Princess Cruises' newbuild will be a sister ship to Majestic Princess, pictured above (Image: Princess Cruises)
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has signed a memo of agreement to build four new cruise ships for Carnival Corporation & plc, bringing the total number of newbuilds the cruise company has scheduled for delivery between 2016 and 2020 to 17.
To be built at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone and Marghera yards in Italy and delivered in 2019 and 2020, two of the new 135,500gt ships will be added to the Costa Asia fleet in China, while one will be deployed by P&O Cruises Australia. All three ships will accommodate 4,200 passengers. A fourth 143,700gt ship, which will carry 3,560 passengers, will be added to the Princess Cruises’ fleet in 2017 as part of its Royal Class.
“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 contracts are expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.
“The signing of this agreement happens during a real and beyond all expectations boom of the cruise sector,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “This announcement confirms – once again – the effectiveness of our strategy: with these projects we ensure continuity and development for our company, and we also further strengthen our already consolidated partnership with the Carnival group.”
While specific features and amenities for the ships, along with deployment details, will be revealed in the coming months, Carnival has released some information about each newbuild. For example, Costa Asia’s two new ships will feature the brand’s ‘Italy’s finest’ experience with a new design and help to strengthen the line’s presence in the Asia Pacific region.
Meanwhile, P&O Cruises Australia’s newbuild will have a larger capacity than its existing fleet, which was increased to five after the addition of Pacific Eden and Pacific Aria this November. The newbuild will also join Pacific Explorer, which will be introduced in 2017.
Princess’ newbuild will be based on the design of Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess – and feature the line’s signature central atrium hub with multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; a Movies Under the Stars outdoor cinema experience; and some new innovations. Plus, 80% of all staterooms will include balconies.
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