Miami-based cruise company Carnival Corporation & plc will welcome four new ships into the fleet in 2018.
The newbuilding quartet is comprised of Carnival Horizon, Seabourn Ovation, AIDAnova, and Nieuw Statendam.
The 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon, currently under construction at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera, Italy, is the company’s second Vista-class ship and is scheduled for delivery in March 2018.
Fincantieri is also building Seabourn Ovation for Carnival’s Seabourn Cruise Line. The ship will be able to carry up to just 600 guests once it starts sailing in May 2018.
Nieuw Statendam, Holland America Line’s newest cruise ship, hit the water at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard on December 6.
The fitting-out phase can now begin, ending in autumn 2018, when the ship will be delivered.
German shipbuilder Meyer Werft is entrusted with the construction of AIDA Cruises’ first generation LNG-powered cruise ships – AIDAnova. The ship is scheduled to debut in December 2018.
Carnival is bullish on the outlook for 2018, as cumulative advance bookings for full year 2018 are “ahead of the prior year at higher prices.”
Since November, booking volumes for 2018 have been running well ahead of the prior year at higher prices, Carnival said.
“Despite booking disruptions from this year’s multiple hurricanes, we are still heading into 2018 with a stronger base of business and higher prices than last year. We have numerous efforts underway to keep the momentum going in 2018 and beyond, from our innovative approaches to increase consideration for cruising, including our recently announced partnership with Univision, to the further roll-out of our state-of-the-art revenue management system,” Carnival’s President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald said.
The announcement was made as Carnival reported full year and fourth quarter earnings.
Carnival Corporation announced U.S. GAAP net income for the full year 2017 of USD 2.6 billion compared to USD 2.8 billion for the prior year.
U.S. GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 stood at 546 million, or USD 0.76 diluted EPS, compared to USD 609 million in 2016.
“We remain on track to achieve a double-digit return on invested capital in 2018. We are committed to the continued distribution of cash to shareholders through increasing dividends, currently totaling USD 1.3 billion annually, and ongoing share repurchases, which have exceeded USD 3 billion since late 2015,” Donald added.