Carnival Corporation has signed a multi-billion dollar contract to build four next-generation cruise ships with the largest guest capacity in the world. The contract with Meyer Werft is part of larger previously announced strategic memo of understanding with leading shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Fincantieri S.p.A for nine new ship orders between 2019 and 2022.
The four new ships will also feature a revolutionary “green cruising” design. The ships will be the first in the cruise industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) -- the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, representing a major environmental breakthrough. LNG will be stored onboard and used to generate 100 percent power at sea – producing another industry-first innovation for Carnival Corporation and its brands. Using LNG to power the ships in port and at sea will eliminate emissions of soot particles and sulfur oxides.
The company said two of the ships will be manufactured for AIDA Cruises at Meyer Werft's shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
Based on Carnival Corporation’s innovative new ship design, each of the four next-generation ships will have a total capacity of 6,600 guests, feature more than 5,000 lower berths, exceed 180,000 gross tons and incorporate an extensive number of guest-friendly features.
In addition to the two ships being built in Germany, Meyer Werft – which had the capacity to accommodate these four ship-building orders in its production schedule -- will also build the two additional ships detailed in today’s announcement at its shipyard in Turku, Finland. Each new ship will be specifically designed and developed for the brand and the guests it will serve, underscoring the company's goal to consistently exceed guest expectations and provide first-time and repeat guests with the vacation experience of a lifetime on each and every cruise.
Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald said the contract is consistent with the company’s measured capacity growth strategy to replace ships with less efficient capacity with newer, larger and more fuel efficient vessels over time.
“These ships will expand our leadership position for the Costa Group, the market leader in all the major European markets,” said Thamm. “These will be spectacular ships designed specifically for our guests who sail on our Costa Group brands.”
Bernard Meyer, CEO of Meyer Werft, said: “In past years, we have built seven highly successful ships for AIDA Cruises. We are honored that Carnival Corporation has entrusted us with the implementation of this ambitious shipbuilding program, and we look forward to building these four magnificent ships.”
The new ship order will allow the Costa Group to continue to build on its leadership position in the European cruise market – a market in which five out of 10 cruise guests in 2014 sailed onboard a Costa Group ship. The Costa Group – along with Princess Cruise Lines, also part of the Carnival Corporation family -- also occupies the leading position in the rapidly growing cruise market in China.