Santa Fills Carnival Corp. Stocking With New Ships

December 14, 2005
Carnival Corporation, the cruise industry's equivalent of the Energizer Bunny, continues to be on a roll with new ship orders. Today, the company announces that it's signed yet another agreement with Italy's Fincantieri to construct four new cruise ships for a tab of about $2 billion total.

The lucky lines receiving the new vessels include:

Holland America will get an 86,000-ton, 2,044-passenger ship -- its largest ever. The ship, to be built at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard, will be delivered in summer 2008 (and there's an option for a sister ship, slated for launch in spring 2010.

Key point: This is the first new order for Holland America in quite a while; the line will debut its otherwise "last" ship on the books, the Noordam, in February 2006.

At 130,000 tons and carrying 3,608 passengers, a new ship for Carnival Cruise Lines stretches that line's boundaries. It will be built at the Monfalcone shipyard and is slated for service in the fall of 2009 (with an option for a sister to debut in the summer of 2010).

Key point: Carnival has two other ships already in the construction pipeline. Carnival Freedom, a Conquest-class vessel, debuts in spring 2007. Another unnamed 112,000-ton, 3,006-passenger vessel is already being marketed as a new class of ship for Carnival, and will premier in the spring of 2008.

Also interesting: Note how much larger, if you use the gross ton measurement as a guide, the latest new-builds are -- and yet they hold just eight more passengers than the 2008 model. Very, very curious.

Princess Cruises will get a sister to the 116,000-ton, 3,100-passenger Emerald Princess. The new vessel will launch in fall of 2008 and will be built at Monfalcone (Emerald Princess debuts in spring of 2007).

Costa, which has no new ships on order after its CostaConcordia (launching next summer), will get a sister; the 112,000-ton, 3,004-passenger vessel will launch in the summer of 2009 and be built at Fincantieri's Sestri shipyard.

Key point: In between, look for CostaSerena, which will debut in 2007.