|Photo by Freeimages.com/Harmon Stinson|
Carnival Corporation has announced that it has signed a memo of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. to build four new cruise ships with final contracts expected to be executed in 2016. Two of the four new ships will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, and one will be built each for P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises. With the new agreement, Carnival Corporation has 17 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2020.
The new ships will be built at the Fincantieri shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020. The new ship for Princess Cruises will carry 3,560 passengers and will be its fourth "Royal Princess" class vessel, featuring the design platform used on Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess, scheduled for delivery in 2017. Additionally, the two new ships for Costa Asia and new ship for P&O Cruises Australia will carry 4,200 passengers.
Notable amenities onboard the new Princess Cruises ship will include a central atrium hub with multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; Movies Under the Stars outdoor cinema experience, and 80 percent of all staterooms with balconies. The ship will also include some brand-new innovations.
The new Costa Cruises Asia ships will include the brand's "Italy's finest" experience, and the new P&O Cruises Australia ship will join a recently expanded fleet that added Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden in November 2015. P&O Australia's fleet will reach six ships total with the introduction of Pacific Explorer in 2017 to meet growing demand for cruises in Australia. Carnival Corp. said Australia is one of the top performing cruise markets in the world, with an average annual passenger growth rate of 20 percent over the past decade. The new 4,200-passenger ship will have the largest passenger capacity from the line, with the next largest ship, Pacific Explorer, carrying 2,250 passengers.
In March 2015 Carnival entered into a strategic partnership with Fincantieri under which these four ships have been developed. Specific features and amenities for the ships, along with deployment details, will be announced in the coming months.