Carnival Corporation & plc yesterday announced that it has contracted with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to construct a 141,000-ton cruise ship for its P&O Cruises brand scheduled to enter service in March 2015. The as-yet-unnamed 3,611-passenger vessel will be the largest in the P&O Cruises fleet, as well as the largest cruise ship built specifically for the British market.
To be built at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard, the all-in cost is approximately euro 155,000 per lower berth. Ushering in an exciting era for P&O Cruises, the ship will offer a stylish and innovative new design and unprecedented number of passenger facilities, along with a variety of classic and iconic features of the P&O Cruises brand. Other specifications and new product innovations will be announced at a later date.
Commented Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc’s chairman and CEO, “P&O Cruises is Britain’s number one cruise operator, synonymous with high quality holidays that celebrate its rich British heritage. The UK continues to be a key growth market for Carnival and innovative vessels such as this new P&O Cruises ship – targeted specifically to British clientele – underscore our commitment to expanding this important cruise region.”
P&O Cruises Managing Director Carol Marlow said, “This next-generation ship will deliver the ultimate P&O Cruises experience, with ‘sophisticated wows’ and new features to attract thousands of newcomers to our brand, and equally to resonate with existing P&O Cruises passengers by giving them the ‘P&O-ness’ they recognise and love. She will offer ‘the best of the best,’ combining the favourite classic features of Oriana and Aurora, the choice and variety of Azura and Ventura, and a host of new ideas and concepts which together will deliver to our passengers the holiday of a lifetime, every time they travel with us.”
Added Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono, “This order shows that the company, even in a difficult moment as today, is resolutely continuing its commitment in a particularly depressed market in order to gain whatever orders there might be, thus holding on to its position as world leader.”
The order marks Carnival Corporation & plc’s first ship delivery for 2015, aligned with the company’s strategy to construct two to three ships per year. It currently has seven additional ships on order – one ship scheduled for delivery for the remainder of 2011, three for 2012, two for 2013 and one for 2014.
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and P&O Cruises (Australia).
Together, these brands operate 100 ships totaling more than 193,000 lower berths with eight new ships scheduled to be delivered between now and 2015. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.
Source: Carnival Corporation, June 02, 2011; Image: Ficantieri