Carnival Corporation & plc has finalised its 2015 memorandum of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build five new cruise ships for three of its global cruise brands.
Formalised during the official handover ceremony for Holland America Line’s (HAL) Koningsdam at Fincantieri'’s Marghera yard on 2 April, the contracts cover two ships for Costa Asia, which will be deployed in China, two for Princess Cruises and one for P&O Cruises Australia. Deliveries are expected in 2019 and 2020.
The ceremony was attended by Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Graziano Delrio, Carnival Corporation’s chairman Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation’s CEO Arnold Donald and Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono.
Also in attendance were Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises; Orlando Ashford, president of HAL; Stein Kruse, CEO of Holland America Group, which includes HAL, Princess, P&O and Seabourn; and Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group, which includes AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises and Costa Asia.
“Supporting our goal to exceed guest expectations on every cruise, these new ships will create a whole new level of excitement and opportunity to deliver experiences that our guests will not only remember for the rest of their lives, but will also share with others,” said Donald. “Using our strategic fleet enhancement plan to delight our guests is 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.”
Carnival Corporation’s new ships will be specifically designed and developed for each brand and the guests and markets it will serve. The new 135,500gt ships for Costa Asia and P&O Cruises Australia will be able to carry around 4,200 passengers, while Princess’ two new 143,700gt ships will serve as its fourth and fifth 3,560-passenger Royal-class vessels. Meanwhile, the P&O Cruises Australia ship will be the brand’s first-ever newbuild, have its largest passenger capacity (4,200 guests) and will be designed to capture the ‘essence of modern Australia’.
The vessels will be built at Fincantieri's shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy.
“We are extremely proud of the strong commitment between Carnival Corporation and Fincantieri over the years, which signifies our dedication to excellence in product diversification and quality,” said Bono. “Today, we further strengthen the relationship with our friends at Carnival Corporation, a partnership that has enabled both groups to grow over the years and which is further reinforced by an unprecedented strategic agreement. Thanks to our strategic partnership, we look forward to the future, and the potential to develop new projects while working together to meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that the market will present us.”
Carnival Corporation has now taken delivery of two newbuilds in 2016 – AIDAprima or AIDA Cruises and HAL’s Koningsdam – and including the five new ships just ordered, the company is scheduled to take delivery of 16 vessels between 2016 and 2020.