Carnival has ordered nine ships for its brands for a delivery period of 2019 to 2022. (photo: Clyde Dickens)Carnival Corporation today signed two strategic memorandums of agreement that will add a total of nine new cruise ships to the company's fleet over a four-year period from 2019 to 2022.

Ships are expected to be assigned to brands based on market demand and a new Chinese brand could be in the cards.

The shipbuilding agreements, which include options for additional ship builds in the coming years, are subject to several conditions, including satisfactory financing, according to a release.

Options are expected to go through 2028 and a new class of ships is expected to be in the 175,000-ton range, a source told Cruise Industry News.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A and German shipbuilder Meyer Werft will each build new ships based on the company's next-generation ship designs.

The new ships are expected to serve established cruise markets in North America and Europe, as well as newer markets, including China.

Each new ship will be specifically designed and developed for the brand and guests it will serve, and support the company's overall goal of exceeding guest expectations and further elevating every aspect of the guest experience, according to Carnival.

"We're excited to take this next step in our fleet enhancement plan with these two new agreements that are consistent with our long-term strategy of measured capacity growth over time," said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation. "Our goal as a company is to exceed the expectations of every guest on every ship every day, and these new ships will further enable us to do just that. These will be the most efficient ships we have ever built and the great guest experience will create even more excitement around cruising – helping new cruisers realize the superior vacation experience and value that cruising offers versus land-based vacations."

Fincantieri will develop and construct five ships at its shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy.

"I am extremely proud on this truly memorable day for us. Today's announcement provides us with a long-term strategic prospective, and reinforces the extraordinary partnership between us and Carnival Corporation, developed over time thanks to the confidence the group has always shown in us, which we assure will be once again well placed," said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. "This agreement reflects the exceptional business vision of the world's most important cruise operator, and our readiness and flexibility in interpreting its demands."

Bono added: "This agreement is the best reward for our hard work over all these years, and in fact, our organizational, design and production skills have allowed us to consolidate our market leadership, confirming us at the top of such an exclusive and complex industry."

Meyer Werft will build its four ships at its shipyards in Papenburg, Germany, and Turku, Finland.

Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft, said: "We are very happy and honored that Carnival Corporation trusts our strength to bring this ambitious newbuilding program to life in Turku and Papenburg."

As part of each company's long-term strategic partnership with Carnival Corporation, additional new ship orders are being explored over the coming decade, according to Carnival.

Additional information on Carnival Corporation's cruise ship design, and which of the company's nine leading global brands will add these next-generation vessels to their fleets will be made available at a later date.