Carnival announces newbuild hat trick – And you thought YOUR cruise was expensive?


Carnival’s newest ship, Carnival Breeze, is to debut in June 2012. Image courtesy Carnival

Carnival Cruise Lines announced today that it will be building three new cruise ships for two of its European brands at a price tag of OVER $2 BILLION.  The vessels, one 132,500-ton vessel for its Costa Cruises brand and two 125,000-ton ships for its AIDA Cruises brand, will be the largest ever constructed for these two cruise lines.

Carnival has contracted Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of a 3,700-passenger ship for Costa that is scheduled for delivery in October 2014.  The all-in cost for this vessel will be approximately euro 150,000 per lower berth, or roughly US$793 million if the math is correct.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is to build two 3,250-passenger ships for AIDA which are scheduled for delivery in March 2015 and March 2016.  The all-in cost for these vessels will be approximately euro 140,000 per lower berth, approximately US$1.3 billion at current exchange rates.

The order for the two AIDA ships marks a return by Carnival Corporation & plc to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which built two highly successful ships for Princess Cruises, both of which were delivered in 2004. The contract with Fincantieri continues the company’s relationship with the Italian shipbuilder, which dates back nearly 20 years.

Today’s AIDA order marks Carnival Corporation & plc’s first new ship delivery for 2016 and continues the company’s strategy of introducing two to three ships per year.  Including the new orders for Costa and AIDA, Carnival Corporation & plc currently has 10 ships on order – three for 2012, two for 2013, two for 2014, two for 2015 and one for 2016.

Together, Carnival and these brands operate 101 ships totaling approximately 200,000 lower berths with 10 new ships scheduled to be delivered between May 2012 and March 2016. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, a leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.