World’s largest cruise ship company Carnival Corporation (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) has announced a memo of agreement signed with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of four new cruise ships for delivery by 2020.
Two of the four new ships will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, with the two others going to P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises, Carnival Corp. revealed Wednesday. All four new ships will be built by Fincantieri at the company’s shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy, with delivery expected in 2019 and 2020.
Final contracts are expected in 2016, Carnival said.
Including the new agreement, Carnival Corporation now has 17 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 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. The ship for Princess Cruises, at 143,700-tons, will carry 3,560 passengers. It will be the brand’s fourth “Royal Princess” class vessel.
The agreement for the new ships comes on the heels of a strategic partnership between Carnival Corp. and Fincantieri announced in March 2015 that calls for the design and construction of five ships at the Fincantieri shipyards. At the same time, Carnival also entered into a strategic partnership with Germany’s Meyer Werft for construction of four cruise ships at its shipyards in Papenburg, Germany, and Turku, Finland.
“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 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.”