Travel and leisure company Carnival Corporation & plc is expanding its global fleet to meet rising demand for cruise vacations.
As part of its fleet enhancement plan, the company will add four new ships this year to its cruise ship fleet, which includes 99 ships.
Carnival operates 10 cruise brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, Fathom, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises in Australia and P&O Cruises in the UK.
The company plans to add 17 new ships to its fleet between 2016 and 2020.
“As we execute our fleet enhancement plan — which includes a long-term strategy for bringing highly efficient, state-of-the-art ships to market and elevating the overall cruise experience, we are excited about seeing these new ships come to life this year,” Carnival CEO Arnold Donald said.
The new ships joining Carnival’s convoy in 2016 are: ms Koningsdam, Carnival Vista, AIDAprima and Seabourn Encore.
Currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, ms Koningsdam is expected to join the company’s Holland America Line in April. The 99,500-ton ship will feature Holland America Line’s first purpose-built staterooms for families, in addition to single staterooms that together make up spacious accommodations for the ship’s 2,650 guests.
Carnival will add Carnival Vista to its Carnival Cruise Line. Set to be delivered in April, Carnival Vista will be the largest ship in the fleet, with a guest capacity of 3,954. The 1,055-feet long ship will offer great experience and fun for guests of all ages, with a unique suspended cycling experience called SkyRide, Family Harbor staterooms and suites, IMAX Theater and the line’s first on-board brewery, according to the company.
Carnival Vista is scheduled to enter service on May 1, initially sailing from Europe. The ship will reposition to New York for a series of voyages in November, and then move to Miami to launch year-round Caribbean service later that month.
Third ship is AIDAprima, which will be joining the company’s AIDA Cruises brand. In addition to being one the most technologically advanced vessels in the world, AIDAprima is the most environmentally friendly cruise ship in the world, according to Carnival.
Fourth ship, Seabourn Encore, is likely to join the company’s Seabourn line in December this year. The 40,350-gross ton ship will be configured with one additional deck and new expanded public areas, and is expected to carry 600 guests, based on double occupancy.
Last year, Carnival signed a contract with Meyer Werft to build four next-generation cruise ships, which will be the first in the cruise industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The ships, manufactured for Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises, will have the largest guest capacity in the world.
Moreover, Carnival is set to sign agreements with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for four new cruise ships. Two ships will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, while one will be built each for P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises.
“We also remain focused on managing our fleet capacity in a responsible way by delivering and refurbishing ships that are innovative and efficient, while we phase out some of our existing ships – all designed to reinvigorate the options available to travelers looking to explore the more than 700 destinations we visit around the world,” Donald added.
Writing by Nadeem (c) gCaptain