Carnival Corporation (CCL) has ordered a new, 143,000-ton ship for its Princess Cruises brand from Italian shipyard Fincantieri. The yet-unnamed 3,560-passenger ship will be a sister to Royal Princess and Regal Princess. It's slated for delivery in 2017.
The new ship will cost $804 million. UBS Investment Research's Robin Farley "had anticipated a new build order announcement from CCL this summer." In June, she predicted Carnival would order soon, as the window for 2017 deliveries was closing.
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Royal Princess' spacious atrium, a signature Princess Cruises element expected to be on the new ship ordered for 2017 delivery.
Following the Princess Cruises announcement, Farley estimated that there won't be other new orders for 2017, as they'd have to be ordered by fall. She said "2017 could be a one-ship year for CCL versus the two to three ships per year" to which the company traditionally has had.
Princess said the new ship will include the signature elements now on Royal Princess and Regal Princess including a central atrium hub with multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; the adults-only Sanctuary; Movies Under the Stars cinema experience, and 80 percent of all staterooms that have balconies. The ship will also have some new innovations to be revealed in the coming months, the line said in a press statement.
“We are incredibly excited to add this fabulous new ship to our already formidable fleet,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Royal Princess and Regal Princess have been exceptionally successful for us and have received numerous accolades from guests, travel agents and media, so adding another sister ship will enable us to continue to expand our innovative vacation experiences."
|Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises on the Royal Princess|
Swartz said she believed the new ship order indicates the confidence that Carnival Corporation has in the future of the Princess brand. Like Farley, she also said this is the only new build order the parent company anticipates for 2017 delivery.
Giuseppe Bono, CEO, Fincantieri, said all the orders his shipyard wins are important, but some are more special than ever. "The one we're announcing today certainly belongs to this select category," he said, noting the relationship the shipyard has with Princess based on the construction of the two sister ships.
"Our objective has always been to build ships of the future, and thanks to the Carnival Group, the leading market player, which has reconfirmed its well-founded confidence in us, we have proven over time not only to have kept faith with this ambitious goal but also to have been able to consolidate our world leadership in a sector of absolute technological excellence, like cruise ships," Bono said.
With the new ship, North American cruise capacity will jump in 2017 from a 3.3 percent increase to a 4.3 percent increase.
Farley noted that this week's order by Carnival Corp. is the third new order for the North American market for 2017 delivery. Others are Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' Norwegian Bliss and MSC Cruises' new Seaside-class ship.
For more information on Princess, visit www.princess.com.
Photos by Susan Young