Photo courtesy of Carnival Corporation
This weekend, Carnival Corporation continued celebrating the delivery of Holland America Line's latest Koningsdam (pictured in one of its first aerial images above) with a handover ceremony, and at the same time, the parent company finalized five additional new ship orders. The contracts are with the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy for added ships in the Costa Asia, P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises fleets.
Holland America Line
On Saturday, April 2, 2016, Holland America Line's official ceremony consisted of a luncheon and shipyard workers party onboard the Koningsdam at Fincantieri's Marghera, Italy yard. On hand for the festivities were Italy's Minister of Infrastructures and Transport Graziano Delrio; Giuseppe Bono, chief executive officer, Fincantieri; Arnold Donald, chief executive officer, Carnival Corporation and Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.
"The Official Handover Ceremony was a celebration of the years of planning and hard work that went into building our gorgeous new ship and a chance to honor all those who made this day possible," said Ashford. "Thank you to Fincantieri for being an exceptional partner. We look forward to beginning work soon on our second Pinnacle-class ship scheduled for delivery in late 2018."
At the celebration, the workers had the opportunity to share a ship tour with their families, as well as a Lido Market dinner and World Stage performance. The Koningsdam is now on its way to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy where it will depart on its Premier Voyage on April 8 ahead of its naming ceremony in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on May 20.
Five New Ships
Following a previous memorandum of agreement in 2015, Carnival Corp. and Fincantieri also announced final contracts to build five more new ships coming in 2019 and 2020 for three brands: Costa Asia, P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises. Also in attendance for the event were Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and Stein Kruse, CEO of Holland America Group, of which Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia and Seabourn are included.
"Today has been especially exciting for our company, our partners and our guests, as we celebrated the arrival of our amazing ms Koningsdam ship and officially signed agreements with Fincantieri to build five new cruise ships for the future," said Donald. "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. 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."
READ MORE: Carnival Contracts for Four Next-Generation Cruise Ships
Of the five ships to be built at Fincantieri's Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy yards - two for Costa Asia and one for P&O Cruises Australia, its first ever new-build - are slated to each be 135,500-ton, 4,200-guest ships. They will be individually designed to cater to their respective markets and passenger tastes. What's more, these five new ships only make up a small portion of Carnival Corp.'s overall 16 new vessels scheduled to come online between 2016 and 2020.
Relating more to North American markets are the remaining two of five finalized orders for Princess Cruises. The pair will make up the fourth and fifth Royal-class ships, one more than previously announced, following the Royal Princess, Regal Princess and upcoming 2017 Majestic Princess. They are scheduled to launch in 2019 and 2020 from the Italian shipbuilder.
"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."
The 143,700-ton, 3,560-guest ships are said to evolve from their predecessors' base design and will retain features like the earlier ships' 80-percent balcony staterooms, La Piazza atrium, Movies Under the Stars al fresco cinema and multiple shops and dining and entertainment venues. Additional new innovations and other details will be revealed at a later date.
"We are incredibly proud and excited to add two new ships to our already formidable fleet," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "With this new ship commitment Princess Cruises will continue to grow and expand globally as the world's destination leader in premium cruising."
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