service for Pullmantur after a significant refurbishment. It will join its sister ship Sovereign (formerly Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas), which transferred over in 2008.
Monarch of the Seas currently sails three- and four-night Bahamas cruises out of Port Canaveral. The last sailing available for purchase on Royal Caribbean is a three-night cruise departing March 29, 2013.
Cruise Critic members are speculating about how the ship's departure will impact the deployment of the rest of the fleet. You can join the conversation on the Royal Caribbean forum.
--by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor