MS Koningsdam sea trials. Photo: Holland America
A big weekend for the world’s largest cruise company as Carnival Corporation finalizes contracts with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build five new cruise ships costing more than $3.4 billion.
The final order adds a fifth ship to a memorandum of agreement between Carnival and Fincantieri announced in December 2015 calling for the construction of just four ships by 2020.
The ships include two that will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, two for Princess Cruises and one designated for P&O Cruises Australia, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020, Carnival said over the weekend.
Fincantieri confirmed that the total value of the contracts exceeds 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion).
The contracts were formalized during a signing ceremony held Saturday as part of the official handover ceremony for Holland America Line’s MS Koningsdam at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera, Italy.
The new ships for both Costa Asia and P&O Cruises Australia are expected to be 135,500-ton vessels with the capacity to carry 4,200 passengers. The 143,700-ton, 3,560-passenger ships for Princess Cruises will be the brand’s fourth and fifth Royal-class vessels, featuring the same design used on Royal Princess, Regal Princess and the new Majestic Princess coming in 2017.
The five new ships across three brands will be built at Fincantieri’s shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy.
Carnival Corporation has now taken delivery of two new ships in 2016 – AIDAprima for AIDA Cruises and MS Koningsdam for Holland America Line. Including the five just ordered, Carnival Corporation has a total of 16 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2020.
“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 Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald at Saturday’s ceremony. “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.”
The finalized contract with Fincantieri is a result of the memorandum of agreement announced by Carnival Corporation and Fincantieri in December 2015, and builds on the larger strategic shipbuilding partnership announced by the two companies in March 2015. Specific ship features and deployment details will be announced by each brand at a future date.
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