Last updated: 11:03 AM ET, Mon June 15 2015

Carnival Contracts for Four Next-Generation Cruise Ships

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Carnival Cruise Line | Theresa Norton | June 15, 2015

Carnival Contracts for Four Next-Generation Cruise Ships

Carnival Corp. has placed a multi-billion dollar order to build four 180,000-gross-ton cruise ships with the world’s largest passenger capacity, up to 6,600 passengers.

The order is part of a previously announced agreement with shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Fincantieri for nine new ships to be delivered between 2019 and 2022.

Two of the ships will be manufactured for AIDA Cruises at Meyer Werft’s shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and the other two at Meyer’s facilities in Turku, Finland. The company didn’t say yet which brands would get the other two ships.

The four new ships will be the first in the cruise industry to operate on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the cleanest burning fossil fuel, which will eliminate soot particles and sulfur oxides.

Carnival’s new ships will have more than 5,000 lower beds and extra berths to accommodate up to 6,600 passengers when completely full. That’s more passengers than fit on the world’s biggest cruise ships, Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis-class ships, which can accommodate up to 6,410 guests total but are larger in size at 225,282 gross tons.

Carnival said “a major part of the innovative design involves making much more efficient use of the ship’s spaces.”

Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald said the contract is consistent with the company’s measured capacity growth strategy to replace ships with less-efficient capacity with newer, larger and more fuel-efficient vessels over time.

“We are looking forward to executing on the next step in our fleet enhancement plan,” Donald said. “At a cost per berth in line with our existing order book, these new ships will enhance the return profile of our fleet.”

The four new ships will have dual-powered hybrid engines to power the ship both in port and on the open sea. LNG will be stored onboard and used to generate 100 percent power at sea, another industry-first innovation. Using LNG will eliminate emissions of soot particles and sulfur oxides, the company said.

The new ship order will allow the Costa Group, which includes AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises, to continue to grow in the European cruise market, in which five out of 10 cruisers in 2014 sailed on a Costa Group ship. The Costa Group — along with Princess Cruises, also part of the Carnival Corp. family — also holds a leading position in the rapidly growing cruise market in China.

Carnival Corp. & plc has 10 cruise brands — Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA, Costa, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia), P&O Cruises (U.K.) and fathom.

These brands this year will operate 100 ships totaling 219,000 lower berths with eight new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2018, along with four additional new ships on order for delivery in 2019 through 2022.


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