Carnival Corporation has signed a memorandum of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build a new cruise ship for the company's iconic Cunard brand.
The new 113,000 ton ship will carry 3,000 guests and will be built at Fincantieri's shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, with an expected delivery date in 2022. The as-yet-unnamed ship will join Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth as the fourth member of the Cunard fleet, marking the first time since 1998 that the luxury cruise brand will have four ships in simultaneous service.
The new cruise ship will be the 249th ship to fly the Cunard flag since the company's founding in 1839. Cunard will announce additional details about the new ship starting in 2018.
With this new ship agreement, Carnival Corporation now has 18 new ships scheduled to be delivered to its portfolio of leading global cruise brands between 2018 and 2022.
The new ship agreement to build a fourth ship for Cunard extends the brand's recent strength and momentum in the marketplace, including attracting crowds of more than one million people to celebrate its 175th anniversary in 2015 and investing the equivalent of $172 million U.S. dollars in the past two years to refurbish the flagship Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria.
Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, said. "While today's news helps drive Cunard's overall strategic growth plans, we also look forward to launching this next-generation cruise ship to help meet increasing global demand and entice even more travelers to explore the Cunard experience.
"Fleet enhancement is an important part of our ongoing goal to exceed guest expectations. This includes replacing less efficient ships with more efficient vessels over time as part of our managed capacity growth."