(10:18 a.m. EST) -- In February, we reported that Carnival Corporation had signed a memorandum of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to construct two new cruise ships. Today, the contract has been finalized.
In a press release, the shipyard has announced an order to build two prototype ships for the Princess Cruises brand. The ships will measure 141,000 tons and carry 3,600 passengers, making them the largest in the Princess fleet. Every oceanview cabin will have a balcony (which amounts to 80 percent of all cabins onboard). Expect also an expanded spa and Sanctuary area, bigger restaurants and larger public spaces, such as the Piazza.
The ships are scheduled for delivery in spring 2013 and 2014. We'll publish more information about the new cruise ships as it is received.
Until recently, major mainstream cruise lines have been hesitant to commit to building new ships. Carnival Cruise Lines ordered a third Dream-class ship in December, breaking what was a bit of a drought.
Is this the official end of the dry spell? Will other lines follow suit?