Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas will leave the line permanently after its forthcoming final Brisbane summer season this coming summer, having been sold to a new UK-based cruise operator, the line confirmed this afternoon.

The ship, built in 1995, started calling the Queensland city home this past season and is one of only two small vessels that can navigate the narrow mouth of the Brisbane River. The line had previously announced that the ship would relocate to Europe following its final Australian season and again leaving the city without a presence from Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean announced the vessel’s departure from the fleet will result in the shortening of its final Brisbane season, with the cancellation of five round-trip Brisbane sailings originally due to take place in February and March 2017, and the rescheduling of the ship’s northbound relocation to Asia and onward to Europe. Legend of the Seas will now sail an 11-night one-way voyage from Brisbane to Singapore on 20 February 2017, calling into Cairns and Darwin as it departs Australian waters for the final time.

From there, two new sailings have been added for guests eager to enjoy a final experience of the ship under the auspices of Royal Caribbean. A 10-night Singapore to Dubai voyage is now available, along with a 13-night journey from Dubai to Barcelona. All previously scheduled itineraries for the ship in Europe will now be catered to by another ship favoured by Australian cruisers – Rhapsody of the Seas.

Guests on the affected voyages will be contacted directly by the line if booked via the cruise line’s website or call centre, while guests who booked with a travel agent will be contacted by their agent in the coming days with options to rebook on available Sydney departures of the line’s four other Australian based ships.

Royal Caribbean said it had not taken the decision lightly and it regretted any disruption caused to the holiday plans of its Australian customers.

“We are truly sorry to disrupt our guests’ holidays and sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. We will be contacting every affected guest, either directly or through their travel agent, to assist them in securing an alternative Royal Caribbean cruise as well as discussing hotel and flight arrangements. Alternatively, Royal Caribbean will provide a full refund of any deposits paid for those who choose not to cruise,” the line said in a statement.

News of the vessel’s fate originated from an announcement by its new British owners Thomson Cruises, which will operate the vessel in Europe under the name TUI Discovery 2.