Carnival Corp., which has teased the cruise industry about making a serious
acquisition bid ever since Princess and Royal Caribbean announced plans to
merger, has confirmed a new purchase. It's not a cruise line, however, but
an order for a new ship for its Cunard line.
Cunard, which currently has just two vessels -- the legendary QE2 and
Caronia, which it's transferring over to the British market -- will build a
brand new, 1,968-passenger ship for the line. The newbuild, as yet unnamed,
will be constructed at Italy's Fincantieri at a cost of about $400 million.
It will be homeported in Southampton, in England, and marketed to an
Cunard fans won't have to wait until 2005 -- when this one's due for launch
-- to hitch a ride on a new Cunard ship. The much hyped 2,620-passenger
Queen Mary 2, currently under construction, is on target for a December 2003