The news comes only three days after Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced its foothold in that same market; RCCL will team up with TUI AG, a German travel and shipping company, to launch German-centric TUI Cruises in 2009. Interestingly, Carnival Corp. had announced this time last year that it would form a joint venture with TUI AG to operate a German line in addition to AIDA -- but the deal fell through at the hands of European regulators, allowing RCCL to scoop it up (again, subject to approval).
Additionally, Carnival Corp. has decided to increase the capacity of another ship on order, an as-yet-unnamed new-build set to debut in April 2010. The vessel, the fourth it had ordered up until today, was initially supposed to measure 68,500 tons and carry 2,050 guests. The change to the order will make it a 71,000-ton, 2,174-passengers sister ship to the two vessels announced today.
The two newly ordered ships will be constructed at Germany's Meyer Werft for €380 million and €385 million respectively. The vessel due in April 2010, also contracted with Meyer Werft, will now cost €350 million as opposed to €335 million. These vessels will join AIDAbella, due out in April 2008, and an as-yet-unnamed sister ship in April 2009. AIDAdiva, was introduced earlier this year.
--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor