Carnival's Newbuilds Focus on Asian Tourism
Carnival Corporation has signed an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build four new cruise ships with final contracts expected to be executed in 2016.
Two of the four new ships will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, and one will be built each for P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises. With the new agreement, Carnival Corporation has 17 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2020.
The four new ships will be built by one of the world's largest cruise ship building companies, Fincantieri, at the company's shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020. The two new 135,500-ton ships for Costa Asia and one new ship for P&O Cruises Australia will carry 4,200 passengers.
Additionally, Princess Cruises' new 143,700-ton ship will carry 3,560 passengers and will be its fourth "Royal Princess" class vessel, featuring the successful design platform used on Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess scheduled for delivery in 2017.
"We will deliver on our fleet enhancement plan with the construction of these four new, exciting ships that are consistent with our long-term strategy of measured capacity growth over time," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation.
"These ships will be great additions to our fleet that support our goal to exceed guest expectations and create great vacation memories for each guest onboard our ships. These strategic investments in new ships that wow our guests are an important part of our measured growth strategy, which includes replacing less efficient ships with newer, larger and more efficient vessels over a very specific period of time."
The new Costa Cruises Asia ships will prominently feature the brand's "Italy's finest" experience, with the new ship design serving to enhance the overall onboard immersion Italy's unique style, hospitality, entertainment and culinary excellence. The new ship order will also strengthen Costa Asia's commitment and confidence to continuously develop Asia Pacific and China to be one of the leading cruise markets in the world.
The new P&O Cruises Australia ship will join the leading cruise line's fleet that was recently expanded with the addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden in November 2015 and will reach six in total with the introduction of Pacific Explorer in 2017 to meet growing demand for cruises in Australia. It will offer itineraries from three to 10 days duration.
Australia is one of the top performing cruise markets in the world, with an average annual passenger growth rate of 20 percent over the past decade. The new 4,200-passenger ship will have the largest passenger capacity from the line, with the next largest ship, Pacific Explorer, carrying 2,250 passengers, and will continue the brand's tradition of ships that reflect modern Australia.
The new Princess Cruises ship will include the signature elements such as a soaring central atrium hub with multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; Movies Under the Stars outdoor cinema experience, and 80 percent of all staterooms with balconies. The ship will also include some brand-new innovations to enhance the guest experience.
In March 2015 Carnival entered into a strategic partnership with Fincantieri under which these four ships have been developed. Specific features and amenities for the ships, along with deployment details, will be revealed in the coming months.
The new agreement highlights a long-term program by Carnival Corporation, which has invested through its partnership with Fincantieri over $25 billion in Italy, making it one of the country's largest foreign investors. Fincantieri has built 59 ships for Carnival Corporation’s different brands since 1990, with another 10 ships for the group currently in the company’s orderbook.