Carnival Cruise Lines has signed a contract with Kvaerner Masa-Yards for construction of an additional 70,000-ton cruise ship. The new vessel, to be named Fascination, will cost approximately $315 million and will be a sister ship to the Sensatton which is already under construction at Kvaerner Masa.

The Finnish yard delivered the first in the series of 70,000-ton, 2,044-passenger ships, the Fantasy in 1990, and the second, the Ecstasy, this summer (1991). The Sensation is scheduled for delivery in late 1993 and the Fascination in early fall of 1994.

In a prepared statement, Carnival Chairman and CEO Mickey Arison said that the Ecstasy motivated the company to order the new ship. "The Ecstasy has performed beyond our expectations which were based on the success of the Fantasy a year earlier; Arison said. He added that the Ecstasy has set and broken passenger load records several times. He also said that the ships were equally well suited to either the three- and four-day market or seven-day market.

Arison also said that the company was exploring deployment of vessels outside the North American cruise market.